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Go Global: MPA/MPP Degrees Make a World of Difference

MPA Diversity Plan (September 2012)

Our Service Area and Students

Our primary service area is eastern North Carolina, particularly the northern and central counties of the state. Nonetheless, our aim is to provide educational opportunities that will enable our graduates to be competitive beyond this geographic area. We seek to enable them to be successful in positions in local, state, and federal government positions as well as in the nonprofit sector regardless of our regional geographic boundaries.

Our student body is comprised of roughly equal proportions of in-service students and pre-service students. As with most programs' in-service students these individuals work primarily in eastern North Carolina. Our pre-service students, on the other hand, tend to come from all across the state, with some coming from other states and countries. Thus as one should expect, our graduates are employed heavily in the eastern of North Carolina, but many are also employed well outside this region at all levels of government.

We strive to have a demographically diverse student population which is reasonably reflective of our region of the state which is approximately 60 percent Caucasian, 35 percent African American, and 5 percent Hispanic/Latino. Our overall enrollment since 2007 has been between 36-40 students at any one-time with incoming fall term classes of 12-15 students. A shift in the proportion of males to females has occurred, with approximately 60 percent of our students being women. The proportion of African Americans enrolled in our program has increased over time. In any single term, approximately 15-20 percent of our students are of African American descent. Each year we also have one or two international students enrolled.

Mission Statement
The mission of the Master of Public Administration Program is to:
prepare professionals to meet the needs and challenges of public service;
conduct scholarly and applied research in public administration and policy; and
engage students and faculty in partnerships with governmental, non-profit, professional, and educational organizations.

Our Professional Values
All of our program values work together to enhance our program's ability to meet its overall goals and to strengthen our diversity efforts. Two values, in particular, Openness and Inclusiveness and tolerance, focus directly on the value we place on having a diverse and inclusive program.

Openness: In line with previous values, an open government is transparent and accessible by people of diverse experiences and perspectives. It is also committed to a culture of respect for diversity and seeks to be inclusive of the community's diverse people and needs. Decision-making should reflect communal characteristics in such a way that all persons or groups can be assured of their ability to have a voice in managing of public goods.

Inclusiveness and tolerance: Without fair, objective, and permissive attitudes democratic and open government is impossible. Effective public servants are responsible for ensuring that people who are different from those in power have equitable treatment and opportunities to participate. This is a key component of upholding the values and laws espoused in the Constitution and to upholding codes of basic human morality. All people should be treated fairly and equitably, without exception, within a community, groups or organization in the public sector.

Diversity Plan
Our goals are simple. They are to:
be a diverse faculty;
recruit a diverse student body;
reflect in our professional behavior our commitment to respecting the diversity of our colleagues, students, and communities; and
enable our graduates to work effectively and inclusively in an increasingly diverse world.

While these goals can be stated simply, it is a much more difficult process to implement them as being diverse and inclusive is a dynamic process. It is an ongoing process reflected in concrete benchmarks, attitudes, patterns of interaction, and the professional behavior of our graduates once they leave the program.

Faculty diversity
When a full-time faculty position becomes available, the position description will be based on the curricular needs of the program. The position will be advertized in appropriate ASPA, APSA, and their regional affiliates. We will also advertize in outlets designed to reach minority candidates as well as circulate information about the position widely via announcements (letters and emails). The aim will be to generate a widely diverse candidate pool. Once new faculty members are hired, the more senior members of the program will work with them to develop their teaching skills and research agenda.

As faculty recruitment occurs only sporadically, the faculty role in developing a diverse and inclusive program is more dependent on their continuing actions in their courses, their daily interactions and communications with our students, and their sensitivity in addressing changes occurring within the broader society. This aspect of faculty involvement in diversity is actually more important and critical to the program's success than faculty recruitment. The aim must be to reflect an effective diverse, inclusive working environment for our students.

Another way in which the faculty can help provide our students with an example of this effective diverse, inclusive working environment is through the MPA Advisory Council. The membership of this external body should also be reflective of the diversity of our service area, graduates, and the communities within which our students will work.

Student Diversity
Our student diversity patterns have increased over time, with the primary shift occurring in the proportion of male and female students. The program now has more female than male students each year. While we have a steady proportion of African American students in our program, this proportion needs to be further increased to meet the region's need for professionally trained public administrators.

Recruitment to the program is largely through word of mouth, web-pages, internal campus efforts, and university sponsored graduate recruitment activities. The program has limited financial resources to be devoted to student recruitment. Our aim is to expand our overall recruitment efforts through increased dissemination of information about our program within North Carolina with particular attention on those institutions with higher minority enrollments.

While student recruitment is a more ongoing process than faculty recruitment, it is still more episodic in nature than the day to day interactions our students have with faculty and with one another. We expect our students to reflect in their behavior toward one another respect for differences of cultural experiences, personal life style choices, past experiences, and personal values. We expect them to demonstrate tolerance, inclusiveness, and an appreciation of the contributions a diverse community brings to public life.

Evaluation
The MPA faculty will review its progress toward achieving these objectives annually through an annual review its curricular offerings, student enrollment trends, and the other means by which students and faculty are exposed to the diversity of our communities.


Dept. of Political Science, Brewster A-124, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858-4353
Phone (252) 328-6189
Fax (252) 328-4134
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