Public sector managers face specific challenges that differ from those of people working in the for-profit arena. To address these challenges, UNC Charlotte’s Master of Public Administration Program and the University’s Continuing Education Office are launching the MPA Public Management Academy Professional Development Certificate program in spring 2017.
“There are certainly generic management skills relevant to any setting, but there are fundamental differences between the private and public sectors,” said Tom Barth, director of the Gerald G. Fox Master of Public Administration Program in UNC Charlotte’s College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.
“Government and nonprofit managers must appreciate these differences to be effective,” Barth said. “They deal with divided but shared power, complex performance measures that can be hard to quantify and communicate and multiple sources of responsibility and accountability.”
Barth and Sam Abt-Bumgarner, a program director in the Continuing Education Office, conceived and developed this new noncredit certificate program.
Sessions will take place on three Fridays: March 24, April 28 and May 19, 2017. Registration for the complete series is $750. UNC Charlotte faculty and seasoned professionals working in the field will teach each day-long session. Topics will include Leading and Managing in a Government and Nonprofit Context, Setting Goals and Achieving Outcomes and The Power of Data for Public Managers.
Public administration and management positions require both analytical and people skills, Barth said. “Participants will learn the best of both applied theory and practice,” he said. “Plus, the academy is an opportunity for individuals who want to build a new network of fellow professionals from across the region who can be ongoing sources of support and new ideas.”
The program is ideal for supervisors and high-potential staff working in government and nonprofits, Abt-Bumgarner said. “Each session will examine the special circumstances that public employees face every day,” Abt-Bumgarner said. “I’m confident the participants will leave each class session with new ideas on how to approach their jobs.”
Government and nonprofit managers operate in a fishbowl, meaning that public trust is essential, said former Charlotte City Manager Curt Walton, who is interim associate provost for Metropolitan Studies and Extended Academic Programs at UNC Charlotte.
“Government and nonprofit managers need to know how to handle the inevitable scrutiny,” Walton said. “This academy will be a great resource.
Image: Wade Bruton