Education for Public Administration: Graduate Preparation in the Social Sciences at American Universities

By George A. Graham | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 5 THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA

TRAINING for public administration at the University of California (at Berkeley) was carried on within the framework of the traditional organization of departments and curriculum. The training was greatly facilitated, however, by the work of the Bureau of Public Administration and by the inauguration in 1930 of a course in public personnel administration conducted jointly by the director of the Bureau of Public Administration and ranking staff members of the State Personnel Board. There was no scheme of selecting students, and training was given on the undergraduate as well as graduate level.1


Philosophy of Training

The creation of a separate school or training division was opposed on the grounds that to prepare students properly for public administration, the cooperation of many university departments was necessary and a separate school would be a barrier to the widest cooperation. The best type of training, it was believed, was essentially the same as the best type of graduate education generally. If a separate school of public administration were to be created, there would be no place to draw the line of inclusion short of the entire university.

Interest in the promotion of training for the public service was most active, however, in the department of political science and in the Bureau of Public Administration; most political science students consciously preparing for a public career tended to concentrate in the public administration group of political science courses.2 The aim of instruction here was to acquaint students with administrative problems; to give them a knowledge of the relevant literature; to cultivate skill in use of

____________________
1
That is, a large number of those who took graduate courses to prepare themselves for public positions had also been undergraduates at California concentrating in political science and public administration. The graduate study was a continuation of their undergraduate work, and since many did not stay at the university long enough to qualify for a master's degree, it was difficult to draw a line between the two periods of study.
2
Many other university graduates, of course, found jobs in the federal or state governments, although the exact number was not known. In most instances there was no conscious intent among other liberal arts graduates to prepare for the public service. Professional students in agriculture, forestry, and public health had the public service in mind, although their interest tended to be functional rather than in the governing process.

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