Many of our professional staff divisions recently have distributed (electronically to save money, of course) their 2012-2013 annual reports. In reading the reports as a group one comes away with a couple of strong impressions—the School’s work is supported at a very high level, and our staff is tireless in looking for ways to support us better and more efficiently. Continuous improvement is the order of the day.
In today’s political climate, it sometimes is hard to remember a time when people genuinely thought that government, especially the federal government, was capable of tackling complex problems. JFK inspired people to reach for goals beyond their grasp—to try things that seemed impossible.
There are hundreds of books written every year about leadership. They focus largely on big questions, and nearly all of them talk about the importance of creating a shared vision. I have no quarrel with most of what is written about leadership—my problem is with the element that too often is ignored. Visionary leadership is not enough. Effective leadership also must include the ability to implement a vision for change, which inevitably involves the less dramatic work of management and administration.
This year’s public administration conference was the best ever. The sessions were good and attendance was strong. Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood, did a nice job of talking about the importance of public service and bipartisanship in delivering the Deil S. Wright Lecture.
Can we connect our work to a narrative that officials and prospective donors find inspiring? In addition to the practical benefit of our services, can we place our work in a larger context that has an impact beyond the education of individual officials? Many public officials have incredible affection for the School. Can we describe our relationship in a way that makes it even more meaningful for North Carolina officials?
Translating academic research and making it accessible to public officials—without losing the complexity—is hard work that requires faculty members to exercise a different set of intellectual muscles. The School asks faculty members to live in both worlds and they do it beautifully—with the advantage of support from a professional staff that makes the translation so much easier and more effective.
We spent a couple of days at Wrightsville Beach recently, and I feel compelled to share two of my favorite North Carolina food places. These are not to be missed if you are anywhere in the vicinity. The first is the Causeway Café just over the drawbridge before you get to the beach. It is
In preparing a presentation for the School’s fundraising campaign committee, I wanted to say something about our entry into the world of blogs. Kelley O’Brien worked with our instructional technology gurus in the IT Division, Rob Moore and Jamar Jones, to create a slide for me that showed the popularity of two blogs. Frankly, I
Recently there was an article in The Smoky Mountain News about “a mysterious mass exodus of [Canton’s] elected town board members following the town election this fall.” For a host of different reasons all four of the current aldermen have decided to leave local politics. One member said “I’ve been on [the board] for four
Last week Kelley O’Brien, Ellen Bradley, and I visited the Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia. We had met their new Director, Laura Meadows , at a SCUPSO meeting (Southern Consortium of University Public Service Organizations) in Baltimore and had agreed to meet again later. There are differences between the School