|Message from the Dean
It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA) at Rutgers–Newark. Founded in 2006, Rutgers SPAA continues a long tradition of public affairs and administration education on the Rutgers–Newark Campus. This tradition began in the 1970s with a master of public administration (M.P.A.) degree offered through the Rutgers–Newark Graduate School. An executive master of public administration (E.M.P.A.) was added in the 1980s, along with a Ph.D. in public administration and, more recently, an undergraduate major in public service (2010). In addition to these programs, SPAA partners with the University of Medicine and Dentistry New Jersey (UMDNJ) and New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) in a master of public health degree. Complementing these academic degrees are for-credit and noncredit certificates (animals, community, and the law; public financial management; and business district management.) The urban milieu is a key focus of our mission and Newark, New Jersey, is an apt setting for developing knowledge about the urban milieu.
The SPAA mission rests on four equal pillars: competence, diversity, knowledge, and service. Competence expresses our commitment to preparing graduates for positions in governments, nonprofit organizations, and international sectors. The M.P.A. and E.M.P.A. core curriculum combines public administration foundations with organization and management as tools for achieving public policy goals. The curriculum combines theory with applied learning. For example, assignments may feature individual or team projects, incorporate theory and empirical data, and culminate in papers or presentations that hone analytical and communication skills. Classroom work may be enhanced by SPAA sponsored or hosted conferences, brownbag meetings, and symposia featuring guest scholars and practitioners.
Competence also is supported when in-career, precareer, and career-changing students explore career options in academic credit and volunteer internships as varied as hazard abatement, museum management, teen mentoring, or performance measurement and analysis. Partnerships enhance student internship options and desirable career positions in the urban milieu and Newark settings. Students may combine internships to build stronger résumés. The competence mission is a commitment to prepare graduates for positions of responsibility and leadership in their chosen career settings. While career choices and trajectories may differ for master's and Ph.D. students, SPAA graduates are prepared to achieve excellence in whatever career areas they choose.
The diversity mission is both our reality and a goal of all that we do. SPAA students join the Rutgers–Newark Campus which, for the 14th consecutive year, is ranked the most diverse urban campus in the United States. SPAA graduate programs contribute to campus diversity by welcoming international and first-generation U.S. students from around the globe. Age and gender diversity are evident due to our student mix of pre- and in-career students. We invite students to consider their classes as learning networks for future career destinations. Opportunities for experiencing diversity are also provided by faculty who invite students to accompany them on international research trips. Such student travel, based on faculty research interests and student interest in expanding horizons, support the diversity mission. Visiting scholars, part-time faculty, and guest lecturers also ensure that students experience academic diversity. Our students rate diversity as a treasured resource of their experiences at Rutgers SPAA.
Knowledge is an obvious purpose and goal for an academic institution and SPAA makes knowledge central to its endeavors. Knowledge in the form of teaching, learning, scholarship, development, codification, and diffusion is what we do, and we do it in traditional and innovative ways as already described. As our faculty and students interact in processes of knowledge production, exchange, and dissemination, we generate value that benefits those directly involved and those who benefit indirectly. For example, our Newark-based E.M.P.A. program builds management and leadership capacity for Newark and Essex County governments and nonprofit organizations. Knowledge also is generated as a direct service through capstone projects that contribute analyses beyond the capacity of City of Newark resources. Similar benefits are provided throughout the Trenton, New Jersey-area E.M.P.A. program.
The fourth mission pillar is service. We believe that service is the defining value in public administration. We believe that the service value motivates faculty, staff, students, and alumni to achieve so that others can thrive. Our faculty, alumni, and students demonstrate the service value in their home communities, at SPAA and campus levels, and more broadly as leaders in the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) and other professional service organizations in their fields of study and interest, locally, nationally and internationally. Several faculty members are fellows of the National Academy of Public Administration. SPAA, in partnership with ASPA, sponsors secretariats for nations desiring to build relationships with public administrators in other countries. Through these and other initiatives, SPAA sponsors programs developing the knowledge and practice of public administration with the United Nations, China, Korea, and South Africa, among others.
The following pages describe our programs in greater detail. We hope these descriptions convince you of our unique qualities and the potential they represent for your career. We welcome your inquiries, encourage your applications, and anticipate your contributions to our missions of competence, diversity, knowledge, and service.
Welcome to SPAA.
Dr. Marc Holzer
Dean and Board of Governors Professor