New Rutgers Executive MPA Program In Newark City Hall Believed 1st in U.S.

New Rutgers Executive MPA Program In Newark City Hall Believed 1st in U.S.

Rutgers-Newark, City of Newark Team Up to Improve Services to Citizens

(Newark, N.J., June 21, 2007) -- On June 18, Newarks City Hall became a college classroom.

In what is believed to be the only such arrangement in the nation, the Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA) began offering its Executive Masters in Public Administration program on site in City Hall for city employees and other public and nonprofit professionals.

The Newark Executive MPA program is part of a collaboration between the citys new administration and SPAA -- based at Rutgers-Newark -- to improve the citys delivery of services to its citizens. We propose to assist the city in a dramatic turnaround of its management and delivery systems for key municipal services, explains Marc Holzer, dean of SPAA.

The City of Newark has had a long-standing relationship with Rutgers University, and we are adding a new chapter to this old alliance by integrating this class with our administration. We are professionalizing public service to eliminate discredited old practices, and to ensure that our residents get the very best government we can provide them, Mayor Cory A. Booker said.

The 22 city employees taking the class come from a broad array of Newark public service, ranging from the first female Municipal Council President, Mildred Crump, to Mayoral Education Aide Taquan Williams, who gained his Bachelors Degree in Political Science at Rutgers-Newark this May. A list of students is attached.

This class will enable municipal employees of all ages and levels of seniority to learn and exchange ideas and experiences in a collegial setting, the Mayor noted. Our workers will learn the theories and philosophies that have molded our form of government, and how to apply these ideals to the real world we work in. At the same time, our employees will be able to share with professors and researchers the lessons learned from their experiences in public service. Both sides will gain from this important learning dialogue.

Mayor Booker also pointed out that the students are paying tuition for the class. This program is being paid out of the pockets of the participants, not the taxpayers, he said.

This is truly an historical event, Council President Crump said. The partnership between Rutgers University and the City of Newark will enable our public servants at all levels of seniority or service to study what we do and learn from our experiences, from our past, and from our colleagues and professors, how we do things well and how we can better serve the citizens of our city. I am attending this class because I recognize that in government, as in life, there is always so much more to learn, and we should never give up on our quest for knowledge.

This program is an excellent way for Newark city executives to gain a better understanding of public administration and ways to run a more efficient government and therefore improve the delivery of government services, Williams said.

The Executive MPA (EMPA) program, which is one of the most diverse in the nation, is already taught in Trenton. The 42-credit program will begin with two summer courses: Introduction to Public Administration will run from June 18 22. The second summer course, Leadership, will be an online course that will run from July 9 through Aug. 17.

The program partner at City Hall is the Office of the City Clerk, under City Clerk Marasco.

The Executive MPA program is only one of Rutgers' efforts to work with Newark to assist in improving government efficiency and effective service delivery. Holzer notes that SPAA faculty and students also are working with the citys recently created Office of Innovation and Performance Management to implement a performance measurement project for the city. The first part of that project will be to survey Newark residents. It's not just about gathering complaints, says Holzer. Citizens can tell you what you are doing well and what needs improvement. Measuring where you are helps you to get where you want to be.

Thanks to its strong academic programs and renowned faculty, SPAA is exceptionally well-qualified to help Newark achieve major improvements in performance, says Holzer. We will address the full range of Newark's public management needs, and thereby help the city become a replicable model for professional, high performance government that benefits residents.

SPAA is known nationally and internationally as the leading academic institution in the field of public performance measurement and improvement. Its National Center for Public Performance conducts and publishes research on performance measurement, performance improvement and e-governance. The school is ranked 11th in the nation in Public Administration/Public Management by U.S. News & World Report, which also ranks it as 16th in Urban Administration and 26th in Public Affairs. SPAA faculty members are noted for their expertise in public performance measurement and improvement, citizen participation, diversity, transparency, public service and domestic violence.

The Rutgers Executive Master in Public Administration (EMPA) program has been tailored especially to meet the needs of select public and non-profit managers with at least six years of significant managerial experience. It prepares seasoned managers for executive-level leadership by providing a solid knowledge base and the competencies necessary for successful -- practice in government and nonprofit organizations. Information is available at spaa


Founded in 2006, the Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA) at Rutgers-Newark is the first new school established at Rutgers University in more than 20 years. SPAAs mission encompasses competence, diversity, knowledge and service, and the school equips future leaders and educators with the tools necessary to efficiently and effectively deliver government services. It is the only such school at a public university in New Jersey. SPAA enhances New Jerseys capacity to develop more effective government at all levels, offering degree and non-degree programs, research and technical assistance to make government more transparent to citizens. The schools most recent initiatives include a national network on performance measurement and reporting, a municipal public performance measurement system, and the development of the E-Governance Institute. For more information on the school: spaa


Gary Brown, City Clerk

Garnesha Crawford, Office of Innovation and Performance Management

Mildred Crump, Municipal Council President

Arlene DeLaRosa, Finance Department

Amalia Laguna-Flores, Finance Department

Samuel Freiser, Urban Enterprise Zone

Marilyn Gaynor, Division of Public Buildings

Darryl Godfrey, Department of Economic Development

Josh Holmes, Business Administrator

Juanita Jordan, Finance Department

Joyce Lanier, City Clerk

Mellissa Longo, Law Department

Kenneth Lewis, City Clerk

Robert Marasco, City Clerk

Margarita Muniz, Deputy Mayor for Community Engagement

Philip Nicastro, Finance Department

Veroncia Osorio, Newark Municipal Council

Nayna Patel, City Clerk

Keith Reid, Newark Municipal Council

Robert Waters, Administrative Services

Rhenotha Whitaker, Office of Council Member Oscar James

Taquan Williams, Office of the Mayor

Photo: Rutgers-Newark Provost Steve Diner (standing, left) and Newark Mayor Cory Booker (standing, right) welcome students to the City Hall-based Executive MPA Program on June 21. The inaugural class includes Newark Municipal Council President Mildred Crump (standing, second from left) and City Clerk Robert Marasco (seated, center). Dr. Judith Kirchhoff (second from right) taught the first course in the program. Some of the other students in the program include (seated at the table, left to right) Darryl Godfrey, Keith Reid, and Arlene DeLaRosa (to the right of Marasco); and seated in the background, Rhenotha Whitaker (to the left of Provost Diner) and Taquan Williams.