No. 13 – January 2010
Students in the fall 2009 Public Policy Capstone course have developed an eight-point plan to help green the UMBC campus. Unveiled to the UMBC administration on Dec. 16, the plan features simple, low-cost initiatives that can be applied to colleges and universities across the country—from taking the lights out of vending machines to requiring incoming freshmen to attend an environmental sustainability seminar as part of their orientation.
The initiatives are primarily designed to “nudge” students and faculty into making more environmentally friendly decisions. The eight-member team, with instructors Dr. John Rennie Short (Public Policy) and Dr. Bernadette Hanlon (Center for Urban Environmental Research and Education, Ph.D., 2007), reviewed relevant academic research, conducted interviews and evaluated policy alternatives before arriving at the recommendations, which are designed to complement UMBC’s existing sustainability efforts. The report is the culmination of a Capstone Seminar, which requires students to prepare a policy analysis on a current topic. The report is available online.
For more about the UMBC sustainability initiative, go to the web site.
A paper by Dr. Dave Marcotte (Public Policy) and Dr. Steven Hemelt (Ph.D., 2009) examines how tuition increases affect demand for education at public four-year colleges and universities. They found that while sharp tuition increases at public universities can limit enrollment, the impact is no more substantial than a series of smaller tuition increases. Dr. Marcotte was quoted about his research in the January 19 edition of Inside Higher Ed.
At a conference held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Dr. Donald Norris (Public Policy) presented a paper on the role of e-government in performance improvement. The title of the paper is "E-government Among Local American Governments: Adoption, Impacts, Barriers and Lessons Learned." The International Conference for Administrative Development: Towards Excellence in Public Sector Performance was sponsored by Saudi Arabia's Institute of Public Administration.LA Theatre Works, a radio station that broadcasts literary works, interviewed Dr. John Rennie Short (Public Policy) about the role of cartography in the Vietnam War. The online interview provided additional context for a production of Mimi’s Guide, a play about the effects of the Vietnam War on three people.
In an article on the gap in access to jobs between the poor and non-poor, Dr. Kenya Covington (Ph.D., 2003) provides a detailed analysis of the imbalance between where poor and non-poor families lived and where jobs were located over the 1990s in U.S. metropolitan areas. Her results indicate that job access for the poor improved significantly over the decade. “Spatial Mismatch of the Poor: An Explanation of Recent Declines in Job Isolation,” Journal of Urban Affairs, Volume 31, Issue 5, pp. 559-587 (2009).
Dr. Cheryl Miller (Public Policy, Political Science and Associate Dean in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences) co-authored an analysis of gubernatorial and state legislative influence on agency rules/regulations over time. “Who's Minding Which Store? Institutional and Other Actors' Influence on Administrative Rulemaking in State Agencies, 1978-2004,"Public Quarterly Review, Vol. 33, No. 3 (2009).
In his book, Cartographic Encounters: Indigenous Peoples and the Exploration of the New World, Dr. John Rennie Short (Public Policy) analyzes the pivotal role of indigenous people in mapping the New World. Reaktion/University of Chicago Press (2009).
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Department of Public Policy • University of Maryland, Baltimore County