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ASPA Partners With University to Host Midwest Conference

By Stephen Kleinschmit

mpacASPA is joining with the Department of Public Policy at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne to host the inaugural Midwest Public Affairs Conference (MPAC). Scheduled for March 27-29, 2014 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, this event is an excellent opportunity for researchers, scholars and professionals in the Midwest to meet and exchange knowledge.

The conference theme asks the question “Does Management Still Matter?” Organizers are inviting participants to examine the effects of political polarization and declining fiscal appropriations on the delivery of public services. Proposals are currently being accepted through December 9. To submit a proposal, visit http://www.midwestpac.org.

The MPAC board has diligently worked to reduce overall costs and make it affordable for everyone. This will be a traveling conference, with host institutions utilizing university-owned facilities as a means to keep registration costs low. Highlights of the conference include:

  • Paul Helmke will deliver the keynote address on Saturday, March 29. Helmke serves as the Director of the Civic Leaders Living-Learning Center at Indiana University and is a Professor of Practice in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs. He is the former chairman of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
  • ASPA President-Elect Allan Rosenbaum will offer a presentation on the conference theme. Rosenbaum serves as the Director of the Institute for Public Management and Community Service and is a Professor of Public Administration at Florida International University in Miami.
  • Subject-specific forums including a regional economic development roundtable and high-speed rail panel.
  • A site visit-training workshop.
  • Much more!

Additionally, the conference is establishing an affiliated publication known as the Journal of Public and Nonprofit Affairs (JPNA). This journal will be a generalist, quarterly, peer-reviewed and indexed academic publication that will occasionally host symposia with the direction of the editorial board. It will be open access and is intended to eliminate the barrier of subscription-based databases that preclude practitioner access. The initiative is hosted by the Institute of Government at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with Dr. Vickie Edwards as the managing editor. If you are interested in being a reviewer for JPNA, please send an email to [email protected].

MPAC seeks to facilitate greater collaboration between the academic, policymaking and practitioner communities in the Midwest and strives to provide a new avenue for professional development. MPAC’s primary service area encompasses portions of ASPA Districts II, III and IV, which covers 9 states, 56 NASPAA-member universities, 18 doctoral programs and 16 ASPA chapters. The density of these institutions makes it easily drivable for many in the region, which should significantly reduce travel expenditures. This is particularly helpful to junior faculty and students who have struggled to remain productive as their travel budgets have declined.

MPAC is seeking to develop a strong base of support for future conferences. Programs are invited to consider sponsoring the event. To request a sponsorship packet, contact conference chair, Dr. Stephen Kleinschmit at [email protected].

For conference updates, visit http://www.midwestpac.org or follow on Twitter (@mpaconference).

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The American Society for Public Administration is the largest and most prominent professional association for public administration. It is dedicated to advancing the art, science, teaching and practice of public and non-profit administration.

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