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Happy New Year – Winter Courses Beginning Today

Maxwell students making good use of the university's winter break!

Maxwell students making good use of the university’s winter break!

Happy New Year!  

After a couple weeks break to enjoy the holidays, many of our students return today to get back to their studies. Given the unique structures of Maxwell’s MPA and MA IR degree programs, we tend to think outside the box  – or outside the traditional academic calendar in this case.  I was actually in the very first MPA class that had the option (at that time – one course option) of taking a course over the University’s winter break. Since most of our students are uprooting their lives to join us in Syracuse for their graduate studies, finding themselves with 5-6 weeks off at the holidays is hardly a productive use of time.  So, in January 2016 the (then PA) department offered its first winter intercession course – PA and Law with Professor Bill Banks. They scheduled the course – not having any idea how many students would be interested  – and almost 40 students registered!

Since then, the department has offered multiple courses – and now in multiple locations – to better serve our students.  This year, we are offering six courses in three locations (Syracuse, Washington, DC and New York City) with 100 students enrolled! Each winter course officially counts as a spring term course (for billing and registration) with the bulk of the work and class sessions taking place over these next two weeks. This allows our students to make more productive use of their time during the university break.

The 2017 Winter break course options include:

Off-Campus Winter Courses

Tax Policy and Politics
Taught by Leonard Burman
This course takes place at Maxwell’s Washington, DC campus and focuses on understanding the development of the U.S. tax system, major tax policy issues, and the implications of alternative tax policies.  Len Burman is the founding director of the Tax Policy Center  – a joint Urban/Brookings Institute research center.  He is an incredible resource for our students sharing broad interests in fiscal and tax policy.

UN Organizations – Managing for Change
Taught by Catherine Bertini
Students are taking this course in New York City, and gaining special access to the UN Headquarters. This course explores why UN organizations exist and how they are funded and governed, while paying particular attention to the process of change in the UN. Professor Bertini served as Executive Director the World Food Programme for 10 years and also served as the Under Secretary of Management for the UN before joining our faculty.

On-Campus Winter Courses:

Development Finance
Taught by Robert Christian
Families living in poverty throughout the world need access to the emerging markets in which they live through credit, savings, insurance, and money transfer services.  Students are delving into microcredit, microfinance, and the developing global consensus around financial inclusion. Professor Christian is the President and a founding member of the Boulder Institute of Microfinance – which he relocated to Syracuse when joining our faculty.

NGO Management in Developing & Transitional Countries
Taught by Steven Lux
Students are learning about the role NGOs play in civil society, and key knowledge and skills necessary to work in or manage these organizations. The course covers what NGOs are, their influences and how they are influenced, how NGOs are governed and organized, and how NGOs develop and support their missions and projects. Steve Lux is the current Director of Maxwell’s Executive Education programs and a 1996 MPA graduate who spent 12 years designing and managing development programs in South East Asia.

Public Administration and Law
Taught by William C. Snyder
This case study driven course designed for MPA students focuses on the major players in public law and public administration. Students are gaining an understanding on how public and private law systems diverge and converge and how the public law system incorporates public administration. Professor Snyder served over 13 years as a federal prosecutor, prior to embarking on his teaching career.

Public Management of Technological Development
Taught by Sean O’Keefe
Major public policy influences on the formulation and implementation of commercial technology and innovation strategies is being explored in this course. Participants are analyzing the active and passive government influences concerning technology and innovation management. Professor O’Keefe has had a distinguished career in public service including serving as the Administrator of NASA, Deputy Director of OMB, Secretary of the Navy, and Comptroller and CFO for the US Department of Defense. He earned his Maxwell MPA in 1978 and is only the 17th person to  hold the title of University Professor at Syracuse University.

 

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