Aug 19, 2022  
2005-2006 Graduate Catalog 
2005-2006 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Public Administration

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The Department’s Mission

  1. To prepare students for productive, fulfilling careers in public and nonprofit administration-particularly in the dynamics of state and local government.
  2. To promote an understanding and appreciation of the functions and value of government in society.
  3. To contribute to the improvement of governance and societal institutions.

M.P.A. Program

The Department offers the Master of Public Administration degree, a professional degree designed for persons pursuing or intending to pursue careers in governmental, nonprofit, and other public service organizations. The M.P.A. program is offered on a full- and part-time basis on the Orono campus and on an evening part-time basis in Augusta and includes summer course offerings.

The program has particular strength in the area of state and local governmental administration, which is an outgrowth of its commitment of service to Maine state government and to the approximately 200 communities in Maine employing town and city managers. It is one of the largest M.P.A. programs in northern New England. A member of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA), the program is one of only approximately 150 accredited M.P.A. programs in the country.

Admission Requirements

As prerequisites for regular admission to the program, applicants for the M.P.A. must have completed an introductory course or its equivalent in American government, statistics and economics. Students who lack one or more of these prerequisites may be admitted on a provisional basis.

In making decisions for admission the Department reviews all information including the application, essay, test scores (GRE or GMAT), graduate point averages, references, work experience and interest in public service.  There are no specific scores required.

Students are accepted for admission on a rolling admission basis. Students seeking research or teaching assistantships, however, must apply by February. The Department has one teaching assistantship and other scholarships and research assistantships are available throughout The University of Maine. Contact the department’s Graduate Director for details.

Research and Practice

The public administration faculty maintains continuing working relationships with practitioners in the field through the Maine Municipal Association, Maine Town and City Management Association, Maine Association of Nonprofits, Maine Hospital Association, Maine State government, the Maine Bond Bank, Maine Police Chiefs Association, Maine Sheriffs Association, and the Department of Public Safety. Faculty members engage in research with these groups as well as undertaking projects with individual communities and state agencies. Students and faculty are also active in the American Society for Public Administration. Practitioners periodically join the resident faculty in offering courses in their areas of expertise. Students in appropriate graduate seminars are encouraged to take part in research projects of concern to public organizations and officials in Maine, the New England Region, and across the United States and Canada.

The public administration program also maintains a cooperative relationship with associated graduate faculty members in the departments of Economics, Political Science, Sociology, Communication and Journalism, Resource Economics and Policy, the Schools of Business, Nursing, and Social Work, and the Educational Leadership Program.

The Department is a founding member of the Maine Academy of Public Service, a joint collaboration of the University of Maine’s Public Administration Department, the University of Southern Maine’s Muskie School of Public Service and the University of Maine’s Margaret Chase Smith Center for Public Policy.  In 2003, the Academy was endorsed and sanctioned by the Provosts of the two universities.  The purpose of this newly created collaboration is to 1) provide access to a network of resources to assist with policy development and analysis, 2) coordinate and increase the number of student placements and internships with the Legislature and state agencies, 3) coordinate resources and applied research related to training and education in the field of policy analysis and the practice of public management.

Additional information is available from the Director of Graduate Programs in Public Administration, 5754 North Stevens Hall, (207) 581-1872. E-mail:, and on the internet at

Degree Requirements

The program of study consists of 36 credit hours of course work, including 24 hours of required courses, and 12 hours of electives. Students who have not had significant public or nonprofit work experience must take an additional 6 credits of internship for a total of 42 credits.

Required Areas:

Students must take at least one course in each of the two areas (six credit hours) listed below.

Electives/Concentrations (12 credit hours):

Students take twelve hours of electives in courses offered by the Department or other units of the University. Not more than three credit hours may be taken at the 400-level. As an alternative, students may choose to concentrate their electives in planning, development, and environmental sustainability or healthcare policy and nonprofit management. Courses may include any of the courses listed in the required areas as well as such courses as nonprofit administration, healthcare finance, local government law, sustainable economic and community development.

Internship (6 credit hours):

Students without significant public or nonprofit experience must complete a six-credit internship. The requirement may be waived for those with prior experience, for which three or six credits is awarded.

Healthcare Administration Certificate

Graduate students may also obtain a healthcare administration certificate in conjunction with their degree. The interdisciplinary healthcare  certificate includes courses from Business, Social Work, Nursing, and Public Administration for more information see

Graduate Faculty

G. Thomas Taylor, Ph.D. (Colorado, 1973), Professor, and Department Chair. Municipal government, local public management, urban public policy, sub-state regionalism, and community planning and development.

Carolyn Ball, Ph.D. (Purdue University, 1990), Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Programs in Public Administration. Human resource management, public management, labor relations, public policy, and methodology.

James F. Horan, Ph.D. (Connecticut, 1972), Professor. American political institutions, labor management relations, comparative government and administration, higher education administration, and public affairs.

Edward B. Laverty, Ph.D. (State University of New York, Albany, 1980), Associate Professor. Environmental policy, implementation, policy analysis and evaluation, administrative law and the regulatory process, and bureaucratic politics.

Kenneth L. Nichols, DPA (George Mason University, 1993), Associate Professor. Information technology and public policy, methods of analysis, strategic planning, and futuristics.

Associate Graduate Faculty

Andrew C. Fisk, Ph.D. (Rutgers, 1995), Director of the Bureau of Land and Water Quality at the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. City and regional planning, environmental planning, land use policy and administration.

Mark Jackson, M.D. (Boston University, 1979), Director of Cutler Health Center. Healthcare and human service administration, total quality management in healthcare, occupational safety, and health policy and administration.

Michel Lahti, Ph.D. (University of Maine, 1998), Visiting Instructor, Muskie School of Public Service, Institute for Public Sector Innovation, University of Southern Maine. Research design, program evaluation, research methods, and performance measurement in government-nonprofit sectors.

John F. Mahon, Ph.D. (Boston University, 1982), John M. Murphy Chair of International Business Policy and Strategy. Professor of Management. Management policy and strategy, global strategy, negotiations.

Jonathan Shenkin, D.D.S. (Columbia University, 1996), Associate in Dental Private Practice, Bangor Maine. Issues in public health, health care finance and management.

Seth Singleton, Ph.D. (Yale University, 1968), Visiting Professor of Political Science and Public Adminsitration. Comparative administration, culture, human rights, and globalization, management and policy.

Thomas L. Welch, J.D. (Harvard University, 1975), Chair, Maine Public Utilities Commission. Administrative law, regulation and deregulation of essential services, telecommunications and electricity policy.

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