MiniMPA: Executive Development in Public Administration

An intensive 16-week training series for public and nonprofit managers taught by faculty from Wichita State University's Hugo Wall School of Public Affairs and area practitioners

Sept. - Nov. 2018 and Jan. - Feb. 2019
Friday mornings from 8:00-11:00 a.m.

→ Gain core public administration management training for an improved ability to deal with complex challenges and prepare to lead a workforce toward innovative solutions

 Learn about topics including financial, professional and administrative issues presented through lectures, case studies and problem-solving exercises

Who Should Attend?

  • Professionals moving into positions of responsibility for managing and delivering public services
  • Specialists seeking broader exposure to public management, public finance and public policy
  • Experienced managers seeking a refresher in the field of public administration
  • Individuals considering a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree

All sessions are held at Wichita State’s Experiential Engineering Building (EEB) on the new Innovation Campus in room 2. Parking is free at the EEB. Google Map | Campus Map

Enrollment is limited. Applicants must download and complete the pdf application and submit it with a supervisor's letter of recommendation by email ( or mail.

Mail to:
Morgan Barnes
1845 N Fairmount  Box 211                                                                                     
Wichita, KS 67260-0211


$1,050 per person includes course materials, breakfast at each session and a certificate upon completion of a minimum of 13 sessions. After completing the online application, an invoice will be mailed to the organization address provided. Payment is required no later than Sept. 24, 2018.

Optional Academic Credit
Three credit hours are available at an additional cost based on WSU tuition and fees. Academic credit requires written assignments in addition to participation in the sessions. Contact Morgan Barnes for details.

Application (download and attach to email: along with letter of recommendation)



Session 1-Shocker Studios (SM A106)
Sept. 14, 2018
Effective Governance

Misty Bruckner, Director
Public Policy and Management Center

Governance is the idea of government serving as a broker, bringing together diverse groups and different perspectives for the benefit of a community. This is a participatory view of government that can involve citizen engagement, partnerships with private business to promote economic development and nonprofit organizations to deliver services. How can/do public managers convene, coordinate and support in ways that produce good outcomes? What are some examples? This can be difficult to accomplish with limited resources and many partners - some with competing interests. This session is an opportunity to explore different approaches to effective governance.

Session 2-Experiential Engineering (234)
Sept. 21, 2018
The Politics of Governance

Kathy Sexton, City Manager
City of Derby

It is often said “all politics is local.” This aphorism underscores the importance of local politics in the administration of a city or county. From public safety to economic development there is bargaining, sometimes debate and even conflict. Politics is the context that frames the actions of local managers as they initiate and implement policy. How can a city manager effectively navigate the politics of policy making? This session will examine strategies used by local managers to address political challenges.

Session 3-Experiential Engineering (234)
Sept. 28, 2018
Managing Personal and Organizational Ethics

Dr. Sam Yeager, Professor
Hugo Wall School

Today, complex and often turbulent environments generate a steady stream of moral dilemmas. The choices public managers make are often challenging. Individual actions taken to resolve ethical problems often have an impact on others in an organization. The session explores cases involving personal ethical conduct and its broader impact on public organizations. Managers will examine ethical codes as a guide to decision making in public management.

Session 4-Experiential Engineering (234)
Oct. 5, 2018
Human Resource Management: Selecting
and Developing Personnel

Jenny Turner, Director of Human Resources
City of Derby

People are a vital resource in public organizations. This session will provide an overview of human resource management. It will examine recruitment, how to generate a diverse pool of qualified applicants, screening applications, interviewing and ranking candidates, selecting the most qualified candidate and developing staff.

Session 5-Experiential Engineering (234)
Oct. 19, 2018
Human Resource Management: Supervision and Appraisal                                                          
Jenny Turner, Director of Human Resources                                                                                           
City of Derby

 Few responsibilities are as important for a manager as supervision and appraisal.  An effective manager must develop skills to provide timely, descriptive and concrete feedback. This session will discuss steps in job analysis, supervision documentation and setting appraisal objectives. Managers will be introduced to tools that can be used to objectively measure performance and reduce common rating errors.

Session 6-Experiential Engineering (234)
Oct. 26, 2018
Performance Management

Brandon Russell, Chief Operations Officer
Big Brothers Big Sisters

A key function of public sector organizations is to understand the processes by which services are delivered. It is important to be able to identify and analyze the outputs and outcomes associated with services. Through various techniques of performance measurement discussed in this session, local government can assess outputs and outcomes as well as design systems that improve performance, improve the quality of services provided and improve the methods of delivery. This session will introduce the concepts and functions of quality assurance and performance improvement based on both locally-defined and International City/County Management Association (ICMA) performance measures and standards. 

Session 7-Experiential Engineering (234)
Nov. 2, 2018
Organizational Behavior

Dr. Sam Yeager, Professor
Hugo Wall School

This session focuses on how organizations come to be, how they organize and how they grow. Class discussion will focus on functions/roles, power, communication and social factors that influence decision making in public organizations. These factors influence organizational behavior.

Session 8-Experiential Engineering (234)
Nov. 9, 2018

Paula Downs, Professional Development Manager                                                                                     
Public Policy and Management Center   

Much of the work of public organizations involves working in groups or teams. This session will examine the structure of groups and group process. It will explore different approaches to decision making in groups. Participants will learn how to more effectively participate in groups and how to manage a team.

Session 9-Experiential Engineering (234)
Nov. 16, 2018
Adaptive Leadership

Mike Scholes, County Manager
Sedgwick County

In some form, whether formally or informally and at varying levels of responsibility, managers are called upon to provide. This session will focus on the general concept of leadership in the context of local government management. At its most basic, leadership involves effectively structuring work assignments and supporting staff. More recent work has examined the ways in which effective leaders adapt; specifically the behavior of leaders that supports change in an organization. This will be the focus of the session; how public managers can lead in ways that support positive change.


Session 10-Experiential Engineering (234)
Nov. 30, 2018
Budget Preparation

Dr. Junghack Kim, Assistant Professor
Hugo Wall School

Budgets are plans that guide action. Formulating a budget requires attention not only to service needs but also to sources of revenue. This session examines the budgeting process and budgeting best practice. Since there are alternative approaches to budgeting, options will be discussed. The session highlights a range of fiscal policy guidelines managers should consider in developing an annual budget.

Session 11-Experiential Engineering (234)
Jan. 11, 2019
Financial Analysis

Dr. Junghack Kim, Assistant Professor
Hugo Wall School

Cost benefit analysis, ratio analysis, taking into consideration the time value of money - this  session will present these and other financial analysis tools managers can use to make important choices. There will be hands on opportunities to apply these tools in decision making.

Session 12-Experiential Engineering (234)
Jan. 18, 2019
Community Engagement

LaShonda Garnes, Community Development Manager
Public Policy and Management Center

Community participation has become an important tool local governments use to involve citizens in decision-making. This session illuminates the importance of community as it relates to local government and the delicate balance that must be maintained between responsiveness and meeting public needs. Today public management often involves communication, consultation and negotiation with a range of stakeholders.

Session 13-Experiential Engineering (234)
Jan. 25, 2019

Local Economic Development
Andrew Nave, Executive Vice Presidont of Economic Development                                                         
Greater Wichita Partnership

Understanding a local economy is an essential first step in promoting economic development. The session begins with an overview of the Wichita metropolitan area economy. Which sectors are the largest employers? Which jobs generate wages above the median household income (high value jobs)? How does Wichita compare to cities of comparable size? The session continues with a discussion of capital improvement projects that support economic development; from roads to quality of life improvements that can help attract employers and employees. The session concludes with a discussion of local economic development projects underway.

Session 14-Experiential Engineering (234)
Feb. 1, 2019
Budget Politics and Decision Making

Robert Layton, City Manager
Public Policy and Management Center

The budget process is inherently political. Final authority for budget decisions lies with elected officials.  The relationship between elected officials and staff is key to budget deliberations.  This session will cover the budget process, information flow, key stakeholders, and linkages between planning priorities and budget decisions.

Session 15-Experiential Engineering (234)
Feb. 8, 2019
Strategic Planning

Dr. Melissa Walker, Associate Professor
Hugo Wall School

Strategic planning in public organizations is a disciplined effort to determine where an organization is, has been and is going. The planning process begins with assessment. The session will introduce assessment techniques including stakeholder analysis. It will examine the planning process; who should be involved, strategic issue identification and scenario planning.

Session 16-Experiential Engineering (234)
Feb. 15, 2019
The Art of Collaboration

Dr. Melissa Walker, Associate Professor
Hugo Wall School

More resources, improved services, more effective advocacy – these are among the benefits of collaboration. Partnership with other units of government, nonprofit organizations, private businesses and citizens can be a difficult. This session examines the conditions under which partnership is most likely to be effective and how managers can engage in collaboration to benefit their organization.


The MiniMPA series is facilitated by area practitioners and faculty from Wichita State University’s Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree program at the Hugo Wall School of Public Affairs.

Dr. Junghack Kim
Assistant Professor, WSU Hugo Wall School of Public Affairs
Ph.D., Public Administration, University of Nebraska, 2018

Robert Layton
City Manager, City of Wichita
Master of Public Administration, Syracuse University, 1979

Brandon Russell
Director of Operations, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kansas
Master of Public Administration, Wichita State University, 2010

Kathy Sexton
City Manager, City of Derby
Master of Public Administration, Wichita State University, 2001

Jenny Turner
Director of Human Resources, City of Derby
Master of Public Administration, Wichita State University, 2001

Dr. Melissa Walker
Interim Director and Associate Professor, WSU Hugo Wall School of Public Affairs
Ph.D., Social Policy and Public Management, University of Chicago, 2005

Dr. Samuel Yeager
Professor, WSU Hugo Wall School of Public Affairs
Ph.D., Public Administration, University of Georgia, 1976

Cancellations must be made in writing by e-mail, mail or fax. Cancellations received five days prior to the event will receive a 75% refund. Cancellations received fewer than five days prior to the event will not receive a refund. 

Notice of Nondiscrimination
Wichita State University does not discriminate in its programs and activities on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, age, sexual orientation, marital status, political affiliation, status as a veteran, genetic information or disability.  The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies: Director, Office of Equal Employment Opportunity, Wichita State University, 1845 Fairmount, Wichita KS 67260-0205; telephone (316) 978-3186.

Morgan Barnes, Program Manager
Wichita State University Hugo Wall School of Public Affairs
(316) 978-6535