"Public Administration in the Public Interest"
Doctoral Dissertation
(301 pages)
by Paula D. Gordon, Ph.D.

Click here for the Dissertation

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                                        AUBURN UNIVERSITY OUTREACH COURSES

                                 BEING TAUGHT BY PAULA D. GORDON, Ph.D. IN 2019


 
                  1)      A 3-Week Online Course on "The Effects & Impacts of Marijuana Use:

                                      Policies & Approaches Addressing the Challenges"

 
Course Description:


In this three-week online course has been designed to help arm those who are concerned about the harmful effects of marijuana and about the negative individual and societal impacts of the legalization of marijuana is having on individuals, families, communities, and on society. The course has also been designed to help expand the knowledge and understanding of those who are working to address the problem of recreational drug use and addiction in America so that they can be as successful as possible in their efforts. The course is also designed to help those in the position of public responsibility understand the wide range of harmful mental and physical effects of marijuana as well as societal impacts.  The course also highlights policy and program options that have been working and what options might be tried to achieve the hoped-for outcome of turning around current trends involving the use marijuana in America.

Dates Being Offered:  August 5 – 25, 2019 & October 7 – 27, 2019

Registration Fee:  $149

A 10% discount is available for five or more registrants from the same organization when registered by one person from that organization. 

For more information, see  http://www.auburn.edu/outreach/opce/marijuana.htm. To register see http://www.auburn.edu/outreach/opce/marijuana.htm#registration  or call (334) 844-5100.

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   2)    A 4-Week Online Course on “Combating and Treating Drug Abuse, Addiction, and the Opioid Crisis ~

                                                        A National Public Health Disaster”           

(This course is also, an Elective Course in the Auburn University Outreach Emergency Management Certificate Program. See Course 7 below.)

Course Description:

The role that exposure to and the use of marijuana are playing in the opioid epidemic will be highlighted along with the role that cartels and the black market are playing. See the Letter to Members of the Canadian Parliament (for the research findings, studies, and investigative reporting that provides evidence concerning these connections.

The tendencies of public officials to narrowly define the problem and not see the role that marijuana and poly-drug use are having in the drug addiction and opioid crisis are highlighted in the course.  A broader way of defining the challenges associated with drug taking behavior and addiction will be featured, along with exemplary approaches to addressing the Drug Crisis.

Next Dates Being Offered:    July 8, 2018 - August 4, 2019.

Registration Fee:
$400.

A 10% discount is available for five or more registrants from the same organization when registered by one person from that organization. 

For more information and to register, go to http://www.auburn.edu/outreach/opce/emergencymgmt/#courses  and https://opce.catalog.auburn.edu/courses/c190128   or call (334) 844-5100.


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                           3) A 3-Week Online Course on "Transforming and Leading Organizations"

Course Description:

"Transforming and Leading Organizations" is designed to help leaders, managers, and drug abuse prevention activists hone their abilities and problem-solving skills in ways that help them have greater success in accomplishing their goals.  Approaches to fostering healthy change; utilizing educational change strategies; communicating effectively; understanding the perspectives of those with differing values, information, and objectives; and resolving conflicts will all be addressed in the course.  A focus of the course is on how these approaches can be applied most effectively to addressing the drug crisis. For a copy of the article that has given the course its name, see "Transforming and Leading Organizations," published in Government Transformation, Winter 2004-05 issue posted at http://users.rcn.com/pgordon/homeland/transforming_orgs.pdf  or see link at http://gordonhomeland.com.

Next Dates Being Offered: 

                                         August 5 – 25, 2019; 

                                        October 7 – 27, 2019; and

                                        October 28 - November 17, 2019   

Registration Fee:  $149  

A 10% discount is available for five or more registrants from the same organization when registered by one person from that organization. 

For more information and to register, go to http://www.auburn.edu/outreach/opce/tlo/  and http://www.auburn.edu/outreach/opce/tlo/#schedulereg or call (334) 844-5100.

                            

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4)    A 4 -Week Online Course on “Planning and Preparedness for Homeland Security and Emergency Management 

                                                               Post 9/11 and Post-Katrina”

(A Core Course in the Auburn University Outreach  Emergency Management Certificate Program)

 Course Description:

This course is designed to help those currently in roles of public responsibility develop a deeper understanding of how to address some newly emerging challenges in homeland security and emergency management, challenges that have been unfolding since 2001.  The course will be of particular interest to those already in practitioner or policy making roles, while also being of interest to those interested in preparing for such roles. Those developing and teaching homeland security and emergency management courses are also likely to find the course of value. 

Next Dates Being Offered:   September 2 – 29, 2019

Registration Fee: $400. 

A 10% discount is available for five or more registrants from the same organization when registered by one person from that organization. 

For more information and to register, go to http://www.auburn.edu/outreach/opce/emergencymgmt/#courses and https://opce.catalog.auburn.edu/courses/c190128   or call (334) 844-5100

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                         5)  A 4-Week Online Course on “Unmet Needs and Challenges:

Some Key Challenges Facing Homeland Security and Emergency Management Post 9/11 and Post Katrina”

        (A Core Course in the Auburn University Outreach Emergency Management Certificate Program)

 Course Description:

The course is designed to help those currently in roles of public responsibility develop an understanding of some of the unmet needs and challenges in homeland security and emergency management.  This includes unmet needs and challenges that have been impacting the fields since September 11, 2001 and since Hurricane Katrina, along with other newer challenges, including the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill, Hurricane Sandy, and massive tornados, hurricanes, floods,  wild fires, and active shooter incidents that have occurred in recent years.   While the course will be of particular interest to those already in practitioner or policy making roles, it will also be of interest to those preparing for such roles.  Those developing and teaching homeland security and emergency management courses will also find the course of value.

Next Dates Being Offered:  November 4 – December 1, 2019

Registration Fee: $400. 

A 10% discount is available for five or more registrants from the same organization when registered by one person from that organization. 

For more information and to register, go to http://www.auburn.edu/outreach/opce/emergencymgmt/#courses and https://opce.catalog.auburn.edu/courses/c190128   or call (334) 844-5100

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6) A 4-Week Online Course on Key Elements of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Continuity

                                                         Post 9/11 and Post Katrina 

(An Elective Course in the Auburn University Outreach Emergency Management Certificate Program)

 Course Description:

The course objective is to introduce learners to a wide array of issues and concerns involving the nation's critical infrastructure as that term can be broadly defined in the post 9/11 and post- Katrina world. The topics that will be addressed in this course include a broad range of critical infrastructure concerns.  Course participants will be introduced to cutting edge resources, information, and exemplary initiatives including those involving the following:  the American Society for Civil Engineers, the DHS Centers of Excellence, the Institute for Sustainable Development, the Pacific Northwest Economic Recovery (PNWER) initiative, Philip Howard's Common Good Initiatives, and Steven Flynn's work on the topic of critical infrastructure.

The following are also addressed in the course on Critical Infrastructure:

•             ways in which critical infrastructure concerns have been defined and addressed in the past, ways in which they are presently being addressed, the role that cascading critical infrastructure failures can play in disasters, and ways in which they could be more fully addressed in the future;

•             ways of protecting critical infrastructure and providing for critical infrastructure continuity and the need to incorporate a comprehensive focus on prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery, and continuity of operations; and  the importance of taking steps to help ensure the reliability, resilience, stability, and continuity of critical infrastructure;

•             the implications of the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami for the U.S; and

•             the need to include an emphasis on the development of disaster resistant or resilient communities and regions that includes a concern for disaster resistant and resilient infrastructure within those communities and regions and within the nation as a whole.

 Next Dates Being Offered: 
Most likely to be scheduled for June 2020 

Registration Fee: $400. 

A 10% discount is available for five or more registrants from the same organization when registered by one person from that organization. 

For more information and to register, go to http://www.auburn.edu/outreach/opce/emergencymgmt/#courses and https://opce.catalog.auburn.edu/courses/c190128   or call (334) 844-5100

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7)  A 4 - Week Online Course on  "Combating and Treating Drug Abuse, Addiction & the Opioid Crisis ~
                                                        A National Public Health Disaster"


(An Elective Course in the Auburn University Outreach Emergency Management Certificate Program

                                                      and also listed above as Course 2.)

Course Description:

The role that exposure to and the use of marijuana are playing in the opioid epidemic will be highlighted along with the role that cartels and the black market are playing. See the Letter to Members of the Canadian Parliament (for the research findings, studies, and investigative reporting that provides evidence concerning these connections.

The tendencies of public officials to narrowly define the problem and not see the role that marijuana and poly-drug use are having in the drug addiction and opioid crisis are highlighted in the course.  A broader way of defining the challenges associated with drug taking behavior and addiction will be featured, along with exemplary approaches to addressing the Drug Crisis.

Next Dates Being Offered:   
July 8, 2018 - August 4, 2019.

Registration Fee: $400.  A 10% discount is available for five or more registrants from the same organization when registered by one person from that organization. 

For more information and to register, go to http://www.auburn.edu/outreach/opce/emergencymgmt/#courses  and https://opce.catalog.auburn.edu/courses/c190128   or call (334) 844-5100

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                     ENDORSEMENTS FOR EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT-RELATED COURSES

The following endorsements are from participants in courses in the Emergency Management Certificate Program taught by Dr. Gordon.

From a Fire Department official in a coastal community in Florida nearly totally devastated by Hurricane Michael in 2018:
 
What I have learned in this course is that the field of emergency management is that there is much more to Emergency Management than operational and response training to large scale emergency events and disasters.  The breadth of the materials covered is both fascinating and informative.  There is a mountain of information to review and cover in a short period of time but the material is interesting and thought provoking which keeps the student interested.  The interaction amongst students is frequent and helps to clarify points that may be missed, misinterpreted or misread during online learning forums as opposed to brick and mortar class discussions which have context and non-verbal communication cues.

That said, the level of passion and knowledge on the subject exhibited by Dr. Gordon is the most significant thing that I learned in this course.  When there is an instructor that is passionate, knowledgeable and dedicated to the myriad issues (..e-technology, Pre/Post-9/11 mentalities, etc.) as Dr. Gordon it motivates the student to examine the issues more deeply and thoroughly.  Her dedication is obvious in her research, writings, and interactive responses with the students on the discussion boards and that is the mark of a great course.



From a person transitioning to a career in emergency management:

Prior to taking this certificate course, after I made the initial decision to pursue EM as a potential second career, I enrolled in a master’s program in EM with a different university.  The lead professor was very focused on research – with the expectation that we would be learning/honing those skills throughout the program for application in the EM field.  There is a place for that, but I was looking to learn about the EM field as a potential practitioner.  More searching – and I found the Auburn certificate program.  My earlier experience provided excellent contrast for what I found here.  This course provided an excellent look at the spectrum of EM, as well as the many and varied needs that remain unmet since 9/11 and Katrina.  “Unmet Needs” casts a wide net; there are so many things to understand, investigate, and hopefully contribute to fixing, which will require an understanding of why the needs remain unmet – lack of funding, lack of political will, lack of public support or attention – one or all could apply in any given instance.  And while I certainly value research, and will no doubt make use of whatever is available, this course whetted my appetite – there are many issues/problems that need to be solved that will require active engagement with the community as well as various levels of government.  Exactly what I was hoping for. 


 
From a Federal official with responsibilities for emergency management and emergency planning:

I think this is a great course….

I would recommend for anyone involved in the emergency management field or involved with emergency planning.

 I would definitely want my staff to take this course….

 
From an official of a large university with responsibilities for campus-wide Public Safety Information & Education:

This course has really helped me realize the impact on planning and preparedness of the differences in catastrophic and non-catastrophic events, and has helped me feel more equipped to address the planning challenges related to catastrophic events.  In the past, I have focused mainly on technical and operational issues, but I can now see the importance of the broader perspective… It has also really emphasized to me the importance of understanding complex problems and the value of generalists, who can lead multi-disciplinary teams of experts in finding solutions to these complex problems that we face in emergency management today.


From a Retired Military Officer currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Emergency Management:

This course has shown me that there is so much information available if you simply look or ask for it. One of the main things I took away from this course is that flexibility is absolutely essential. There are so many variables that it is impossible to plan for every single situation. Even disasters that are classified the same, such as earthquakes, are very different as pointed out by Timothy Manning from a geologist perspective. I think if you understand that there is no “one size fits all” accompanied with a solid foundation of knowledge, flexibility will provide the necessary ingredient to be successful. Secondly, mitigation and preparedness are extremely critical when it comes to disasters/threats. Proper preparedness and mitigation starts with each individual and if everybody does their part, the end-result will be very different from those communities that lack mitigation practices and a preparedness plan.

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                  ENDORSEMENTS FOR DRUG ABUSE AND ADDICTION-RELATED COURSES

From Stephanie Haynes, Greater New Orleans Drug Demand Reduction Coalition SOS – Save Our Society from Drugs - Florida, Texas, Louisiana

Wow! This is a terrific opportunity! Educators, social workers, those in the Criminal Justice system, policymakers, legislators, and community volunteers all need to take this course!! …I want to introduce you to Dr. Paula Gordon who developed this course on the harms of marijuana. We need to spread the word to all our colleagues about the value and importance of having this information, especially today in light of all the pro pot misinformation… Great Opportunity! A three-week online course on Harms of Marijuana begins soon. Sign up today! Please help spread the word, especially to those in the prevention and treatment fields!


From Dr. Joe Godfrey, Executive Director Alabama Citizens Action Program (ALCAP) & American Character Builders

Thank you for providing such great instruction! The resources you provided and the ideas you “spurred” in my mind that will help me with my work in the future were invaluable… Thanks for a very interesting class! I have gained new insight that I believe will help me going forward….. As my first ever online class, you made it easy and fun!


From Susan J. Short, Executive Director Covington County Children’s Policy Council Coalition Lurleen B. Wallace Community College Child Development Center Andalusia, Alabama

The resources you’ve shared with all of us are a real boost to my program. Thank you so much! Thanks for the additional tips and references on understanding the perspectives of many people that are pro-legalization. I think many times people just aren’t informed or perhaps they heard some information on television and assumed it was correct…


From Roger Morgan, Founder of the Take Back America Campaign:

Dr. Paula Gordon, an instructor for Auburn University’s Outreach, is offering an inexpensive on-line course on marijuana that I think is beneficial to everyone engaged in the battle to save our kids and nation from this insidious drug. Given the problems we have with marijuana in California, I highly recommend this course for anyone seeking to improve their knowledge.









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                             NOTES REGARDING THE AUBURN UNIVERSITY OUTREACH COURSES

                                                        BEING TAUGHT BY DR. GORDON:


Courses are all taught on a Pass/Not Pass basis and all may earn 3 CEUs each. 


o All of the courses are offered in asynchronous time, rather than "real" time, thus making it easy for each person to fit the courses into his or her schedule.

o All assigned materials for the courses are available without cost online.

o A 10% discount is available for five or more registrants from the same organization when registered by one person from that organization. 

o Individual emergency management-related courses may be taken from the courses in the Emergency Management Certificate Program if a person does not intend to earn the Emergency Management Certificate.

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                                    NOTE REGARDING THE AUBURN UNIVERSITY OUTREACH

                                     EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT CERTIFICATE PROGRAM

Dr. Gordon, along with Dr. Don Terry-Veal and Maria Folmar were instrumental in designing and launching the Emergency Management Certificate Program.  The Certificate Program began in the Fall of 2006 under the aegis of the Auburn University Center for Governmental Services. The Certificate Program moved from the Center for Governmental Services in the Winter of 2016 and now is now under the auspices of the Auburn University Outreach Office of Professional and Continuing Education. The Program is overseen by Ms. Shavon Williams, M.B.A.,  Assistant Director, Outreach Programs.

The Certificate Program includes four core courses and one elective course.

Individual emergency management-related courses may also be taken from the courses in the Emergency Management Certificate Program even if a person does not intend to take a total of four core courses and one elective course in the Emergency Management Certificate Program.

The Certificate Program and its courses have received many accolades from participants some of which are noted above in the endorsements section above. 

These courses incorporate an all-hazard approach to emergency management and homeland security. While the courses will be of particular interest to those already in practitioner or policy making roles, they will also be of interest to those preparing for such roles.  Those developing and teaching homeland security and emergency management courses will also find the courses of value.  Earning the Emergency Management Certificate has been a way for many to advance their present career path, whether they are already working in the fields of emergency management and homeland security or they are preparing for a career in these fields.

Participants in the courses have come from widely varying backgrounds.  They have included Federal officials, fire chiefs and police officials of metropolitan as well as rural areas, emergency managers, emergency responders, retired and transitioning military, professors and researchers in the fields of emergency management and homeland security, and other individuals in training and education roles and roles of public responsibility for emergency management, homeland security, emergency medical management, and public health and safety. 

For more information regarding the Emergency Management Certificate Program please see http://www.auburn.edu/outreach/opce/emergencymgmt/index.htm or call (334) 844-5100.

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                     DISSERTATION AND SELECTED ARTICLES, PRESENTATIONS, REPORTS,

                                  AND OTHER WORK BY PAULA D. GORDON, PH.D.


  o  Dissertation:  “Public Administration in the Public Interest: A Prescriptive Analysis of a Democratic Humanist Paradigm of Public Administration”  American University, 1976. 

o “Public Administration in the Public Interest: Thoughts About Public Administration Post September 11, 2001”.  September 12, 2002.  Posted at the American Society for Public Administration Web site at http://www.aspanet.org/ . Also posted at http://gordonhomeland.com or http://users.rcn.com/pgordon/homeland/public_administration_in_the_pub.html .

o “Improving Homeland Security & Critical Infrastructure Protection and Continuity Efforts”  (A Six Part Report). 2003  Report for the Lexington Institute . Posted at  http://users.rcn.com/pgordon/homeland/hscipreport.pdf  or use link at http://gordonhomeland.com .

o “The Different Nature of Terrorism and Terrorist Threats Post 9/11 and the Implications of These Differences”.  A Subsection of “Improving Homeland Security & Critical Infrastructure Protection and Continuity Efforts”, a 2003  Report for the Lexington Institute .  Posted at http://users.rcn.com/pgordon/homeland/thedifferentnatureofterrorism.htm or use link at http://gordonhomeland.com .

o “The Homeland Security Impact Scale:  An Alternative Approach to Assessing Homeland Security and Critical Infrastructure Protection Efforts and a Frame of Reference for Understanding and Addressing Current Challenges”.  Part 6 of “Improving Homeland Security & Critical Infrastructure Protection and Continuity Efforts”, 2003  Report for the Lexington Institute .  Use link at  http://GordonHomeland.com or see http://users.rcn.com/pgordon/homeland/thehomelandsecurityimpactscale.htm.

o “Strategic Planning and Y2K Technology Challenges: Lessons and Legacies for Homeland Security”.  PA TIMES, Vol. 24, No. 11, November 2001. Posted at http://users.rcn.com/pgordon/homeland/homeland_strat.html or use link at http://gordonhomeland.com .

o “Using E-Technology to Advance Homeland Security Efforts”. PA TIMES, Vol. 25, No. 1, January 2002.   Posted at  http://users.rcn.com/pgordon/homeland/etechnology.html or use link at http://gordonhomeland.com .

o "List of Selected Homeland Security and Emergency Management References and Resources"    A 119 page List of Homeland Security and Emergency Management References and Resources is accessible in the Files Section of this website.  Updates as of July 27, 2011 include the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill and the Japan Earthquake, Tsunami, and Nuclear Reactor Disasters.  The List is posted in two parts.   Click on the links below or at in the Files Section at the end of this Home Page. 

Part 1 of List of Homeland Security & Emergency Management References and Resources , Updated July 27, 2011

Part 2 of List of Homeland Security & Emergency Management References and Resources, Updated July 27, 2011

o “Improving Homeland Security - Continuing Challenges and Opportunities.” Presentation to EIIP Virtual Forum, March 24, 2004.   Posted at http://users.rcn.com/pgordon/homeland/eiipdhs.htm or use link at http://gordonhomeland.com .

o “Knowledge Transfer: Improving the Process”. Poster presentation for the Association for Enterprise Integration (AFEI): Enterprise Integration EXPO 2003, September 23-25, 2003.  Posted at http://users.rcn.com/pgordon/homeland/knowledge_transfer.html   or see link at http://gordonhomeland.com  

o “Recognizing and Addressing Problems of Scientific and Technological Complexity”. Poster presentation for the Association for Enterprise Integration (AFEI): Enterprise Integration EXPO 2003, September 23-25, 2003. Posted at http://users.rcn.com/pgordon/homeland/problems_scientific.html   or see link at http://gordonhomeland.com   .

o “Changing Organizational Culture: Unleashing Creative Energy”.  Poster presentation for the Association for Enterprise Integration (AFEI): Enterprise Integration EXPO 2003, September 23-25, 2003. Posted at http://users.rcn.com/pgordon/homeland/change_culture.pdf  or see link at http://gordonhomeland.com   .

o “The Ethics Map: A Map of the Range of Concerns Encompassed by 'Ethics and the Public Service'”  http://users.rcn.com/pgordon/homeland/ethicsmap.pdf or use link at http://gordonhomeland.com .

o "The Ethics Map: An Interview with Paula Gordon," by James Heichelbech. Published in Ethics Today,  Volume 7, Number 2, Winter 2004.  Also posted at http://users.rcn.com/pgordon/homeland/EthicsMapInterview.html and http://gordonhomeland.com.)

o "The Ethics Map ~ A Values-Based Approach to Defining Ethics and Integrity in the Public Service".  Based on a Paper Prepared for the Normative Foundations Group Transatlantic Workshop on Ethics and Integrity, March 21 - 23, 2007, Adelphi, Maryland.   Posted at http://gordonhomeland.com .

o “The 9/11 Commission as an Incident Debriefing”, May 18, 2004. Posted at http://users.rcn.com/pgordon/homeland/911debriefing.pdf or use link at http://gordonhomeland.com .

o "Infrastructure Threats and Challenges: Before and After September 11, 2001".  PA TIMES, Vol. 24, Issue 12, December 2001. Reprinted as a commentary in the Journal of Homeland Security, April 16, 2002.  Also posted at http://users.rcn.com/pgordon/homeland/homeland_infra.html or see link at  http://gordonhomeland.com .

o "International Relations and National Agendas After September 11, 2001".  PA TIMES, Vol. 25, Issue 2, February 2002.  Also posted at http://users.rcn.com/pgordon/homeland/homeland_relat.html/ or see link at http://gordonhomeland.com .

o "Transforming and Leading Organizations," published in Government Transformation, Winter 2004-05 issue.  Also posted at http://users.rcn.com/pgordon/homeland/transforming_orgs.pdf  or see link at http://gordonhomeland.com.

o "A Common Goal for Contingency Planning and Management, Emergency Management, and Homeland Security: Building a Disaster Resilient Nation," article posted February 28, 2005 at http://users.rcn.com/pgordon/homeland/CommonGoal.html or see link at http://gordonhomeland.com . (This article incorporates ideas presented in "The Convergence of Contingency Planning, Emergency Management, and Homeland Security," Global Assurance, July 2004.)

o "Capabilities and Skills Needed by Those in New Roles of Responsibility for Homeland Security at the State and Local Levels of Government."   PA TIMES, Vol. 28, Issue 3, March 2005 (a publication of the American Society for Public Administration).  Also posted at http://users.rcn.com/pgordon/homeland/CapabilitiesAndSkillsNeeded.html or see link at http://gordonhomeland.com. 

o "Thoughts about Katrina: Responses to Two Questions about Hurricane Katrina and America's Resilience" December 1, 2005.  (The Forum on Building America's Resilience to Hazards, held December 19-21, 2005, was sponsored by The American Meteorological Society in collaboration with The Space Enterprise Council of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  All invited attendees were asked to submit responses to any or all of four questions prior to the Forum. These are the author's responses to two of the questions). See http://users.rcn.com/pgordon/homeland/katrina.html or see link at http://gordonhomeland.com .

o " Comparative Scenario and Options Analysis:  Important Tools for Agents of Change Post 9/11 and Post Hurricane Katrina," Homeland Security Review, Vol. 1 No. 2, 2006.  Also posted at http://gordonhomeland.com or http://users.rcn.com/pgordon/homeland/optionsAnalysis.html.

 o "Recommendations for Presidential Candidates for Improving the Nation's Homeland Security Efforts, " an interview for the public radio program "Homeland Security: Inside & Out" aired April 29, 2008.   Posted at http://gordonhomeland.com.

o "Integrating Homeland Security into Emergency Management Courses: Some Grounding Concepts and Some Suggested Materials and Approaches," FEMA Higher Education Conference, Emmitsburg, MD, June 5, 2008.  Posted at http://gordonhomeland.com.  The latter includes a typology of the severity of disasters.

o “Key Challenges for the Future of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Education,” PA TIMES, Vol. 31, Issue 8, August 2008. (PA TIMES is a publication of the American Society for Public Administration.)  Posted at http://gordonhomeland.com.

o “Pre- and Post-9/11 Perspectives:  Understanding and Teaching about Differences in Perspectives Affecting Governance and Public Administration Post-9/11” (Ethics Today, Volume 11, Number 1 and  2, Spring and Summer 2009).    Posted at  http://gordonhomeland.com .

o "Pre- and Post-9/11 Perspectives:  Understanding and Teaching about Differences in These Perspectives".  Presentation at the 4th Annual Homeland Defense and Security Education Summit, Washington, DC, February 24 -25, 2010.   See the link in the Files Section at the end of this Page or click on  2010-10-23 Dr. Paula D. Gordon Pre- and Post- 9-11 Perspectives Presentation.doc

o “The Harm Caused to Individuals and Society by the Use of Marijuana”,  December 29, 2009, Family Security Matters. (Published at http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/id.5140/pub_detail.asp  and also posted at http://GordonDrugAbusePrevention.com ).

o The Japan Earthquake and the Tsunami: Their Implications for the U.S., The Journal of Physical Security 6(1), 1-9 (2012), http://jps.anl.gov/  and  a related Statement To the Advisory Committee of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program, February 28, 2013, posted at http://GordonHumankind.com/ .

o “Marijuana Legalization: A Man-Made Public Health Disaster Currently Unfolding in Two States in the U.S.”  Presentation on December 5, 2014 at the Dupont Summit, Washington, DC. (Posted at http://GordonDrugAbusePrevention.com and includes references to major studies on the negative effects of marijuana use, including research involving brain scans, that have been released since April 2014. A 33-page list of references on the harmful effects of marijuana is also posted on that website.)

o “The Illegality of Legalizing Marijuana Use: An Open Plea to the President and All Other Sworn Federal, State, and Local Public Officials Concerning Marijuana Policies and Laws in the United States: What Part of ‘I swear to take Care that Laws be faithfully executed’ or ‘I swear to support and defend the Constitution’ Do You Not Understand?”  August 4, 2014. (Published by Family Security Matters at http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/detail/the-illegality-of-legalizing-marijuana-use  and also posted at http://GordonDrugAbusePrevention.com).

o “An Innovative Certificate Program in Emergency Management and Homeland Security for Educators, Researchers, Practitioners, and Students”.  Presentation at the FEMA Higher Education Symposium, Emmitsburg, MD., June 2016.

o “A Case for Protecting the Brain:  Keeping the Federal Controlled Substances Act in Place and Providing Non-Punitive, Justice System-Based Public Health Options to Address the Use of Marijuana, Opiates, and Other Psychoactive and Mood-Altering Drugs in America”. Presentation at the International Criminology Conference, Washington, D. C., October 14, 2016. (Posted at http://GordonDrugAbusePrevention.com).

o Letter to Members of the Canadian Parliament, February 23, 2018. (See http://GordonDrugAbusePrevention.com).  This letter includes extensive scientific references to research that established the connection between exposure to and use of marijuana to brain anomalies and sensitization to opioid use and addiction. (Posted at http://GordonDrugAbusePrevention.com .)

o Podcast and Transcript of Interview of Paula Gordon by Todd De Voe of EM Weekly (Posted July 19, 2018 at  https://www.emweekly.com/ep-70-what-you-need-to-know-about-emergency-management-education/.  The interview is entitled “What You Need to Know About Emergency Management Education”.  The interview includes a discussion of the interviewee’s perspectives and insights gleaned over the course of her professional career.

o “A Way of Framing the Nation’s Drug Crisis and the Role That Marijuana is Playing in That Crisis”. Presentation to the leadership of the American Council on Addiction and Alcohol Problems on September 11, 2018.

o “Values in Public Administration and Governance in America” Published December 29, 2018 by the American Center for Democracy” at http://acdemocracy.org/values-in-public-administration-and-governance-in-america/).  Also posted at http://GordonPublicAdministration.com/ .

o “Ways in Which Marijuana Use & Marijuana Legalization Are Fueling the Opioid Crisis”. Presentation prepared for officials of the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Department of Justice for a meeting held May 30, 2019.  (Posted at http://GordonDrugAbusePrevention.com in the upper right hand corner of the homepage.)

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                                                                   SOME SELECTED FILES

o "List of Selected Homeland Security and Emergency Management References and Resources"   An Updated Version of the Extensive 119 page List of Homeland Security and Emergency Management References and Resources is accessible here.  Updates as of July 27, 2011 include the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill and the 2011 Japan Earthquake, Tsunami, and Nuclear Reactor Disasters.  The List is posted in two parts:  

          Part 1 of List of Homeland Security & Emergency Management References and Resources, Updated July 27, 2011

          Part 2 of List of Homeland Security & Emergency Management References and Resources, Updated July 27, 2011

o "Common Sense, Law, and Public Administration: A Review of Philip K. Howard’s Book  The Death of Common Sense ~ How Law is Suffocating America and a Discussion of Related Developments, Themes, and Issues in American Public Administration”:  2010-10-04 Paula D Gordon Review of The Death of Common Sense by Philip K Howard (4).doc

o "A Matrix Approach to Comparing and Contrasting Some Differing Perspectives on the Federal Government's Role in Hurricane Katrina and in Potential Catastrophic Events in the Future," abridged August 5, 2010 from a June 13, 2007 presentation for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Executive Master of Science Program in Crisis and Emergency Management:  2010-08-05 Paula D Gordon A Matrix Approach to Comparing Differing Perspectives.doc

o "Integrating Homeland Security into Emergency Management Courses: Some Grounding Concepts and Some Suggested Materials and Approaches," FEMA Higher Education Conference, Emmitsburg, MD, June 5, 2008:
2009-07-12 integrating homeland security into emergency management courses.ppt

 o "Some Conceptual Tools for Understanding and Addressing Catastrophic Challenges as Well as Other Lesser Emergencies": 2009-06-15 Paula D. Gordon article on Some Conceptual Tools for Understanding....Emergencies.docx

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                                                  MATRIX APPROACH PRESENTATION

 
o “A Matrix Approach to Comparing and Contrasting Some Differing Perspectives on Emergency Management and Homeland Security in a Post 9/11 World”     A Presentation by Paula D. Gordon, Ph.D. at Emergency Management Higher Education Conference, Emmitsburg, MD, June 9, 2011.  

                                                                   Click here for the presentation

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                                       A PRESENTATION ON COURSES THAT INTEGRATE

                       EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AND HOMELAND SECURITY CONCERNS

“Some Innovative Elements of Several Courses That Integrate Emergency Management and Homeland Security Concerns” Presentation by Paula D. Gordon, Ph.D. at Emergency Management Higher Education Conference, Emmitsburg, MD, June 9, 2011.

                                                            Click here for the presentation

 
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                                              OPINION PIECE ON HEALTH REFORM

                     Health Care Reform: On the Brink of a Possible Unprecedented Societal,

                                                      Legal, and Constitutional Crisis


                                                        By Paula D. Gordon, Ph.D. 

                                    Posted at http://GordonPublicAdministration.com/

                                                                March 20, 2010

 Those promoting the health care reform legislation apparently moving toward votes in the next few days, seem to be unaware of the nation’s current shortage of health care professionals.  They also seem to be unaware of how the current shortage of health care professionals might become even greater if proposed reforms became law.  The results of the most recently published survey doctors concerning the legislation and their intentions if the legislation were to pass can be found in the New England Journal of Medicine.  The results include the following:

o    62.7% of physicians feel that health reform is needed but should be implemented in a more targeted, gradual way, as opposed to the sweeping overhaul that is in legislation.

o    46.3% of primary care physicians (family medicine and internal medicine) feel that the passing of health reform will either force them out of medicine or make them want to leave medicine.

o    72% of physicians feel that a public option would have a negative impact on physician supply, with 45% feeling it will “decline or worsen dramatically” and 27% predicting it will “decline or worsen somewhat.

From “Physician Survey: Health Reforms Potential Impact on Physician Supply and Quality of Medical Care” Mar. – Apr. 2010 .  See. http://www.nejmjobs.org/rpt/physician-survey-health-reform-impact.aspx

 While such results should be uppermost in the minds of the Administration, Congressional proponents, and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and anyone involved in health care policy analysis, the results seem to have been summarily overlooked by all the proponents of the legislation and the presumably non partisan CBO.

 If any of those overlooking these findings were to take a course in Public Policy 101, I suspect that many a professor would seriously question their skills for analyzing policy, let alone making or implementing it.

 Why is this?  In order to develop sound policy, one must begin with an awareness and understanding of the nature and scope of the problem or issue area that one is addressing.   In the case of health care reform, one ideally should begin with an understanding of the key factors affecting the delivery and quality of health care services.  One most obvious factor has to be the current shortage of health care professionals.  The NEJM survey results just published show that the current shortage is apt to increase if the current health care reform legislation before Congress passes.  This should be a wake-up call to all those promoting the current legislation that have been put forth by the majority party and the Administration.   The Congressional Budget Office also failed to adequately consider the NEJM’s survey results even though the survey results were brought to CBO's attention.

Here there is an instance of legislators, public policy analysts, and public policy makers and would be implementers who have failed to take into consideration key factors that will affect the feasibility of the implementation of the proposed legislation.  What an unbelievable oversight! An oversight with potential cataclysmic impacts regarding the delivery and quality of health care were the legislation to be enacted into law!

Many doctors are coming forward to underscore the results of the NEJM survey, including in fact Mr. Obama’s own second cousin, Dr. Milton Wolf. Dr. Wolf’s recent op-ed piece in the Washington Times garnered much attention:  http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/mar/11/obama-family-health-care-fracas/ .  He also spoke out at the rally at the Capitol on Saturday, March 20.

There are so many problematic aspects of the legislation currently being promoted by the Administration and the majority party in the Congress that it is a challenge to prioritize the most important factors.   For some reason the threats of lawsuits and Constitutional challenges do not seem to be taken seriously by the proponents:  states’ rights being one basis for legal battles and the effect of unfunded mandates on already cash-strapped states another. Yet another basis for lawsuits are Constitutional challenges involving the relevance or absence of relevance of the Interstate Commerce clause of the Constitution to the legislation and the question of whether or not the Federal government can Constitutionally force every citizen to purchase products or services under penalty of law.  What an unprecedented legal quagmire will result if multiple States and organizations, such as Mark Levin’s Landmark Legal Foundation, take legal steps to contest the legislation were it to be enacted into law!  What a legal crisis would surely evolve if and as States continue to enact laws to keep the legislation from being implemented in their states. For background on actions that Virginia among others stands ready to take, see http://www.whsv.com/news/headlines/88704357.html?ref=357

The approach taken in the health care reform legislation currently being considered would have numerous other near term and long term effects and unintended consequences that seem to be overlooked by those advocating the current form of the reform legislation,  and by those at the CBO charged with fully analyzing the legislation’s likely costs.   

Here are some for instances, above and beyond the impact on the shortage of health care professionals:

o  Caterpillar has stepped forward and pointed out the increased costs that they will have were the bills to pass.  See http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2010/03/caterpillar-opposes-health-care-bill-aarp-and-ama-support-it.html and http://www.smallgovtimes.com/2010/03/caterpillar-health-care-bill-would-cost-it-100m/  .  In an already fragile economy, the last thing that is needed is legislation that would further undermine the fiscal stability of business and industry, put more people out of work, and further weaken the nation’s economy.

o   The legislation would also have the potential effect of decimating the health care insurance industry.  Through increasing regulation is ways that make it impossible for the industry to maintain any profit margin, the Federal government can in effect regulate the industry out of existence. This in turn could well lead to an eventual complete government takeover of health care delivery and a single payer option.

o   The fact that the IRS will become “enforcers” of health care reform legislation can be expected to be appalling to a vast majority of citizens, but that word has not become widespread as yet.  In addition to the legislation, see Michele Bachmann’s statements on this subject at http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/blog/id.4791/blog_detail.asp .

The proponents of the legislation have been “hitting us” with every argument they have, while either willfully or wantonly overlooking the factors mentioned here that should have made the legislation dead in the water from the outset.  Where was the Congressional Budget Office on this?  Are there no lawmakers advocating this legislation who understand the Constitution, let alone how one goes about making sound public policy that takes into consideration current realities?  Why and how did so many miss the fact that there currently a shortage of health care professionals to provide health care?   Why are they apparently deaf to the survey results that show that the number of health care providers is apt to dwindle even further if the legislation passes?

As if all that were not enough, the bill itself is incomprehensible. The latest versions reference other documents that are themselves critically lacking.  What a debacle for the nation if an indecipherable bill ends up being enacted into law, especially when that law is destined to impact one-sixth of the nation’s economy!

A majority of Americans are currently satisfied with their health care.  Health care has not been and is not currently a priority in the minds of the majority of Americans.   A majority of Americans have a negative view of the legislation that is about to be voted on.    Why not undertake simple, low cost or free, incremental, positive improvements, emphasizing free market-driven improvements; and not risk destroying health care as we know it in this country and not risk further undermining the economic stability of the nation?   Why risk throwing the country into yet another crisis on top of other crises that should be requiring our undivided attention?

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                                                  HEALTH CARE REFORM PROPOSAL

                                     Health Care Reform: A Modest (Hippocratic) Proposal      

                                                         by Paula D. Gordon, Ph.D.,
                                                              January 21, 2010
 
                          (An earlier version was published by Family Security Matters at

                    http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/id.5126/pub_detail.asp .)

Authors of the health care reform bills before Congress seem to be unaware of the nation’s current shortage of health care professionals.  They also seem to be unaware of how the current shortage might become even greater if proposed reforms became law.  49% of recently polled physicians indicated that they would leave medicine or retire.

The bills’ authors not only fail to consider such personnel shortages, they seem oblivious to the impacts that their reforms would likely have on an already fragile economy, on businesses, unemployment, and individual and family solvency.  They overlook impacts on the availability, delivery, and quality of care, particularly senior care.  They fail to acknowledge the inevitable rationing of health care and the consequences of micromanaging health care providers.

Why not consider instead a far less risky and far less costly set of reforms?   This could include the following:

o  Minimize fraud and abuse in existing programs (requiring no new legislation).

o  Encourage States and the legal profession to enact law suit reform.

o  Create incentives and programs to increase the number of health care professionals.

o  Promote the spread of low cost community-based clinics to provide primary health care to uninsured citizens.  (Models already exist.)

o  Promote the spread of low cost community-based clinics that can provide primary health care to those presently not covered by insurance.  (Models clinics already exist.)

o  Encourage state-based incentives for insurance companies to make available catastrophic coverage for low income as well as high risk applicants and individuals with pre-existing conditions. (Examples exist.)

o  Identify and promote successful private sector approaches such those developed by Safeway and Whole Foods.

The bills’ authors advocate a different approach, one that involves extensive government intrusion, intrusion that many argue has no Constitutional justification.  They seem deaf to the concerns of health care professionals and the public, especially seniors.  Perhaps, even more problematic is the fact that even lawmakers admit that they find the current bills incomprehensible.  What a quagmire for all concerned if an indecipherable bill ends up being enacted into law, especially when that law is destined to impact one-sixth of the nation’s economy!

Congress has a choice:  Pass the proposed legislation and risk repeal by those voted into office in 2010 or begin anew with some realistic, low cost, clearly stated initiatives that can be agreed to by a bipartisan majority, initiatives that have no taint of illegal or unethical chicanery, initiatives that are Constitutionally sound, initiatives that have a chance of improving the system, initiatives that will not place the economy in further jeopardy, and initiatives that will not threaten to decimate both the insurance industry and the practice of medicine in this country that would generate ripple effects that would be felt throughout the world.  A majority of Americans are currently satisfied with their health care.  Why not undertake simple, low cost or free, incremental, positive improvements, including free market-driven improvements; and, in keeping with the Hippocratic Oath: “abstain from whatever is deleterious.” 

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Note:  For the results of a recent survey of physicians concerning their views on current health care reform proposals and the devastating impact passage of these proposals on physician supply, see  “Physician Survey: Health Reforms Potential Impact on Physician Supply and Quality of Medical Care”, March - April 2010 at http://www.nejmjobs.org/rpt/physician-survey-health-reform-impact.aspx .


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                                                                   WEBSITES

 The following is a list of descriptions of some of the websites that have been created by Dr. Gordon:

 1)   Gordon Homeland.com at  http://GordonHomeland.com

GordonHomeland.com is a homeland security website featuring reports, publications, articles, presentations, references and resources, and other material relating to homeland security and emergency management.  Articles and presentations concerning management, public service ethics, and knowledge transfer are also included in the website.

The website is intended to serve as a resource for policymakers and implementors, analysts, administrators, and managers. It is also intended to serve as a resource for educators, researchers, students, the media, and the general public.

2) Gordon Public Administration.com at   http://GordonPublicAdministration.com/

The articles and op-ed pieces focus on topics of potential interest to individuals in the field of public administration and public policy.   Additional articles, reports, and presentations on the general topics of homeland security and emergency management and related topics are also posted here and at http://gordonhomeland.com.

3)  Gordon Drug Abuse Prevention.com at  http://GordonDrugAbusePrevention.com            

This group website features postings of articles, presentation, and reports by Paula D. Gordon, Ph.D. on the subject of drug abuse prevention and related concerns. This website is for the interest and information of all concerned with the problem of drug use and abuse.

4) Gordon Humankind.com at http://GordonHumankind.com/ or click on heading at http://GordonDrugAbusePrevention.com . (GordonHumankind.com includes "Wishes for the Family of Humankind".)

5) Gordon Cancer Theory.com at  http://GordonCancerTheory.com  

This website has been created for the possible interest of the cancer research community and others with an interest in the theory of carcinogenesis and anti-carcinogenesis.  It has been created in the hope that those in the cancer research community may consider far broader perspectives that may lead to progress in understanding the carcinogenic process. The highlighted presentation is entitled “Synthesis of a New Theoretical Perspective on Carcinogenesis and Anticarcinogenesis”.

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                                                        BACKGROUND NOTE

Dr. Paula D. Gordon is an educator, consultant, analyst, and writer. Her Doctorate is in Public Administration.   She has also served in a variety of capacities in the Federal government, including staff officer, policy analyst, and special projects director for a wide range of Federal agencies and Departments.  Agencies and Departments include the following: National Institute of Mental Health; Federal Energy Office/Federal Energy Administration; National Science Foundation; the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare; the General Accounting Office;  the Federal Emergency Management Agency; the Environmental Protection Agency; and the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations.  She has an extensive background in several domestic policy arenas including homeland security, emergency management, health policy, and drug abuse prevention.  For a bio, see http://lifeboat.com/ex/bios.paula.d.gordon.  For additional background, see LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/gordonpaula/.

For a Podcast and Transcript of Interview of  Dr. Paula Gordon by Todd De Voe of EM Weekly , see posting at July 19, 2018 at  https://www.emweekly.com/ep-70-what-you-need-to-know-about-emergency-management-education/.  The interview is entitled “What You Need to Know About Emergency Management Education”.  The interview includes a discussion of the interviewee’s perspectives and insights gleaned over the course of her professional career.  Beginning page 7 of the transcript, the interviewee discusses her perspective on the drug crisis as a national public health disaster.

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                                                        Copyright 2019. Paula D. Gordon.

                                                                    All rights reserved.

                                                               pgordon@starpower.net


       What particularly strikes me is the need for leadership.  My master’s thesis was on leadership behavior and task-oriented workgroups.  In it, I developed a model of leadership based on Abraham Maslow’s concept of “metamotivation.”  Meta-motivation involves “being as concerned for the welfare of others as one is for one’s own self.”  I believe that this meta-motivational leadership model was in place at the time of the founding of the nation and that the challenge before us now is to move back to the same kind of selfless service of America’s Founders. 

      In 1976, I attended a six-week symposium about public administration at the time of the nation’s founding.  It was sponsored by the National Endowment of the Humanities and directed by Martin Diamond, a noted scholar in constitutional law at Northwestern University.  The discussion and controversy amongst the dozen or so participants in that symposium focused on the basic nature of government.  I don’t think that we can get very far until we’ve dealt with these fundamental issues.

      I recall that at the time the first “Reinventing Government Report” came out, I was working as the Director of Special Projects at the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR).   John Kincaid served as the Executive Director of the Commission at the time.  The authors of the “Reinventing Government Report” initially briefed members of the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA). I had accompanied John Kincaid, a NAPA Fellow to the meeting.  After the authors had discussed their findings and recommendations, the NAPA Fellows in attendance were invited to ask questions and make comments.  John Kincaid asked what I thought was a most striking question.  He asked the following question: “What do the results of (the Reinventing Government Report) have to do with the mission of government?”

      David Osborne, the person who was a key author of the report admitted (and I thought did so very graciously and humbly) that the authors of the report had not really dealt with that issue, but that he anticipated that they would address the question of the mission of government as their work continued.   Well, I think that was a major oversight.

     Take the impact of 9/11.  In my view, the controversy that still continues is whether or not there has been a fundamental change as a result of 9/ll.  Some people don’t seem to have changed their understanding of the nature of government and the nature of the challenges that have confronted us since 9/11.  For others (and I personally agree with them), we now live in an entirely different world.  They believe that the future of civilization is in the balance in a way that it never had been before.  This is owing to the fact that anything can happen at any time as the result of the use of any tactic or weapon of mass destruction or disruption by non-state actors.  It may be hard to acknowledge this, but if this is the case, then those who are in position of responsibility in government need to be able to understand the nature of the situation that we are in.  They also need to be able to lead our nation so we can survive as the beacon of liberty and freedom and justice in the world.  They need to be able to lead that nation in a way that advances the survival of humankind and civilization.

     What lessons might be gleaned from the way in which the government responded to Hurricane Katrina.  I don’t think that the nature of the problem concerning what happened in Hurricane Katrina and concerning the government’s response to it were well understood.  Unfortunately, people blamed each other for things that exceeded the capabilities of individuals or government.  There was little recognition of this reality.  There was and has been very little forgiveness.  Many people have the sense that all you need to do is put the proper processes in place and you will be able to survive anything, including a catastrophic natural disaster.  Well this isn’t necessarily the case.  There are catastrophes that can happen that have impacts that are beyond our control.

This Page is Now the New Home of GordonPublicAdministration.com

 Last Modified:  June 23, 2019

(The website is currently undergoing the process of reconstruction.  Links are not fully operational.)

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Note:  Dr. Mary R. Hamilton, a former Executive Director of the American Society for Public Administration, and currently Senior Executive in Residence at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, has written a commentary about my dissertation, "Public Administration in the Public Interest".  That dissertation was about (and still is about) my vision of what the public service, public administration, and government can be at their best.  I went back to the values and vision of the Founding Fathers. I also proposed this paradigm of public administration in response to Dwight Waldo’s statements in 1969 concerning the absence of a philosophy of change, purpose, or direction in public administration. 

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A REVIEW ARTICLE:  COMMON SENSE, LAW, AND PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION

        “Common Sense, Law, and Public Administration: A Review of Philip K. Howard’s Book The Death of Common Sense ~ How Law is Suffocating America and a Discussion of Related Developments, Themes, and Issues in American Public Administration” 

Paula D. Gordon, Ph.D.,

November 29, 2011

Note:  This review was largely written when the book was first published.  A new summary statement has been added at the end of the article.  The book was reprised with a new Afterword on May 3, 2011.  See Philip K. Howard, The Death of Common Sense ~ How Law is Suffocating America (New York: Random House, 1995 and trade paperback 2011).

   My doctoral dissertation was entitled “Public Administration in the Public Interest” (http://GordonPublicAdministration.com/) and one of my major areas of interest has been the relationship among public administration, public service, and ethics.  Currently, I am focusing upon specific problem areas and challenges that are facing the nation, in particular Hurricane Katrina:  the way the country responded to it, and the leadership questions that arose.  More broadly, I am involved in extensive research on emergency management and homeland security since 9/11.  I sometimes think of my work as representing a 70,000-foot perspective in which I am trying to identify the fundamental concerns that face our country today.

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    "What if Public Administration Had a Purpose?” 


Commentary by Mary R. Hamilton, Ph.D regarding the Dissertation

by Paula Gordon on “Public Administration in the Public Interest”, July 25, 2014   

 PA Times Online,  A Publication of the American Society for Public Administration

 2014-07-23_Mary_Hamilton_July_2014_PAT_Online_Column_Final_Edition.docx
17.6 KB

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___________________________________________________

      Katrina was one of the greatest catastrophes that happened in a populated area in the United States.  General Honore seems to be one of the few people who, I think, fully understood this.  Most of those contributing to after action reports failed to comprehend the difference between a disaster that was moderate in size and a catastrophic event.  General Honore’s statements about Katrina were pithy and insightful.  For example, he likened responding to Katrina to a football game in which there was little or no chance of gaining any yardage in the first quarter.  When all of the major elements of the critical infrastructure are in a state of failure and all the lines of communication are down, no one is going to be able to do anything.  You can’t fly in planes or helicopters, and you can’t network and coordinate efforts.  You can’t even establish what the status of the situation is.

      One of the things that should have resulted from Katrina, but has not as yet, is a heightened level of understanding of the importance of preparedness, not just for hurricanes or tornadoes, but for the whole range of disasters that could befall us.  So, to make a long story short, I would like to suggest the possibility of a national alliance for the transformation of government, one that would incorporate a focus on the need for transparency and on the fundamental role of trust in government, and that even more importantly focused on the need for the realistic assessment of the challenges that face us and a common of mission that focuses on a commitment to addressing those threats and challenges.

      Dwight Waldo, a luminary in the field of public administration, both a friend and influence in my life, wrote extensively on this subject.  He and Herbert Simon in fact had a falling out in the 1950s and 1960s concerning the nature of public administration and the purpose of government.  While Simon emphasized the matters of process, Waldo argued that the purpose of the field of public administration and government had been overlooked.  He had written a famous article in the 1960s entitled “Public Administration and Change: Terra Paene Incognita.” The “little known territory” he spoke of was the purpose of government and where it should be going.  Waldo argued that the field of public administration had no underlying philosophy of change.  In effect, there was a metaphysical nihilism underlying the efforts of those contributing to the field.

      I believe that we need to achieve a renewed consensus about the direction of change in public administration and government should be before we talk about the need for transparency in government.  We need to return to the values of America’s founders, as embodied in the Preamble to the Constitution.  What this suggests to me is that we need to clarify what we mean when we talk about acting in the public interest.  To me acting in the public interest is acting in such a way as to advance the values of life, health and freedom and that does so in a way the maximizes and respects the humanity of all concerned.  We need to recognize that we are living in a time of chaos and turbulent change, where measurement and focus on process does not really help, since by the time that we have measured something, the entire situation has changed.   What good is focusing on process if we have no idea of the values or purposes that the process is intended or apt to serve?   We should be doing what we had done with the Marshall Plan for reconstructing Europe after World War II.  Then, we focused on the nature and scope of a huge problem and took the action that needed to be taken based on our understanding, experience, intelligence, ingenuity, and skills.  That is what we should be doing now.  We need to adopt more of a practical strategy that focuses on doing what we know to be right and what our experience and understanding helps us to see is the right course of action.   I believe that instead of focusing primarily on transparency, we need to address the greater challenge facing America, the need to renew our understanding of the very mission and purpose that drove the efforts of the Founders and that should still be driving our efforts today.

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Reference:  Dwight Waldo (1969). “Public Administration and Change: Terra Paene Incognita.”   Journal of Comparative Administration 1 (May 1969):94-113.                                                                                                                          


GordonDrugAbusePrevention.com

Click here for the review article

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“Values in Public Administration and Governance in America”


Published December 29, 2018 by the American Center for Democracy” at http://acdemocracy.org/values-in-public-administration-and-governance-in-america/).

Click here for a copy.

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"The Need to Establish the Purpose of Government"


The following is based on a presentation given by Dr. Gordon at the National Press Club on September 17, 2007 and a chapter in a book she wrote edited by Cal Clark and Don-Terry Veal  entitled  Advancing Excellence and Public Trust in Government, Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, 2011.