San Francisco State University Pi Alpha Alpha Chapter Wins National Award for Best Chapter

At this year’s October Conference of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration, the San Francisco State University Chapter of the national public administration honorary society Pi Alpha Alpha received the national award for the Best Pi Alpha Alpha Chapter.paa1

The purpose of the Chapter Award of Excellence is to recognize excellence in programming and chapter management in pursuit of Pi Alpha Alpha’s goals of scholarship, leadership, and excellence in graduate education in public affairs and administration.  Chapter activities recognized were mentoring for statistics students, hosting networking events with members of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration, sponsoring question and answer sessions with faculty candidates and working toward awards for outstanding achievement in the research methods classes.

Chapter officers were Eduardo Blount, President; Jacob Liles, Vice President; Chris Rosenlund, Treasurer; and, Linda Tran, Secretary. Dr. Janey Wang is the Chapter’s Faculty Advisor.

Receiving the Award for them at the National Conference was Program Director Dr. Sheldon Gen.

Congratulations to all for the great work!


California Certified Public Manager® Program @ SF State

The Centre for Organization Effectiveness & San Francisco State University Public Administration Program
2012-2013 San Francisco Cohort of the California Certified Public Manager® Program

The Certified Public Manager Program is a nationally recognized certificate program aimed at providing training to more senior leaders in the public sector. The program is intended for those public sector professionals some ways into their careers who have already completed the Master’s of Public Administration (MPA) degree or the Centre for Organization Effectiveness’s Public Management Academy and so, have achieved certain competencies. Those not meeting one of those criteria are not eligible for the program.

The 2012-2013 San Francisco Cohort of the California Certified Public Manager® Program will begin in October 2012 and will last until July 2013. It will meet 6 times for two days each time (for a total of 12 days). In addition, student will work on their own to complete a project at their own worksite.

The program will cost $5,100 and will incorporate training by top content experts in areas like Public Relations in Public Environments, Managing a Multi-Generational Workforce, Employing Effective Negotiation Strategies in a Public Employee Organization and Emotional Intelligence.  Payment may be made in full or in part although students will be asked to make a commitment for the entire program.

Classes will be held October 4 & 5, November 8 & 9, January 24 & 25 (2013), March 7 & 8, May 2 & 3, and July 25 & 26; they will be located at the SF State Downtown Center.

  • To apply, you should complete the CPM Program application posted on the SF State MPA Program website and explain why you would like to participate and a statement of support from your supervisor. Attach a certificate of completion for Leadership, Management, and Executive Training or MPA transcript you have received (including the date) and your resume. Fax or email to the contacts indicated on the application.
  • Admissions Deadline: September 10, 2012
  • Application form
  • Thursday, August 30 at 5 pm;
    Wednesday, September 5 at 5 pm;
  • For more information, check out the FAQs on the CPM or email Dr. Genie Stowers
  • Attend an Informational Session Thursday August 30 at 5 pm or Wednesday September 5 at 5 pm at 835 Market St., Room 677.

For more information, go to the National Certified Public Manager Consortium (, ASPA’s CPM Section ( and, or the CPM Academy (

Topics to be covered (Pt means will be covered in part of a day):

  • Applying Systems Thinking and Political Sensitivities to Solve Organizational Problems
  • Employing Effective Negotiation Strategies in a Public Employee Organization
  • Extraordinary Leadership
  • Making Effective Presentations
  • Power and Politics
  • (Pt) Community Building, Networking, Goal Setting
  • (Pt) Committing to the Nobility of Public Service
  • (Pt) Avatars, Blogs, and Wikis, Oh My! How Web 2.0 is Transforming Government
  • (Pt) Emotional Intelligence
  • (Pt) Developing a Service Oriented Culture
  • Pt) Building, Rebuilding, and Sustaining Trust
  • (Pt) Complying with Public sector Laws on Organizational Functioning and Transparency
  • (Pt) Applying Ethical Models to Public Policy Decisions
  • (Pt) Public Relations in Public Environments
  • (Pt) Honoring the Community’s Voice
  • (Pt) Managing a Multi-Generational Workforce
  • (Pt) Business Etiquette and Interpersonal Savvy
  • (Pt) Tips on Managing Your Career in the Public Sector
  • (Pt) Development Planning
  • (Pt) Performance Measurement: Aligning Processes and Procedures with Institutional Goals
  • (Pt) Productivity Improvement

MPA Students Provide Deliverables to SF CBOs

Eight teams of MPA students delivered presentations about their semester-long CBO (community-based organization) Support Projects in class on May 2.  Each team was paired with a CBO partner at the beginning of the semester and assigned to work with their CBO Partner to identify a project, develop and refine a scope of work, and deliver a final report, complete with recommendations for implementation, to the CBO Partner (these partners were selected using an on-line portal (  The projects ranged from conducting literature reviews on specific topics related to a particular program, to reviewing performance measurement indicators for a specific field and recommending a set to adopt, to designing, refining, and testing a range of program evaluation tools, to identifying issues thwarting a CBO’s ability to effectively manage and implement their programs.

We invited the CBO Partners to attend tonight’s class and hear the student presentations; six of the eight CBOs were in attendance.  Even though I haven’t read the final reports yet, after hearing the presentations – and more importantly, after hearing the CBO Partners’ reactions to those presentations – I am confident in saying that these student teams will have made substantial contributions in helping these CBOs more successfully manage and measure the outcomes of the programs they deliver.  Below I paraphrase just a few comments the CBO Partners made in response to the findings and recommendations the student teams made:

  • This is exactly the information I need to advance conversations we need to have within our organization, to ensure we are tracking the right outcomes.
  • I was just talking about these issues with my Director earlier today; we’ll implement these recommendations within the month!
  • Our organization has undergone so much transition recently and we are trying to adapt and implement a program here that has been successful overseas.  But we had no model and limited capacity for doing that.  These recommendations will help greatly as we move forward.
  • I submitted a letter of intent to a funder earlier today.  If we get invited to submit a full proposal, I’ll be able to use the findings from this report in that proposal.

In short, these student teams did an effective job at creating quality, evidence-based final reports that include recommendations (including some words of caution about potential pitfalls) for their CBO Partners that are feasible for these organizations to implement almost immediately.  This is no small feat!  But, in looking over at the MPA’s new draft mission statement (on this blog), it seems to be in line what we are aiming to achieve.

Many thanks to Amy Farah Weiss for the vision and support, as well as to SF State’s Institute for Civic and Community Engagement, which provided some grant funding to develop the community service learning component of this course.

155 Attended the Navigating the IRS Workshop

On Thursday, April 26, 2012, 155 nonprofit professionals and board members – primarily those responsible for nonprofit accounting, tax preparation, and legal compliance – attended the Navigating the IRS Workshop for Public Charities at Seven Hills Conference Center on SF State’s main campus.  A partnership between the IRS Exempt Organizations division and the Nonprofit Management Certificate Program, the purpose of the workshop was to educate those in attendance about recent changes to filing requirements for the IRS 990 form, the tax information form nonprofits must file each year.  Led by IRS specialists from the Exempt Organizations division, the workshop reviewed the changes to filing requirements and related compliance issues.  The speakers were impressed with the quality and quantity of questions from those in attendance, and many attendees said this was “the best” training they had taken part it, both in terms of the quality of information and the creativity and styles of the presenters.

Several MPA students were in attendance as participants in the workshop and several others were instrumental in making the event run smoothly.  A special thanks goes out to our Director of Academic Services, Bridget McCracken, and MPA students (all soon-to be graduates) Charlie MacNulty, Trever Pearson, and Regina Gieler, who joined us at Seven Hills and help set-up, clean-up, and get the attendees registered in a timely fashion.  Another MPA student, Holly Szafarek, was vital to the success of the workshop and worked closely with me (Dr. Jennifer Shea) and my colleagues in the College of Extended Learning to plan the workshop and coordinate the related details.

For those of us who are interested in partnership and the roles of intermediary organizations in helping large governmental agencies reach small and mid-sized organizations, the success of this workshop has even greater meaning.  I’ve mentioned a few individuals and institutional partners that were essential to the workshop’s success, but there are too many to name them all here.  Thanks goes out to all who helped make the partnership successful!

Navigating the IRS Workshop for Public Charities – April 26, 2012

Thousands of public charities lost their 501(c)3 status recently by failing to comply with changes to IRS Form 990 filing requirements instituted in 2008.  The IRS approached SF State’s Nonprofit Management Certificate Program, a partnership between the MPA Program and the College of Extended Learning, to host a unique, day-long workshop led by IRS Exempt Organization specialists.  Workshop participants will learn about the latest IRS regulations and filing requirements for small and medium-sized 501(c)3 public charities. The workshop is open to the public, but registration is required.  For more information and to register, visit:

When?  Thursday, April 26, 2012, 9 am – 4:30 pm

Where?  San Francisco State University, Seven Hills Conference Center (main campus)

How much? $50

Help us spread the word!

Alum Kate White Hosts Video and Discussion on Impact of Losing Redevelopment Agencies And Funding.

Via Linkedin, Alum Kate White (Executive Director of Urban Land Institute- San Francisco) posted a video with experts talking about what is likely to happen in California now that redevelopment agencies– and redevelopment funds, will be eliminated.   From her posting, “States under fiscal duress are rethinking traditional urban redevelopment models. In California the Redevelopment Agency system is, barring state supreme court reversal of earlier decisions, expected to virtually disappear. An Urban Land Institute panel of experts discusses how cities, developers and investors will operate in a post-RDA world”.   See the video and comment in the discussion she has started online in Linkedin, from CPE TV.

SF State Sets a New Standard in Campus Discourse– With Occupy SF State

Unlike the administrators and police at other campuses (UCs Berkeley and Davis, for instance), SF State’s President Robert Corrigan set the standard for campus discourse with his engaged dialogue with recent Occupy SF State students this month.  Students continue to occupy the campus, with a small group of tents near the Student Center.   Some students commented they were living on in the spirit of the 1968 SF State Strike, the first ever strike by university faculty members.  That strike resulted in the creation of the country’s only College of Ethnic Studies, which still exists today.