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“The education and empowerment of women throughout the world cannot fail to result in a more caring, tolerant, just and peaceful life for all.” - Aung San Suu Kyi Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, leader of Burma’s democracy movement exchange THE Newsletter of the School of Public Administration University of Nebraska at Omaha Spring 2011 Tribute to the SPA Women in Public Administration! By Mary Hamilton, Ph.D. When I was Executive Director of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) from 1997 – 2004, I became quite familiar with a lot of public administration graduate programs. I got to know the UNO School of Public Administration (SPA) early and often because so many UNO SPA faculty are nationally recognized in the field and they were active in ASPA. I was impressed early in my ASPA tenure with the diversity of the UNO SPA faculty. There were faculty from the whole spectrum of public administration— budget and finance, critical theory, local government management, administrative law, health administration, human resource management, and more. The coverage of the field by this program was and still is very impressive. The UNO program also had more women faculty than I had seen in most other programs. Currently, there are 14 public administration faculty in SPA, 7 of whom are women. In addition, the three fabulous staff for the program are all women. But diversity alone is not impressive if it leads to factions and hostile rivalries, as it does in some programs. What I saw from a distance in the UNO program was collegiality. It appeared to me that SPA faculty genuinely respected each other and enjoyed each other’s company—not a common occurrence in many other programs. I believe the presence of so many accomplished women on the faculty influenced the culture and helped create an environment of respect and mutual support. When it was time for me to leave ASPA in 2004 and move closer to my parents in Holdrege, NE, I was delighted that UNO wanted me to join the SPA faculty. I had been telling friends in my last years at ASPA about my impressions of UNO/SPA and that, given what I’d seen of other programs, there were only a few Mary Hamilton PA programs in the country that I would want to be part of—and UNO was number one. In my six years with SPA I have enjoyed the collegiality of the School immensely and have greatly appreciated the warm support. And what a treat to be able to work with so many incredible women! (continued on page 3)

2011 Spring Newsletter

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