Autumn 2018

MPA Courses

PUBPOL 503: Executive Leadership

Instructor: Adrienne Quinn
Meets: Mondays and Wednesdays, 8:30-9:50 am
Description: Executive Leadership will help students cultivate the practical skills required to lead within various operational contexts. Managerial strategies for addressing problems in public, not- for-profit and business organizations will be examined through case studies, general readings, class-exercises, deep self-reflection, and presentations by practitioners. Throughout this four-credit course, students will practice the core skills required for their success as future leaders.

PUBPOL 537: Development Practice: Financial Inclusion and Poverty Reduction

Instructor: Carlos Cuevas
Meets: Thursdays, 5:30-8:20 pm
Description: “Applied development economics” or “development practice” could be defined as the use of development economics theory, empirical evidence, and other lessons from development interventions to improve upon those interventions in terms of the degree to which their goals are achieved. From the multiple possible “development goals” we choose poverty reduction as the focus of this course, and take a critical look at the development experience fighting poverty over the last decade.

PUBPOL 555 A: Marketing Social Innovation

Instructor: Erica Mills
Meets: Thursdays, 2:30-5:20 pm
Description: This class will give students an understanding of how to use marketing to strategically spur adoption of innovation—whether that be at the individual, organizational, or policy level—that addresses a social issue or problem. By the end of the quarter, students will:

  • Be able to put marketing theory into practice
  • Know how to create a strategic marketing plan
  • Understand how to apply marketing techniques to individuals, organizations, and policy initiatives
  • Be able to craft effective messaging for different audiences

Although grounded in theory, this will be a very practical class with students applying what they learn to timely, real-world issues.

PUBPOL 555 B: Social Enterprise: New Models for Mission-Based Business

Instructor: Akhtar Badshah
Meets: Thursdays, 5:30-8:20 pm
Description: This seminar course will offer students an understanding of the changing landscape for social investments and the tools to become an effective social entrepreneur or practitioner working in the social enterprise and mission-based business space. A social enterprise is an organization that applies commercial strategies to maximize improvements in human and environmental well-being—this may include maximizing social impact alongside profits for external shareholders. Over the next decade it is expected that funds supporting social enterprises and social businesses will continue to grow and major financial institutions such as BlackRock, Goldman, and JP Morgan have all established impact investment funds.

PUBPOL 571: Education, Workforce, and Public Policy

Instructor: Bill Zumeta
Meets: Tuesdays, 4:30-6:50 pm
Description: This course is about the connections between education, training, and the world of work, and the complex associated public policy issues and choices. The topic is of enduring importance, but is currently attracting intense attention from researchers, political leaders, and government policymakers at all levels, and business and other employers, as well as students and educators, as the economy changes rapidly and seems to leave some behind (e.g., the less educated, the placebound, even college graduates with less marketable majors). There are diverse perspectives on the issues and particularly on appropriate institutional and public policy responses. To understand the contemporary scene in this field, which is a key objective of the course, it is necessary to understand not only current policies and proposals but the nature of the modern economy, the forces that drive it, and its emphasis on various kinds of knowledge, skills, and habits of mind in workers that education and training can help to instill. Thus, the course involves extensive reading and discussion on these issues.

A second course objective is to ensure that students come to understand in a sophisticated way how preparation for work relates to education’s other functions (e.g., preparation for democratic citizenship and aspects of post-school life other than work) and how all of this is affected by various social forces, politics, and public policies. Attention to issues of social equity in access to the benefits of education at all levels is a prominent dimension of the course content. Thus, the course readings, discussions and other class activities are quite multidisciplinary and wide-ranging. Guest speakers from educational institutions and policymaking and policy influencing organizations in this field share their knowledge and insights with the class as well.

Note: This course is expected to become a 4-credit course for autumn quarter, and is cross-listed by the UW College of Education as Education Leadership & Policy Studies 563.

PUBPOL 573: Crime and Punishment Policy

Instructor: Karin Martin
Meets: Mondays, 5:30-8:20 pm
Description: Deterring and punishing undesirable acts is a perennial human endeavor. Yet, with life, liberty, and public safety at stake, policy in the domain of criminal justice remains fraught. In this course, we will examine how the confluence of politics, culture, ideology, and empirics generates policy related to crime and punishment. The course draws on examples from policing, courts, prison, and community supervision to explore the (often contested) realities of policy-making in criminal justice. In order to understand the policy process from conception to evaluation, we will delve into current topics in the field of criminal justice reform, including: cash bail, pre-trial detention, criminal justice debt, risk assessment, abolition/amnesty, and ban-the-box efforts. The course also engages the topic of policy advocacy—or how to actually build support for a policy initiative. Thus, in addition to discussions of readings taken from social psychology, criminology, sociology, political science, and behavioral economics, we will talk with practitioners, advocates, and policymakers about the role of research and politics in the policy-making process. This course equips students to have a nuanced understanding of the political processes informing crime and punishment policy.

PUBPOL 598 B: Introduction to Tableau and Data Visualization

Instructor: Adam Sherman
Meets: Thursdays, 12:30-2:20 pm; October 4, 18, November 1, 15, 29, December 6
Description: By the end of the quarter, you will have developed a small portfolio of legislative products to show any future employer or to use as a citizen lobbyist. Using a variation of Problem Based Learning with guest speakers and interactive strategies learn how to develop and analyze legislation at local, state, or federal levels. The course will use current “hot” legislative topics to examine development of legislative strategies, and the roles of research, staff, and lobbyists in legislative “deliberations.” You will gain hands-on experience with drafting bills and budget analyses, developing strategies and advocacy materials. At the end of the quarter, you will have a small portfolio which may include professional bill analysis, budget provisos, policy or advocacy memos, and other materials.

PUBPOL 598 F: Introduction to Data Processing and Visualization Design in R

Instructor: Graham Bearden
Meets: Saturdays, 8:30-2:20 pm, October 6 and October 13
Description: This workshop teaches the fundamental skills required to prepare, analyze and report data in R. Production of data visualizations and tables will be central to materials on reporting. This is an introductory course that will avail R functionality in a way that is accessible to new R programmers. This is an applied course that focuses on successful execution of code. While students should consider theory, style, and efficiency of R programming, getting the job done right will be the first priority of the workshop. Students are required to bring a laptop to the workshop.

PUBPOL 599 C: Tax Policy Analysis

Instructor: Caroline Weber
Meets: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8:30-9:50 am
Description: The objective of this course is to provide you with the tools—theoretical and empirical—to analyze current tax policy and proposed tax reforms. The first part of the course develops necessary theoretical tools. Topics in this part of the course include: who bears the burden of a tax, how to assess the efficiency of a particular tax system, and the inherent tradeoffs between equity, efficiency, and compliance costs when choosing the optimal tax system. The second part of the course applies these tools to evaluate particular tax systems and consider tax reforms. Tax systems considered include the personal income tax, the corporate income tax, consumption taxes, and taxes on specific goods, such as cigarettes, marijuana, and sweetened beverages.

Ph.D. Courses

PPM 599: Research Seminar

Meets: Wednesdays, 12:00-1:20 pm
Description: Students who sign up for PPM 599 will attend research seminars presented by Evans School faculty and policy and management scholars from other UW departments, as well as other Universities. Students will learn about new theories and empirical findings on a wide range of topics in public policy and management and be more fully immersed in a research environment. To receive credit, a student must attend a minimum number of seminars (TBD), including the question and answer period. 

Summer 2018

MPA Courses

PUBPOL 583: Science, Technology, and Public Policy

Instructor: Howard McCurdy
Meets: Mondays and Wednesdays, 5:30-8:20 pm; A-term, June 18-July 18
Description: From the spaceship to the computer chip, public officials work hard to promote innovation through science and technology. In turn, discoveries arising from science and technology invite governmental response. This course examines the manner in which science and technology affects public policy. Topics include the debate over how much government support is necessary to spur research and innovation, the manner in which scientific issues make their way onto the policy agenda, the players in science policy, the clash between science and political ideology, the role of government as a regulator of technology, the manner in which technology reshapes governmental organization, and the governance challenges arising from 21st century technologies. Students additionally examine impending technologies, the relationship between popular culture and technology, and specific policy issues of interest to students in the class. 

Professor McCurdy is the author of eight books on science policy, innovation, and space exploration, a professor in the School of Public Affairs at American University in Washington, D.C., and an adjunct professor at the University of Washington. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Washington and his doctorate from Cornell University.

1-Credit Skills Workshops

PUBPOL 598 C: The Role of the Military in International Development and Humanitarian Crisis Response

Instructor: Jason Smith
Meets: Wednesdays, 5:20-8:00 pm; B-term, July 25-August 15
Description: This workshop is intended to help students understand the capabilities that the United States military can bring to the world of international development and humanitarian crisis response. Development work in today’s world is very complex. Whether you work for an NGO, IGO, OGO, or a private company, you could potentially be in a situation where you could require military support or benefit from the resources the military can offer. With the U.S. led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with the recent standing up of Africa Command, the United States military has found itself more involved in work that is outside its primary mission. Good or bad, this has become reality.

This course will focus on the following topics: U.S. military doctrine and ability to task organize for specific missions; specialized units and logistics capability; permissive versus non-permissive environments; and, military limitations and challenges. In addition to these topics, this workshop will look at the different Combatant Commands (COCOMS) and explore some of the unique challenges and possible opportunities that exist.

Spring 2018

Undergraduate Courses

Click here for our undergraduate course offerings.

MPA Courses

PUBPOL 504: Leadership Ethics in the Public Interest

Instructor: Ines Jurcevic
Meets: Mondays and Wednesdays, 8:30-9:50 am
Description: Bad people do bad things and good people do good things, right? Good and bad according to whom? This class takes a nuanced approach to examining the many predictors that influence ethical leadership. In particular, this course focuses on the ways in which leaders must recognize and respond to a variety of competing value propositions both within and outside their institution. We’ll explore critical questions such as: How are values and ethics established within and by individuals? What responsibility does a leader have for shaping the ethical climate in the organization? We will approach these questions from a variety of perspectives, examining psychological, organizational, and cultural processes. This class does not aim to provide the right/wrong answer to ethical leadership dilemmas. Rather, it aims to help you better understand the ways in which you are already making ethical decisions and to promote reflection and dialogue in order to challenge and help you think about ethical leadership in deeper, more complex ways. This course meets the Evans School MPA Values Elective Requirement.

PUBPOL 555 A: Social Enterprise: New Models for Mission-Based Business

Instructor: Akhtar Badshah
Meets: Mondays, 2:30-5:20 pm
Description: This seminar course offers students a deep understanding of the changing landscape for social investments and the tools to become an effective social entrepreneur or practitioner working in the social enterprise and mission-based business space. A social enterprise is an organization that applies commercial strategies to maximize improvements in human and environmental well-being—this may include maximizing social impact alongside profits for external shareholders. This class will focus on the Social Enterprise and Social Business and through lectures, discussion, and practical projects and engage students to explore concepts such as: Ethics of Development, New Funding Models and Investor Expectations, Innovation and Scalability, and Importance of Policy. This course can be credited toward the Evans School MPA Nonprofit Management Program and Certificate.

PUBPOL 587: Native Nations, Native Lands, Native Waters

Instructor: Laura Evans
Meets: Tuesdays, 2:30-5:20 pm
Description: There are over 560 Native Nations in the United States, including 29 federally recognized tribes in Washington. Native Nations are long-standing, legally-recognized sovereign powers with land bases that they govern. They shape the lives of some of the most vulnerable American citizens and affect the interests of nearby local and state governments. This class will review how tribal governments work and how they interact with other governments in the United States. It will consider their legal status as self-governing sovereigns and the realpolitik of on-the-ground power.

If you care how environmental protection plays out in any of the 34 states with federally-recognized tribal governments, you should be paying attention to what Native Nations are doing. If you think you understand public management, program design, and program implementation in the US, this class has surprises in store for you. The successes of some tribal casinos have lured many outside observers into thinking that gambling revenue alone can somehow mend the devastation of culture, community, natural resources, and sacred spaces. The reality is quite different. This course will sort out the stereotypes from the truths of America's Native Nations today. This course can be credited toward the Evans School MPA Environmental Policy Program.

PUBPOL 597: Role of Scientific Information in Environmental Decisions

Instructor: Alison Cullen
Meets: Tuesdays, 11:30-2:20 pm
Description: This course examines how science contributes to decisions that involve the natural environment: how science and scientists help frame debates and decisions; how scientific findings are incorporated into decision-making processes; and how scientists and non-scientists deal with uncertainty about scientific questions. The course illustrates the need for accurate representation and critical evaluation of scientific information. This course can be credited toward the Evans School MPA Environmental Policy Program.

1-Credit Skills Workshops

PUBPOL 598 A: Career Planning for MPA Students

Instructor: Shannon Merchant
Meets: Wednesdays, 12:30-2:20 pm; April 4, April 18, May 2, May 16, May 30
Description: Confident in your interview skills? Ready to negotiate your first job offer? Able to articulate your professional interests, strengths and values? You will be after taking this class! Intentional career planning helps MPA students successfully transition into the job market after graduation and advance into future leadership roles. This skills workshop will help students understand their talents and skills, build confidence in students’ ability to articulate their value to future employers, and challenge students to master important career management concepts (such as crafting exceptional career documents, interviewing and negotiating job offers, and building relationships with leaders in their fields of interest). A feature of this class will be connecting in-person with successful Evans School alumni through informational interviews, career panels, and networking events. Students are encouraged to identify a job or organization of interest in advance of the first class to use as their focus during class exercises and assignments; this class is tailored to MPA students who will be actively seeking full-time employment within the next six months.

PUBPOL 598 B: Introduction to Tableau and Data Visualization

Instructor: Adam Sherman
Meets: Thursdays, 1:30-3:20 pm; April 5, April 19, May 3, May 17, May 31
Description: This workshop will introduce students to Tableau software and data visualization basics. The focus will be on data visualization best practices and learning how to use Tableau to build dynamic, interactive, and impactful dashboards to help you explore data trends, discover patterns, and inform policy decisions. This course will teach students how to connect their data sources to Tableau, develop basic and intermediate level charts and dashboards, map geographic elements of data sets, and present results of survey data. The workshop will also cover important ethical implications of data visualization choices.

PUBPOL 598 C: Making Collaborative Governance Work

Instructor: Michael Kern
Meets: Tuesdays, 5:30-7:50 pm; April 3, April 17, May 1, May 15, May 22
Description: The purpose of this five-part workshop is to: 1) explore what we mean by the term “collaborative governance;” 2) examine several case studies in some depth; and 3) apply what we learn to a range of public policy situations/challenges that are of interest to workshop participants. We will spend much of the time in discussion, with just enough theory to inform us and get us rolling. We will dive into the details of some real-world applications of this inexact and sometimes messy concept, to see what we can learn. We will explore both the significant achievements reflected in these case studies, and also where each fell short, because no collaborative process (or any other policy process, for that matter) is successful in all ways. Participants will come out of the workshop able to distinguish a collaborative governance process from other forms of collaboration, cooperation, and partnership; and an understanding of the circumstances under which a collaborative governance process is likely to be successful.

PUBPOL 598 D: Nonprofit Marketing

Instructor: Erica Mills
Meets: Wednesdays, 2:30-5:20 pm; March 28, April 11, April 25, May 9
Description: As nonprofits are increasingly being asked to do more with less, being able to effectively market your mission is more important than ever. In this interactive workshop, students will find out how to grab people's attention and keep them engaged. Students will learn a method created specifically for marketing mission-driven organizations, and then apply that method to develop a marketing plan for a nonprofit organization. Packed with real-world examples, this workshop will be practical and timely.

Special Topics

PUBPOL 599 A: Advanced Program Evaluation

Instructor: Carlos Cuevas
Meets: Tuesdays, 2:30-5:20 pm
Description: This course aims at familiarizing students with advanced topics in program design and evaluation, as well as preparing them to address performance monitoring and evaluation of programs they find already in progress when they enter professional practice. Students will have taken PUBPOL 526 Program Evaluation, and ideally advanced multivariate analysis. The course relies heavily on case analyses of program design and evaluations in international development organizations, and governments (federal, state, local, both USA and foreign). This course can be credited toward the Evans School MPA International Development Program and Certificate.

PUBPOL 599 C: Managing Public Grants and Contracts

Instructor: Ben Brunjes
Meets: Mondays, 5:30-8:20 pm
Description: Public organizations are increasingly reliant on partners and contractors for the delivery of public services. Governments use a variety of means to engage these partners, including grants and contracts. This course will explore how public officials can best design, manage, and evaluate contracts and grants to improve performance. Design elements include market assessments, solicitation procedures, financial structures, and the development of performance measures. Students will learn about the process through which contracts and grants are managed, economic and political perspectives on how to manage and oversee contractors and grantees, and how to effectively evaluate performance to inform future partnerships. Students will be given the chance to write, respond to, and develop performance criteria for both grants and contracts. In addition, the class will delve into the ramifications of this complex system of partnerships for budgets and American democratic values. At its completion, students will understand the challenges associated with contracting and grants, and know some of the leading strategies for managing these tools in practice.

PUBPOL 599 D: Values and Biases in Public Policy

Instructor: Ines Jurcevic
Meets: Thursdays, 5:30-8:20 pm
Description: Why are we all so divided? Can’t we just get along? Recent decades have seen a marked increase in political polarization and we seem divided on virtually every policy issue, even when facing the same facts. In this course, we will take a social psychological meets public policy perspective to illuminate what Americans think about topics of political importance, how those opinions are formed, and the ways that individuals transmit their ideas to shape public policy. Broadly, we will examine readings, controversies, and theories of the behavior of non-elite political actors and how these are shaped and guided by cognitive biases, emotions, and ideological motivations. This deeper understanding will allow you to better think like a researcher and gain a deeper understanding of causes and influences on political behavior. This course meets the Evans School MPA Values Elective Requirement.

PhD Courses

PPM 599 A: Research Seminar (1-credit course)

Instructor: Ben Brunjes
Meets: Wednesdays, 12:00-1:20 pm
Description: Students who sign up for PPM 599 will attend research seminars presented by Evans School faculty and policy and management scholars from other UW departments, as well as other Universities. Students will learn about new theories and empirical findings on a wide range of topics in public policy and management and be more fully immersed in a research environment. To receive credit, a student must attend a minimum number of seminars (TBD), including the question and answer period. 

PPM 599 B: Discrete Choice Analysis (4-credit course)

Instructor: David Layton
Meets: Tuesdays, 2:30-5:20 pm
Description: This course focuses on the statistical modeling of choices made by agents (individuals, households, groups, firms, and other entities). The discrete choices might take the form of answering yes/no questions, voting, choosing one house, trip, or commute route out of many, and other related problems such as evaluative ratings or rankings. These choices might be one-time decisions or repeated through time. It also relates to more general models where a continuous dependent variable is not observed over its entire range for some reason (e.g., Tobit models). Innovations in computational and econometric methods have led to even wider application of ever more realistic but more complicated discrete choice models. The goals of this course are applied in that the focus is on working with data, estimating models, and in conducting empirical economic analysis. Specifically, the goals include: learning (or practicing) to write estimation programs; to implement and then analyze the results of simulation estimators for high dimensional discrete choice problems; and to conduct applied analysis of welfare measures and other quantities in the context of choice models. While the models considered here are discrete choice, extensive practice in estimation, testing, and analysis builds important skills readily transferable to other classes of statistical problems. The prerequisite is graduate level statistics/econometrics at the level of SOC 505/506 or ECON 581/582 or similar. Concurrent enrollment in SOC 506 or ECON 582 is possible (please discuss with the instructor). Graduate students from all disciplines welcome.