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History

Early NASPAA history by Laurin L. Henry, NASPAA President, 1971-72 Retired Dean and Professor Emeritus Virginia Commonwealth University. Scholar in Residence, Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, University of Virginia.

(A summary report from the NASPAA Historical Project, prepared for NASPAA's 25th Anniversary Conference, Austin, TX, Oct. 18-21, 1995)

 

Table of Contents

Introduction
Getting Organized
Growth of NASPAA and the Field
Who Are We?
Constitutional Debates and Decisions
No Grand Coalition
Professional Relations
Keeping Business At Bay
Alternative Program Strategies
Services and Benefits
Standards and Their Application
Strategy Shift
Looking Back


Introduction

For almost a decade I have been studying NASPAA history. This has been a part time retirement project, in a status somewhere between draftee and volunteer. When the NASPAA leadership asked me to undertake it, my qualifications were two: First, the recent death of NASPAA's first President, Robert Wilcox, had left me, if not the eldest in years, at least the most senior living ex-President and supposedly a storehouse of institutional memory. And second, my imminent official retirement was expected to leave me with ample time. I accepted the responsibility, partly from a feeling of obligation to see that the contributions of Wilcox and other founders of NASPAA were not forgotten, and partly out of curiosity to review some of the events that I had been involved in and perhaps understand them better than I had at the time. The initial assumptions about my qualifications proved of limited validity. My own memory and meager file savings were quite inadequate to tell the story and I have depended heavily on old file materials, interviews, and comments on draft manuscript from other early NASPAA participants. whose contributions are gratefully acknowledged. And little did I, or NASPAA, realize how much time would pass, which is partly a fulfillment of Parkinson's Law, partly an indication of the difficulty of working in Charlottesville from widely scattered sources, and partly a result of my own frequent diversion to other professional and personal activities.

I have been a volunteer in the sense that my compensation has been mostly psychic. I have received encouragement from NASPAA officers and staff, access to NASPAA files (very skimpy for most of this early period), and a little travel expense. Very importantly. I have had shelter, office support, and occasional travel money from what is now the Weldon Cooper Center at UVA; to the recent directors of that organization--James "Dolph" Norton and Carl W. Stenberg--NASPAA and I owe a large debt of gratitude.

The tangible product so far is a manuscript of about 800 typed pages. It begins with the background and formation in the late 1950s of NASPAA's predecessor organization, the Council on Graduate Education for Public Administration (CGEPA); describes the activities of that group and its transformation in 1970 into NASPAA, with considerable attention to issues surrounding the latter event; and then, in three long chapters, traces the history of NASPAA to around 1974-75. 1974 was a landmark year, in which it could be said for the first time that the organization was securely established, and in which NASPAA achieved its most important early objectives--namely, securing substantial federal subsidy for graduate education for public service, and adopting the first formal statement of standards for such education. I have to some extent researched, and if my energy and support hold out may write, what I envisage as a final chapter that will take the history to the early 1980s. At about that time NASPAA achieved roughly the size, form, and status in which it still exists and decided to proceed from enunciation of standards to implementing them in an accrediting process. The story beyond that, including the task of evaluating the results of standards and accreditation, I will gladly leave to a later historian.

In this work I have wrestled with a problem that I suppose is common to all history writing: the need to bound and place my subject in time and its relevant environments. It seemed to me that a narrowly focused organizational history of NASPAA would be of little interest, except maybe as an ego-massaging exercise for a few of us old-timers. NASPAA might be an interesting study if it could be related to--and possibly provide new perspective on--broader developments and issues, such as the evolving purpose and content of public affairs and administration as a field of study; its place in higher education, including questions about the structure and priorities of American universities; and the context of public events and relevant public policies, especially those pertaining to education and training for the public service. As the 800 pages attest, my net was cast broadly.

As to the time span, I chose to begin with a fairly complete study of CGEPA for several reasons. Describing the origins and activity of that entity provided a framework for summarizing the background and status of public administration in the 1950s and 1960s. CGEPA's objectives and activities flowed in an unbroken stream into NASPAA, so that a considerable amount of background-filling was necessary in any case. And, besides, it was apparent to me that the written and human resources for that particular chapter of the annals of public administration were dwindling rapidly, and if it were not written by me, now, it never would be. (The deaths in the meantime of such key figures as Stephen Sweeney, Henry Reining, and most recently Don Price, emphasize the point.)

NASPAA is a symbol, spokesperson, and useful instrument of collective purposes, but it has been important to keep in mind that the organization is not the field itself. The reality of public administration education is out there on several hundred campuses. When the entire history is understood, perhaps it can be concluded that collective endeavors through NASPAA have had significant effects on the amount, status, form, and content of public affairs education, but it has seemed to me that in the early period NASPAA was mostly a reflection of the problems and concerns and aspirations of deans and program directors, as they struggled to advance their field under the circumstances of the time and within the institutional framework of U.S. universities. In the period I have studied, NASPAA appears more as a dependent variable, an agency reacting to changes in its environment, than as an independent force inflicting changes on that environment. I have been unable to give much attention to the histories of individual university programs, although a study of at least a representative sample of such programs would be a logical precursor, or at least a very useful complement, to a history of NASPAA. The best I could do was to track the trends in purpose, size, content, and status of those programs as they were registered in NASPAA. I have particularly tried to show how the leaders of those programs sought to use NASPAA to help them seize opportunities stemming from explosive growth and expanding resources of higher education in the 1960s and 1970s, all within the deeply limits imposed by the typical organization structures and embedded values of U.S. universities.

The aspiration to professionalism has been an important motivator of collective action through NASPAA. It has stimulated related questions about how the university programs and their agent, NASPAA, should relate to the profession at large, including such representative institutions as the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA), the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA), and the International City Management Association (ICMA).

The activities of NASPAA and its constituent university programs, and their environment in higher education, in turn were set in a dynamic context of changing American society, politics, public events, and public policies. The era studied stretched from post-World War 11 through Watergate. It was marked by persistent Cold War and the crises of Korea and Vietnam; political regimes symbolized by the likeable Ike, the New Frontier, the Great Society, Nixon and Watergate, and the fall-out from Watergate, such as congressional and Democratic party reassertiveness while Ford struggled to restore stability and civility. The period experienced explosive economic and population growth; suburbanization and urban crises; demands for civil rights and equal opportunity; marches in the streets and demonstrations on the campuses; energy crises and episodes of recession and inflation. The public environment was, to put it mildly, superheated, with profound effects on the attitudes of university leaders, faculty members, and students; not least of these was a heightened appreciation of the importance of politics and public service. The combination of large public events and continuous growth of public services, especially at state and local levels, stimulated growth of public affairs education. Political changes also impacted more immediately pertinent government policies about public service education and training, sometimes favorably to NASPAA members, sometimes not. Much of NASPAA's history through the mid-1970s is a story of efforts to steer the cause of public service education through the unstable seas of national politics, and the slower changing currents of attitude and policy in such agencies as the Office of Education, the Civil Service Commission, and the Office of Management and Budget.

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Getting Organized

The immediate challenge to NASPAA's first President and Executive Council, elected in 1970, was to get the organization running in a very fundamental sense: get an accurate membership list, establish a system for mailing out information, fix staff responsibilities, bill members for dues, establish accounts, make a budget. Beyond that it was essential to establish a few basic policies, appoint the committees required by the by-laws, and start planning for the first annual conference. All this was elementary but not easy. The President, Bob Wilcox, was based in San Diego and could not get to Washington often. ASPA headquarters, which was supposed to provide secretariat services, was in disarray, with the executive director position in transition and a severe shortage of staff and funds to hire them. In this emergency NASPAA turned to Donald C. Stone of the University of Pittsburgh, CGEPA's last Chairman and the principal architect of the reorganization into NASPAA; he had just retired from his deanship and had a sabbatical coming. Wilcox designated Stone Program Coordinator, and he moved into headquarters for several months in 1970 to oversee the start-up and provide a NASPAA presence in Washington. After the Wilcox-Stone regime, I, as second President and then Executive Council member and informal finance chairman, gave high priority to organizational and staffing matters. By 1973, with ASPA in better shape and some new staff recruited, the basic operations were pretty well in hand.

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Growth of NASPAA and the Field

The most obvious fact about NASPAA in its first decade was growth. NASPAA was founded in April 1970 at Princeton, when CGEPA adopted a new name and by-laws changing itself into NASPAA. Like the predecessor, NASPAA was an association of institutions, member university schools and other program entities, that named institutional representatives--deans and program directors--who constituted the pool of people from which NASPAA elected officers and staffed committees. Exactly who was a member of CGEPA had always been a little vague, but during its lifetime the number of participating universities had roughly doubled, so that about 65 institutional representatives were present and voting at Princeton. The first NASPAA Executive Council talked a good deal about need for a recruiting campaign, but that never really got organized except for printing a primitive brochure; that and publicity through PAR and other publications did the job, and inquiries began to come in. Rapid growth ensued, so that by 1975 NASPAA had just over 150 university members, and would have over 200 by 1980.

Like CGEPA, NASPAA was founded as a satellite of ASPA, with self governing features approved by the ASPA national Council and subject, at least theoretically, to ultimate governance by that body--a power that in fact was never exercised. More practically, NASPAA was part of ASPA for legal, fiscal, and administrative purposes; the Executive Director of ASPA was responsible for NASPAA funds, and support to NASPAA was initially an additional duty of various ASPA staff members. With an expanding base of membership and programs, NASPAA quickly developed both need for and capacity to support more staff. The way to self-sufficiency was eased initially by overhead and administrative spill-over from foundation and federal grants. 1974 was a turning point when NASPAA became able to support from its own budget a full-time staff director and his secretary, plus project staff supported by grants. With growing programmatic autonomy and financial capacity, NASPAA was on the way to organizational separation from ASPA, which occurred in a series of stages ending in 1977.

NASPAA's growth and increasing self-sufficiency may have owed something to capable management by a succession of leaders--Presidents, Executive Council members, committee chairs, and executive staff--but it would have taken a remarkable incapacity to fail, in view of underlying growth of it potential clientele. As of 1959-60, a survey showed about 100 institutions offering some kind of graduate instruction in public administration, but the bulk of these were small programs, organizationally and programmatically undifferentiated from political science departments. The estimated national enrollment of 3,000 graduate students was heavily concentrated in a dozen or so large programs, most of which had achieved separate organizational status as departments or schools. A survey by CGEPA in 1966-67, which got returns from the larger programs but did not hear from all of the small fry, showed about 4,500 students, two-thirds of which were part-time, and a degree production of 670 master's and 70 doctorates more or less in public administration. The first survey by NASPAA, in 1970-71, with returns from 125 programs, reported enrollment of 7,877 at the master's and 829 at the doctoral level, with 2130 masters and 91 doctorates awarded that year. By 1974-75 there were 138 reporting programs, 19,731 master's students (no separate report on doctoral students that year), and 4,586 master's and 1-21 doctorates awarded. Between 1966-67 and 1974-75, the number of independent professional schools of public affairs or administration increased from 13 to 29, combined schools of business and public administration from 9 to 24, separately organized public administration departments and degree-granting institutes from 8 to 35, and academic departments offering either a public administration degree or a designated specialization from 25 to 52. By the latter time virtually all of the separately organized schools and departments offered the preferred professional MPA degree. In the 1974 survey, the part-time master's candidates remained in the majority by a margin of 12,288 over 7,443 full-timers. In this period, enrollments of women and minority students also grew geometrically so that by 1974-75, of the roughly 20,000 graduate students, just over 3,000 were minority and a little under 4,000 were women. A pronounced--and to some, worrisome--feature of the period was the rapid growth of enrollment in off-campus degree programs, some offered at sites far distant from the parent university.

A principal goal of the founders, of course, was that NASPAA would encourage and facilitate growth--that it would somehow influence universities to offer more and better and larger programs and encourage more students to enroll in them. It may be that by the middle 1970s NASPAA had become something of a reference point for institutions contemplating new or improved ventures in public affairs education, but that is hard to prove. For the most part, I think, the forces propelling growth in public service education were already out there in the public affairs and higher education environments, and NASPAA rode the wave.

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Who Are We?

One instructive way to look at NASPAA's history is to examine the way it sought to define itself: how it chose and sustained a basic constituency and set of allies. That process displayed alternating and sometimes conflicting impulses of openness and inclusiveness on the one hand, and exclusiveness, discrimination, or differentiation on the other.

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Constitutional Debates and Decisions

The Princeton conference passed the resolution creating NASPAA only after contentious debate on issues of inclusiveness and equality versus exclusiveness and differentiation. CGEPA had declared a broad purpose to advance education for public service but in reality it welcomed any university representative--either self-selected or formally designated --who wanted to talk public administration, for any purpose and from any kind of organizational base. Its constituency consisted of deans and directors of graduate programs. The latter category was a diverse lot, ranging from clearly designated heads of specialized entities like departments and institutes to senior public administration faculty in academic departments where a separate public administration "program" was hard to detect. Leadership in CGEPA had gravitated to the larger programs, several of which had achieved the status of separate schools and increasingly referred to themselves as "comprehensive professional schools" (or sometimes "multidisciplinary professional schools"). The rank and file tended to be from the smaller programs, many of them on weak organizational bases such as ad hoc interdepartmental committees or informal faculty sponsors within political science departments. In the latter, the commitment to professional education tended to be faint or non-existent; many of them still offered the M.A. in political science with some amount of public administration specialization, rather than the ostensibly professional MPA degree.

For most of its history, CGEPA was a pretty informal get-together of senior university public administrationists, meeting a couple of days annually just before or after the ASPA national conferences. Its founders, Lloyd Short of the University of Minnesota and Stephen Sweeney of the University of Pennsylvania said the main purpose was to "talk shop" among those with program leadership responsibilities; persons not invited often referred to it as "the deans' club." Later efforts under its banner to advance the field, such as by seeking major foundation or federal aid to public service education, had not produced much even in the benign climate of the Great Society. In 1969, with the drive for federal aid stalled by the Nixon administration, a few CGEPA leaders decided to try for a stronger organization, one that might be a more effective advocate and establish standards for the field; indeed, it was understood that the latter objective might be a prerequisite of the former. Prime movers included the current CGEPA Chairman, Stone, of Pittsburgh; past Chairmen Henry Reining, Jr., of the University of Southern California and Brewster C. Denny of the University of Washington; and one of the "younger men," Chairman-elect Robert F. Wilcox of San Diego State College (later University).

These leaders developed and brought to the Princeton conference proposals for revamping CGEPA that included the new name, NASPAA, and a set of by-laws that would have constituted a strong act of definition and differentiation. It was proposed to incorporate in the by-laws a requirement for membership eligibility of a declared purpose of professional education and a curriculum appropriate to that aim (although content and degree requirements were left unspecified). More importantly, the draft by-laws set forth objective criteria by which members were to be classified; these included a defined administrative entity with a single administrative head, an identifiable responsible faculty, minimum numbers of faculty and students, and appropriate dedicated resources. Programs meeting these requirements (there may have been as many as twenty at the time) were to constitute an inner circle of Sustaining Members; programs meeting some of the standards and committed to meeting all of them could be enrolled as Provisional Sustaining Members for a limited period of time; all others, including small graduate programs and miscellaneous non-teaching entities would be just Members. Although all members were to have just one vote in annual meetings, dominance of the Sustaining members was assured by provisions reserving the Presidency and a majority of the Executive Council for them, by giving the Executive Council strict control of the agenda at annual meetings, and by requiring that by-laws amendments and any resolutions affecting standards for Sustaining Members must be passed by majorities that included a majority of the Sustaining Members.

The proposed by-laws were strongly opposed by the small programs that could not qualify for the inner circle and were determined to head off what they interpreted as a constitutional coup by the large programs. The small programs were aided by spokesmen from a few of the larger and most reputed institutions, such as Princeton and Syracuse, who were leery of standards that seemed unduly mechanistic and unconnected with academic quality as traditionally understood. Stone and his associates had, indeed, developed an ingenious strategy for bootstrapping CGEPA into something quite different, but they had neglected to count the votes, and the objectors prevailed by a large margin. Before the new by-laws were approved the detailed criteria were set aside, all references to classes of membership eliminated and all provisions to enhance the dominance of the comprehensive schools stricken. One member institution, one vote, all on an equal basis. In constitutional form, NASPAA would be little different from CGEPA.

NASPAA's founding act, then, was one of inclusion, or at least of non-exclusion. All CGEPA members were grandfathered in, and new applicants were asked only to declare a purpose of professional education--a requirement that might possibly have deterred a few academic public administrationists uninterested in professionalism, but that line had been pretty well drawn by self selection by the end of the CGEPA period. In the first year of the new organization, Stone, on the Executive Council, fought a rear-guard action on admission decisions, insisting that NASPAA membership ought to mean something in the new way of program respectability. He sought to relegate what he called the "non-programs" to a separate category, consisting of obviously weak graduate programs along with the non-credit training centers and other miscellaneous entities. He was easily overcome, and the Executive Council delegated its responsibility for scrutinizing membership applications to the staff, which was soon admitting an institution producing the membership fee (which, by the way, was scaled to the number of enrollments in the program, enhancing the comfort of the small programs). The initial by-laws left hanging the question of admissibility of undergraduate programs, subject to recommendation of a task force to be appointed, but by the second year they were in, too, if they could show a definite professional orientation. Another early by-laws amendment made a place for government and other non-university centers, such as the Federal Executive Institute.

Although the levellers had prevailed, a legacy of the Princeton conference was several years of suspicion among the small programs about what the leadership, still mostly by the large programs, was really up to; and Stone and others sometimes claimed to feel constrained by a multitude of pygmies. These tensions had to be abated before NASPAA could effectively deal with standards, which I will discuss in a later section.

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No Grand Coalition

Despite their discriminatory impulses about some things, the initiators of NASPAA got one thing into the new by-laws that was certainly inclusionary, to say the least. This was the way the by-laws defined the scope of the new organization's interests and potential membership. For this purpose, "public affairs and administration" included but was not limited to programs in

"... such fields as public administration, public policy analysis and administration; urban planning, urban studies, or urban affairs; rural community planning and development; international affairs; environmental planning, control, or studies; law enforcement, criminal justice, correctional or judicial administration; public works administration; public health planning and administration; and community development. "

This definition was based on a vague hope that NASPAA would transcend the intellectual and institutional origins of its founders and become a grand coalition of forces in public affairs education broadly defined. Such an aggregation might have very large influence in government and higher education. A provision for Sections of NASPAA was put in the bylaws to provide homes for the various special interests. The dream of a large federation quickly evaporated, however, when it was discovered that academics in most of the fields referred to already had specialized associations of their own and no interest in tying themselves to the public administrationists or submerging their identities in NASPAA. Flirtations with such associations in city planning and urban studies did go on for a couple of years, but the ubiquitous processes of academic and professional differentiation had gone too far to be overcome by anything NASPAA had to offer.

Even within the ASPA family and the field of public administration as usually understood, two university-based ASPA affiliates, with functions well within NASPAA's proclaimed sphere, resisted being folded into NASPAA. The Conference of Universities in Governmental Research (CUGR) and the Conference on Continuing Education and Training in Public Administration (CCETPA), although always weak sisters, continued to receive support for several years by research and training interests who feared that NASPAA would always be dominated by the graduate teaching programs and give little attention to anything else. CUGR and CCETPA never formally affiliated but gradually faded away in the later Seventies, as NASPAA absorbed most of their constituents and functions.

Although no conscious decisions or announcements marked a scaling down of ambitions, within two or three years it was evident that the NASPAA core constituency would be the graduate degree programs in public administration and public affairs, both the more or less traditional ones and those that were in process of redefining themselves as "public policy" programs. After a period of wavering, the latter group decided to stay with NASPAA, although with allegiance divided between it and the new Association for Public Policy and Management (APPAM) that offered individual memberships to their entire faculties. It also became clear that despite the presence in NASPAA of considerable numbers of representatives of non-degree training and research centers, the preponderance of leadership and influence in NASPAA would remain with the graduate degree programs. The effect of these developments, combined with the leveling off of growth in higher education and the founding of new programs that occurred in the later 1970s, was to limit NASPAA's constituency to the 200 to 300 programs that have now supported it for many years. We can only speculate about both the power-enhancing effects and the tensions and dilution of interests that might have occurred if the core of public administration and affairs programs had to share influence in the sort of public affairs grand coalition originally envisaged. Could such an organization have become an accrediting agency?

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Professional Relations

As an organization dedicated to professional education, NASPAA was committed by its by-laws to cooperation with other professional organizations and groups. This proved hard to implement, as the impulse to cooperation and unity was often contradicted by NASPAA's striving for autonomy and self-determination.

The most obvious problem of professional relationships involved relations with NASPAA's parent organization, ASPA. CGEPA had started as a coalescing within ASPA of school men who felt mutual interests not shared by the general run of ASPA members. NASPAA continued as an ASPA satellite--not even an issue at Princeton. In the beginning, NASPAA was totally dependent on ASPA for administrative services; 40% of its dues income was pledged to ASPA to buy ASPA agency affiliate memberships for its university constituents and to compensate ASPA for administrative overhead. The ASPA Council made no particular effort to control NASPAA's program, and the Executive Director did what he could to support it, but ASPA in the early Seventies was in a period of financial stress and found it difficult to provide the services that the increasingly restless NASPAA leadership wanted. As NASPAA grew and become more able to finance staff services from its own budget, its leaders insisted on direct supervisory relations with the ASPA staff members assigned to its affairs, despite the Executive Director's overall responsibility. Also, fearing loss of its funds in an ASPA financial debacle, NASPAA insisted that its money be segregated in separate bank accounts, so that it could not be drawn on in ASPA's periodic cash flow crises. A milestone was reached in 1973-74 when NASPAA while continuing to make base payments from its account for general headquarters support, was able to finance a full-time staff director and his secretary from its own budget.

The first generation of NASPAA leaders, most of whose connections went back into the CGEPA period, felt simultaneous loyalties to ASPA and were inclined to stick with the parent in all but the direst extremity. But around 1974 there emerged a new generation with a different outlook. In 1975 they began a process of organizational separation that took some time to complete because of the difficulties of sorting out and setting up an independent secretariat, and because ASPA, as the only incorporated entity, was the legal custodian of NASPAA funds. In 1977, NASPAA moved into separate offices (although adjacent to ASPA), became incorporated in its own right, and marked its maturity by hiring a well-known senior administrator, Joseph Robertson, as Executive Director. That year also, resolving a question that had arisen several times before, NASPAA abandoned the practice of hitch-hiking on ASPA annual meetings and began its completely separate meetings at a different time of year. The separation from ASPA seemed to make no immediate difference in what NASPAA could do, programmatically. It seems to have been motivated in part by anticipation of eventual financial advantage, but more basically by an unarticulated desire for autonomy, a feeling that the future should be totally unconstrained by other attachments.

The NASPAA by-laws also proposed cooperation with other professional groups, and in the early years considerable effort went into cultivating relations with organizations beyond ASPA in the public administration and governmental communities. For example, both before and after his tenure as NASPAA's third President, Bill Collins of the University of Georgia (and later American University) spent many hours with the director of ICMA, Mark Keane, who was especially interested in the schools. Mutual interests in the quality of education, internships, and student placement produced cross-attendance at conferences and assurances of good will and support, even some inter-organization committees, but it was difficult, at first, to pin down these relations in doable projects with specific objectives.

>Relationships with other professional organizations became more focused and productive around 1973-74 and continued so for several years, as those groups became interested and made critical contributions to NASPAA's prime objectives, standards and federal aid. in 1973, a report by NAPA highly critical of the vague purposes and haphazard diversity of the schools' programs was taken by NASPAA leaders as reflecting serious concerns in the profession at large and strengthened their own sense that it was time for a direct approach to standards. In the ensuing work of the Committee on Standards, strenuous efforts were made to get outside professional opinion about the need for and content of standards. While it is difficult to discern specific contributions to what finally emerged, the effort got the attention of the professional community and brought expressions of enthusiasm that in turn encouraged the NASPAA membership to accept the standards proposed by the Committee the following year. Meanwhile, NAPA had rallied ASPA, ICMA, and several other organizations, including NASPAA, to a conference that produced something called the Belmont Agreement. The parties pledged themselves collectively to improving public service education and individually to various specific projects. NASPAA's share, of course, was to enunciate and implement program standards. on the strength of this show of inter-organization collaboration, the Department of Housing and Urban Development was persuaded to make several grants to help implement the Belmont Agreement, some of which came to NASPAA, both directly and indirectly. NASPAA's push in the later 1970s to apply the standards owed at least something to the Belmont process.

Almost simultaneous with the inter-organization effort on standards and other educational improvement, NASPAA was collaborating with the same community in an effort to secure funding of federal grants to the public affairs schools under Title IX of the Higher Education Act, which had been passed in 1968 but never funded because of opposition by the Nixon administration. In 1974, with Nixon on the skids, ASPA took the lead in a governmental relations program to persuade Congress to appropriate funds. NASPAA leaders joined enthusiastically as prospects improved. Particularly effective lobbyists were former ASPA Executive Director Don L. Bowen, now representative in NASPAA of the University of Arizona, Brewster Denny of the University of Washington, and the NASPAA 1974-75 President, Tom Murphy of the University of Maryland. These and others not only roused the NASPAA constituency to approach key legislators but effectively enlisted other professional organizations in stirring grass-roots support. At its peak, this campaign transcended the public administration/governmental groups to bring in support from several of the general higher education organizations at Dupont Circle. The outcome was a veto-proof appropriation of $4 million for fellowship awards and institutional program grants, most of which went to NASPAA schools. We will discuss this subject further, below.

It seems ironic that at the same time that NASPAA was asserting its independence, separating itself from ASPA, its objectives were being advanced, more effectively than ever before, by support from ASPA and other professional groups. The impulse to organizational independence did not, for the time being, impede programmatic cooperation. Although my investigations are incomplete beyond the period described, it is my impression that NASPAA's collaboration with other professional bodies peaked in the middle and late Seventies and has been of less importance in more recent years--a natural concomitant of a shift in programmatic emphasis that will be discussed later.

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Keeping Business At Bay

Under the heading of professional relations and differentiation should be mentioned another NASPAA concern of the 1970s, which was to assure that public affairs education would remain separate and distinct from education for business administration. At that time, business education had far outstripped public administration in growth and influence on most campuses. The idea of "generic" schools of administration was the most extreme manifestation of a popular view that business and public administration were very nearly the same thing. On several campuses, public administration graduate programs were being organized in, or reorganized into, combined professional schools, where they almost invariably became the junior partners. Particularly threatening to the public administration programs in such situations was a strong movement for accreditation of business schools through the American Association of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). A number of leading business school deans proposed that AACSB standards and accreditation reviews include the public administration programs in the combined schools; some even suggested that AACSB offer accreditation to any program of management for any purpose, regardless of degree title or organizational setting. Public administrationists, particularly those connected with business schools, feared loss of autonomy and being forced into a mold that would suppress the "publicness" of their instruction.

>In 1971, through friendly intervention by Comptroller General Elmer Staats and his associates at the General Accounting office, who had close relations with the business schools, NASPAA was able to embrace AACSB in a joint committee to discuss mutual interests and differences. A series of meetings over several years opened up those subjects and identified several joint projects, none of which ever materialized. However, NASPAA met its fundamental objectives which was to show the flag and insist on the distinctiveness of public administration education. Eventually the most aggressive business deans backed off, and so far as I know, no program offering a distinct public administration or public affairs degree--even if under the organizational umbrella of a business school--was ever reviewed for accreditation by AACSB.

Dealing with AACSB had another result. For some NASPAA leaders, becoming familiar with AACSB's operations including its accreditation activity, brought comfort with the idea of accreditation, which had been almost a forbidden subject in NASPAA until that time. There grew an understanding that, whatever else might be said about it, accreditation might be the ultimate guarantee of autonomy for public affairs education.

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Alternative Program Strategies

Another way to look at the history of NASPAA is in terms of issues and decisions about program strategies or priorities. Among all the things that NASPAA might do, what activities would most effectively consolidate and built the organization and make the greatest contribution to public service education? With a little forcing, we can interpret the experience within two alternative strategies: (1) Securing and delivering services and benefits to members, and (2) Enunciating and applying standards for public administration and affairs programs. As preliminary, it should be noted that interest in standards did not develop until fairly late in the CGEPA period, and after the Princeton experience the NASPAA leadership chose to downplay the subject, while concentrating on getting organized and continuing the pursuit of member benefits that had preoccupied CGEPA.

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Services and Benefits

During the 1960s, CGEPA had some modest successes in securing aid and benefits to public administration education from the federal government. At the urging of ASPA and CGEPA, the Office of Education undertook a national survey of graduate education for public administration that resulted in an important report in 1961--usually known as the Ward Stewart report. Discussions with the friendly Civil Service Commission Chairman, John W. Macy, Jr., led to the jointly managed Public Administration Fellows program, which from 1968 through the '70s brought a dozen or more faculty members to Washington each year for an extended dose of bureaucratic experience. The peak of CGEPA influence was its encouragement to the Johnson administration to propose, and Congress to pass, Title IX of the Higher Education Act of 1968, which authorized university grants for program support and fellowships for graduate education for public service. In drafting guidelines for the operation of this program, the Office of Education swallowed almost whole the advice of NASPAA leaders. However, before the program became operational, the incoming Nixon administration scratched the first budget request, and Congress went along. Intense lobbying by Stone and others in 1969 and 1970 failed to get the appropriation restored, and by 1971, although NASPAA continued to pass resolutions on the subject, Title IX had begun to look like pie-in-the-sky.

While the government was unforthcoming, an unexpected event in a different quarter sustained the hope that NASPAA might prosper by securing and dispensing benefits to members. Late in 1970, an approach that had been made to the Ford Foundation far back in the CGEPA period resulted in a sudden decision by Ford to award NASPAA (or, rather, ASPA on NASPAA's behalf) $1 million for a three-year program of graduate fellowships for minority students in urban administration. Arranging a process for awarding and monitoring these fellowships, almost all of which went to NASPAA schools, became a major activity for several years; it was an especial concern of the first President, Wilcox. Later, the initial award was supplemented by a follow-up from Ford, and by a related award from the Office of Economic Opportunity for health administration fellowships. Altogether, from 1971 through 1976, about 200 minority master's students were supported by awards from NASPAA. These programs, of course, brought NASPAA prominence, gave it benefits to dispense that were highly prized by members and potential members, and associated it with an eminent sponsor and a politically important cause. These grants also brought incidental administrative and overhead funds that contributed significantly to getting the infant NASPAA on its feet.

Welcome as they were, it might be noted that these awards to NASPAA were limited in scope and duration, considerably less than what had been hoped for from foundation sources. Back in the Sixties, when Ford and the other major foundations had seemed an almost unlimited potential source of blessings, some of the CGEPA leaders had allowed themselves to think that the foundations could be persuaded to support and underwrite the transformation of public service education in a large-scale way. But a probe in that direction, the John Honey study of 1966, financed by the Carnegie Corporation, had produced a report that emphasized the gap between potential and reality in most of the schools and did not encourage major foundation investments. There was new hope in 1970 that the NASPAA organization could pry open the spigots, and to some extent it did. But the minority fellowship awards marked the limits of foundation support in the future, the foundations would make a few substantial awards to individual schools, and would on occasion make small grants to NASPAA for very limited purposes, but they, would not make general support grants to NASPAA or attempt a broad underwriting of the whole field.

For a while in NASPAA's early years, as hope for direct federal subsidy of public service education through Title IX became fainter, a few NASPAA leaders (myself included) entertained the idea of an alternative governmental relations strategy. This was the notion that the public affairs schools might become major participants in training and executive development, especially that financed by the federal government. Under the right arrangements, such activities would enhance relations with government agencies in numerous mutually beneficial ways and become an important new source of students and revenue for the schools.

The idea was not entirely unfounded. The federal government at that time was rapidly expanding expenditures for executive development, some of which were going to universities. In 1970, the Civil Service Commission had picked up the program started earlier under the National Institute of Public Affairs, under which about 75 mid-career feds nominated by various agencies annually received a year of graduate public affairs education at one of eight specially arranged university programs. At the same time, individual agencies were sending perhaps as many more employees to graduate school under their own direct sponsorship. Congress had just passed the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) authorizing grants to states and localities for training, in which universities might participate. IPA had other provisions of interest to universities, such as authorization of federal cost-sharing for graduate fellowships for state and local employees, and the so-called "mobility" program under which federal agencies could loan or exchange executives with universities on the same terms as with state and local government.

NASPAA engaged the CSC and other federal agencies in conversations about expanded university participation in all this, but although the exchanges were friendly, relatively little happened as a result. Federal patronage of universities perhaps expanded slightly in the 1970s, but not in any path-breaking ways, and by the '80s was shrinking back to a lower level than before. The old NIPA program, now called Education for Public Management, was an ideal arrangement from the university point of view, and many institutions hoped to get in on such a thing, but the CSC gradually lost interest and abandoned it in the late '70s; with the example of the government-wide coordinated program gone, the individual agencies lost interest in their direct-sponsorship programs as well. We can see now something not understood at the time, which was the depth of federal commitment to an in-house approach to executive development, using such institutions as the Executive Development Centers and the Federal Executive Institute, which had been started back in the '60s. Both the CSC and the several federal agencies found these enterprises more convenient, controllable, and comfortable to use than sending people to universities, either for regular graduate study or specially contracted programs. The IPA, too, proved a mild disappointment to academia. Appropriations lower than expected meant that the money filtered down through the states was not enough to bring universities into state and local training in a large way. Fellowships for state and local employees never amounted to anything because those levels would or could not put up the required local match; and the mobility provisions, although occasionally useful, added little to what the universities already enjoyed under the Public Administration Fellows program.

Studying this history, I have mused over the question of whether I and others were guilty of a major failure of leadership back around 1971-72. Could a more vigorous representation through NASPAA have changed the course of events and led to a real government-university partnership in training? My tentative conclusion is that while a stronger effort might have made clearer what was going on, it probably could not have changed things significantly. Key people in the federal government felt vague good will toward the universities but were not highly respectful of most of the public administration programs; judged by their own claims to professionalism, most of the schools fell short in too many ways. The universities as institutions were not indispensable for training, since the government could hire all the professors it needed for $100 a day to lecture in its own programs. Besides, the bureaucratic interests and incentives were all to support the federal institutions.

Even if the government had been prepared to open up, how would the universities have responded? Although most of the schools might engage in training from time to time--or allow their faculties to moonlight in government-sponsored programs--the bulk of the NASPAA constituency was seriously interested in executive development only if it could be packaged in graduate courses and degrees. They were not prepared for the sort of radical changes in curriculum and scheduling that would have been required to meet large-scale government needs; indeed, some would have thought it betrayal of academic values to do so. Whatever their personal preferences might have been, most of the program directors were restrained by the typical university structure and culture that separates adult education, continuing education, and "all that public service stuff" from the "real" business of the institution and lowers the status of such activity in numerous ways. What the NASPAA programs really wanted from government was direct subsidy, largely on their own terms, as in Title IX, and they could not really focus on anything else.

And, finally, Title IX came through. Unlucky in timing and often clumsy or feeble in representation until then, the ASPA-NASPAA coalition in 1974 took advantage of the collapse of the Nixon administration, mobilized its friends, and convinced enough waverers in Congress to get several million dollars into the F.Y. 1976 appropriation act. Then, in an anti-climax, the appropriation was successfully defended against the Ford administration's tryout of the rescission process under the new Congressional Budget Act. With NASPAA's firm imprint on the program guidelines, most of the funds went to member institutions. Beginning in 1975, as NASPAA's minority fellowship programs phased out, the organization could claim responsibility for new and even more widely distributed benefits to its constituency. The peak of NASPAA's governmental influence came a couple of years later when one of the first acts of ex-NASPAA President Alan "Scotty" Campbell, upon becoming CSC Chairman in the Carter administration, was to establish the Presidential Management Internship program. Title IX and PMIP provided important benefits to the public affairs and administration schools until the early '80s. Decline of such benefits in the Reagan era may have been inevitable, but how vigorously did NASPAA resist the trend? Did the schools need the benefits any less than they had in the '70s? It appears that by then the NASPAA priorities had shifted to other things.

Satisfying as the federal largesse of the '70s was, it was in a relationship that fell far short of the aspirations of some of the early CGEPA and NASPAA leaders. Such people as Stone had hoped that NASPAA might be an agency for achieving the intimate relationship with the government that the public administration profession had long sought. In that vision, the central agencies of government would understand that public administration was different from other professions and fields of study because it was dedicated to the government's central and essential purposes. In its own interest, the government should embrace the public administration schools, accord them special access and generous support, not as categorical aid to education but as a matter of maintaining and nurturing the capacity to govern. Stone argued on occasion that if it was in the public interest to support large federal-state-university complexes in such fields as agriculture, medicine, and physical science, then a field essential to the government's prime responsibilities deserved no less in the way of support. Stated in an extreme form--as Stone was wont to do from time to time--the proposition seemed quixotic to government decision-makers, and to many in academia as well. Public administration education remains in a mendicant relationship with government, treated as one among many interests to be subsidized. On occasion, according to the degree of political power mobilized, but generally constrained and balanced with other interests and kept at a suitable distance. Should inability to overcome this perception be counted a failure of NASPAA?

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Standards and Their Application

As NASPAA's services and benefits strategy reached its zenith of productiveness in the middle 1970s, the alternative of a standards strategy had begun to emerge. By the end of the decade, standards and their application were the organization's central concern.

As previously noted, the first three NASPAA Presidents and their Executive Councils handled the subject of standards very gingerly, sensitive to the great diversity among member programs and the potential divisiveness of the subject. A Committee on Standards prescribed by the by-laws existed but was not encouraged to do much. In fact, a leadership-sponsored by-laws amendment passed at the first annual conference, at Boulder in April 1971, eliminated the original requirement that the Committee produce a statement of standards for public service education. The predominant sentiment was for an approach to standards involving limited inquiries into particular problems of the field, rather than the development of comprehensive criteria by which member programs might be examined, classified, or judged. There was some nervousness about a project undertaken by Stone to see what could be salvaged from the statement of standards that had been set aside at Princeton, but on the advice of colleagues, Stone reshaped the document in a way that made it less inflammatory. "The Response of Higher Education to the Needs of the Public Service" was published by NASPAA in 1971 but presented as a "working paper" not an official organizational statement. The paper mentioned some of the criteria about program size and organizational status that had been controversial--what Stone called the "requisites" of an adequate university effort--but they were presented as advocacy aimed at government and university top decision makers and resource allocators rather than as proposals for internal application in NASPAA, and the prevailing peace was not broken.

By 1973 the climate was changing. Post-Princeton suspicions had receded and the organization was in a state of cohesion permitting discussion of touchy subjects. Some members of the Executive Council dared to suggest that the previously celebrated diversity of member programs might be a problem for the field. Proliferation of off-campus program networks suspected of low standards disturbed many constituents. President-elect Clyde Wingfield of Baruch College, CUNY, called for an inquiry into what he called "the state of the art" of public service education. Impulses to venture forth were reinforced by the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) report mentioned earlier that found unwarranted diversity, undefined purposes, unfocused curricula, and a generally inadequate professionalism among the schools. With Wingfield now in the lead, the Executive Council steered through the 1973 annual meeting at San Diego a cautious resolution asking the Standards Committee to gather "information necessary to enable the Association to work toward the development of guidelines for academic programs." A few back-benchers detected the specter of accreditation, but they were discounted by the leadership who emphasized how preliminary and tentative this was: what could be the harm in looking at information toward possible guidelines?

A reconstituted Standards Committee with Frank Sherwood, recently at the Federal Executive Institute and now back at Southern California, as chairman, and Ernest Engelbert, on leave from UCLA, as member, staff, and gadfly, stirred a whirlwind of activity in 1973-74. The Committee quickly decided to go beyond its formal mandate and produce a complete statement of "guidelines and standards" for professional master's degree programs. The decision to focus on degrees of a specified kind and level was both politically strategic in the short run and permanently determinative for NASPAA's future work on standards. It avoided consideration of the overall adequacy of institutions --departments, schools, and the like--that had been the thrust of Stone's work and was, indeed, the general approach taken by AACSB in its accreditation. Early on, the Committee also decided on an approach that would avoid the previous objections that statements of standards were too mechanistic and unconnected with purpose or quality. Engelbert proposed to start by developing what he called a "matrix of competencies" that professional public administrators should have, and to which the schools should aim in their curricula and instruction. As it was worked out by the Committee, the matrix was summarized on a spread sheet that began with several subject-matter areas listed down the left side: Political, Social, and Economic Context; Analytical Tools; Individual, Group, and Organizational Behavior; Policy Analysis; and Administrative/Management Processes. For each subject-matter area, appropriate knowledge, skills, and behavior were elaborated in successive columns to the right. Engelbert not only invited all of NASPAA to help fill out the matrix but induced several of the professional organizations to set up committees of practitioners to tell the professors what they ought to teach. The complete matrix offered something for everyone. But --he approach to standards--basing them on competencies of graduates rather than the organization, size, and resources of the teaching entity--made sense to the academic conservatives and contributed greatly to eventual acceptance of the Committee's work.

In its report to the 1974 annual conference at Syracuse, the Standards committee reviewed the case for a decisive statement of "guidelines and standards": enormous diversity of program curricula and degree requirements, generally unrationalized by clear distinctions of program purpose and clientele; low credibility of the schools' degrees among professionals and government agencies; the "cheap degree" problem; and the need of institutions intending to do the right thing for authoritative guidance. The matrix was offered as an intellectual base for professional education, with flexibility to accommodate programs with special purposes. The "Guidelines and Standards" statement proposed for adoption incorporated the matrix and then ventured to spell out minimal institutional characteristics for offering MPA degrees in terms still familiar in NASPAA: programs ideally two academic years in length, with a minimum of a calendar year of course work even for students with relevant experience; a faculty of "not less than five," offering both academic and professional qualifications; an organizational entity "which possesses the same degree of independence accorded other professional schools and departments within the institution"; a designated faculty with substantial control of the program's content and requirements and its own personnel actions; and appropriate supporting services in the form of libraries and student services. To the disappointment of some, the guidelines did not prescribe any required period of residential study that might have put a crimp in the off-campus programs; the latter would be acceptable if conducted under proper supervision and with degree requirements and resources equivalent to those on the home campuses.

As to implementation of its report, the Standards Committee noted that the idea of accreditation had been considered but put aside for fear of "over-standardization and conformity at the expense of program innovation and creativity," and in recognition that the existing diversity in NASPAA would make accreditation "an undesirable system to impose and perhaps impossible to implement." The preferred course was to let each institution apply the document in its own way, if it chose to do so. The Committee report recommended, however, that member institutions be encouraged to undertake self-studies with reference to the guidelines and standards, and that NASPAA be prepared to suggest outside consultants and reader-commentators on self-study reports if requested to do so. It was further recommended that NASPAA reproduce and distribute to the membership, for its edification, summaries of the findings and recommendations of any self-study reports submitted to it.

The Standards Committee's process, the content of its report, and the emphasis on voluntarism proved persuasive. The annual meeting accepted the report and endorsed the "Guidelines and Standards," including the proposed implementation process, without a dissenting vote recorded. So confident was the leadership in the outcome that Engelbert had already promised the Belmont conferees that NASPAA would pass and implement the report.

The next three years brought further commitment to the standards strategy. An expanded Standards Committee, now chaired by Engelbert, developed and secured membership approval of guidelines for undergraduate and doctoral programs and for internships. Those documents were published but left to stand for what anyone might make of them, while the Committee concentrated on trying to implement the master's guidelines as authorized by the 1974 annual meeting. It was, at first, a messy process. By 1977, 39 institutions (out of a membership approaching 200) had turned in voluntary self-evaluation studies. Committee scrutiny of the reports showed great unevenness in their interpretations of the guidelines and overall quality. Equally variable were the comments of NASPAA-assigned readers of the reports. The matrix was so broad that opinions might differ widely as to how a given curriculum stacked up against it. Reader assessments sometimes conflicted sharply with a school's self-perception, and candor caused pain. After a couple years of struggle with the materials, the Committee gave up the idea of publishing individual reports and reader comments (as anyone familiar with academic sensitivity might have anticipated); NASPAA had learned the importance of confidentiality.

But instead of backing off, the Standards Committee pushed on with measures to get more uniformity into the process. In the 1976-77 Year the Committee, under the chairmanship of Daniel Pore of Penn State, produced a guide or manual for institutional self-evaluation studies, and began the practice of having each report read by three readers, now called a "peer review panel," who submitted a joint report. The Committee also sponsored several workshops in different parts of the country, where Committee members, peer review readers, and representatives of regional institutions threshed through problems of applying the guidelines.

Also in 1976-77 the standards strategy received a strong push from a temporary Committee on Long-Range Goals. Appointed by President Charles F. Bonser of Indiana, who was determined to make his tenure a transforming year for NASPAA, the Goals Committee was a cross-section of past and future NASPAA leadership, including such rising stars and future Presidents as Clinton Oster of Ohio State, Donald Stokes of Princeton, and James Kitchen of San Diego State, not to mention the senior and esteemed Dwight Waldo of Syracuse. A cogent chapter in the Goals report, by Oster, reviewed the spectrum of future possibilities for NASPAA in the area of program evaluation, ranging from continuation of voluntary self-evaluation to formal accreditation, which was discussed in terms designed to dispel ignorance and fear in the membership. in its recommendations the Goals Committee, without saying why, stepped back from accreditation by that name and proposed a more formalized peer review process that had most of the elements of accreditation: self-study according to a prescribed format; site visit by a NASPAA designated team; review of the entire record in terms of the standards; and a specific finding whether the program was "in substantial conformity" with the standards. Finally, NASPAA would publish a list of programs found in "substantial conformity."

At the 1977 annual meeting in Colorado Springs, Bonser and the Executive Council, the Goals Committee, and the Standards Committee lined up behind the new proposal. Debate ensued, of the kind that might have occurred over adoption of the standards but had not. Old arguments about consistency and quality versus diversity and possibilities for innovation appeared again. Some of the smaller programs, especially those in political science departments, feared they would never be able to meet the requirements of organizational identity and self-determination. Most sensitive were the proposals for site visits and determinations of substantial conformity. Was this not accreditation in all but name? The leadership blandly insisted it was different and emphasized that entry into the process was voluntary and would not affect an institution's status in NASPAA. Finally, patient explanations and respect for the new scheme's sponsors carried the day. Especially effective (according to this writer's memory) were the calm persuasiveness of Bob Biller of Southern California, for the Standards Committee, and the esteemed Don K. Price of Harvard who rose on the floor to support the proposal.

The proposal passed by a substantial margin, but not without a few resounding "NO" votes. Although it remained to be seen how many institutions would enter the process, NASPAA now had, only seven years later, what had been emphatically rejected at Princeton: formal standards and an official list of approved programs--from which many member universities almost certainly would be absent.

After Colorado Springs great care was taken to install a process that would be administrable, consistent, and acceptable to the membership. The Standards Committee revised the original "guidelines and standards" document into a form now frankly labeled as Standards. The new document abandoned the matrix as official doctrine, although traces of it were incorporated in the standard on curriculum. The institutional requisites about faculty qualifications, jurisdiction, and organization status were spelled out. The Executive Council created a new Peer Review Committee to oversee the implementation. This body perfected the self-study manual, developed a site visit manual, discussed interpretation of the standards at great length in open meetings, and held training sessions for potential site visitors. Institutional reviews started in 1978-79, and in 1980 the first list of programs "in substantial conformity" was published. After three more years of experience, mostly favorable, the 1983 annual meeting voted to convert the process to formal accreditation and seek recognition of NASPAA as an official accrediting agency. With a bit more touching-up of the process and in the fullness of time, this recognition was accorded by the Council on Postsecondary Accreditation in 1986.

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Strategy Shift

The years 1973-77, then, brought rapid development of the standards strategy that would soon dominate NASPAA's activities. To be sure, the 1977 Goals report also called for a stepped-up governmental relations program, but it also suggested a legislative agenda that would be "spare, credible, and achievable--not a wish list," along with expanding relations with federal agencies on such subjects as training and marketing of graduates. In the next few years NASPAA tended its crops like Title IX, IPA, PMIP, and the Public Administration Fellows, and there was a considerable amount of "leasing" with CSC-OPM as long as Campbell was there, but as we have seen, federal policy had already curtailed possibilities in training, and the era brought no significant new governmental benefits to the NASPAA programs before erosion set in after 1980. How much did anyone care? After all, the Goals report had recommended that "NASPAA define the key reason for membership as commitment to the development of education for public affairs and administration rather than the expectation of a flow of services to member programs."

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Looking Back

After several years of study, I can record a detailed account of what happened in CGEPA and NASPAA through the 1970s, and have some insight into the underlying forces that shaped events. The study provides a few tantalizing glimpses of "what might have been": aspirations unrealized, possibilities not seized, and unpredictable breaks of timing and personalities. The study does not seem to have yielded any startling new interpretations or grand theory. (How very public administration am I!)

A sociologist student of the natural history of organizations probably would see familiar stuff in the history of NASPAA: an entity with a foothold in a certain organizational niche, early growth in a benign climate and quick leveling-off as the limits of support were reached, a tendency toward autonomy, increasing formality of structure and procedure) and proliferation of internal parts. Also, perhaps, an equally to be expected narrowing of purpose, hardening of goals.

NASPAA's neonatal struggle to establish a life was fortunately brief. The leadership did the essential organizational dirty work, while consolidating the membership by avoiding controversy and dispensing benefits that came to hand. NASPAA grew on what its environment offered: an expanding potential constituency in an exploding world of higher education, and largesse from foundations and government available to opportunistic pursuit.

At the same time, and without much conscious thought about it, NASPAA accepted a sphere of membership and influence far narrower than its most ambitious founders had hoped for. NASPAA arrived too late in the process of academic/professional differentiation to organize everything within the conceptual reach of "public affairs and administration." After ten years, although its constituency was larger and altered in some respects, the core constituency and center of leadership was not greatly different from that of 1970.

NASPAA's principal environmental spheres of government and higher education, although permissive up to a point, proved essentially unyielding to NASPAA's most imaginative aspirations. NASPAA and the public affairs and administration schools remain basically supplicants, not partners, in government. Somewhat greater success has been achieved in establishing for those schools an identity and appropriate organizational status in higher education. But the success is far from secure or universal. Despite NASPAA-promulgated doctrine, few of its constituents have fully succeeded in becoming the principal embodiment of their institutions' elusive obligation of public service.

In a familiar and probably inevitable process of organization splitting, NASPAA sprouted under the shelter of a broader entity, ASPA, and over a couple of decades sorted out a special following and separated from the parent. Ironically, NASPAA's adolescent wish-fulfillment of autonomy coincided with the most effective nurture from ASPA and its related complex of professional organizations. Title IX funding could not have been secured without the aid of other organizations, and encouragement and not-too-subtle pressure from the professional community helped to convince the membership at large to fall in behind the leadership in adopting the guidelines and standards for master's degree programs in 1974.

A decade after the founding, NASPAA seems to have turned inward to its constituency, accepting a future of maneuvering within well defined space of membership and action possibilities. It had foregone (or at least accepted the unproductiveness of) feverish pursuit of benefits from government and other external sources. It was giving primary attention to marshalling and disciplining its constituency by proclaiming and applying standards. By doing so, it sought to strengthen both the self-perception and reality of academic quality, and to enhance its members' status in both government and higher education. An adequate evaluation of that process remains for the future. Presumably it has to a considerable degree improved the consistency and quality of product. It remains doubtful how much standards and accreditation have done for external perceptions of the field and the profession.

At any rate, the standards strategy, accompanied by astute leadership and nurturing of resources, has provided a base for NASPAA's evident success and prosperity in the early 1990s. One must ask whether this core function, at least as presently defined, will be sufficient to sustain the organization for another quarter-century.

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