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

By George A. Graham | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II UNIVERSITIES WITHOUT ORGANIZED TRAINING

CAN UNIVERSITIES, such as Chicago, Columbia, and Wisconsin, with strong graduate and professional schools but without special organization train men for public administration? Their graduate schools were developed primarily to prepare teachers and the professional schools to send men into private practice. Although the curriculums were changing and public administration was attracting the professional interest of members of the faculty, none of these universities had up to 1940 attempted to organize its resources to train men for public administration. Nevertheless, many of their students, from the graduate schools of arts and sciences as well as from the professional schools, went into the public service, many of them directly from the campus.1 Whether or not the universities wished to train for public administration, they were actually doing so. Since they did, obviously they could prepare students for careers as civil servants.


RESOURCES FOR TRAINING

All these institutions had great educational resources. One of the greatest was their rich store of knowledge. In their graduate schools

____________________
1
Few teaching departments at Chicago, Columbia, and Wisconsin kept in touch with former graduate students, and most of them had no records of their employment in 1940. Hence, any figures about former students in the public service must be regarded as incomplete. In November, 1938, Leonard D. White knew of twenty-eight former Chicago graduate students in the public service and six in the employ of quasipublic organizations. Of the public employees twenty-two were working for the federal government, five for foreign governments, and one for a state government. These thirty-four people had been students between 1930 and 1938: twenty-three were political science majors, and eleven took degrees in economics or international relations.
In June, 1939, the secretary of the graduate department of economics at Columbia knew of sixteen former students ( 1924-36) who were in the public service: fourteen were scattered among a half-dozen federal departments, and two were in the New York State Department of Labor. In September, 1940, the department of public law and government could identify twenty-two former students of the past ten years in the federal service: two were in state government and seven in municipal government, in addition to a half-dozen in the foreign service, eight in the State Department, and eleven in the foreign services of foreign governments.
The department of agricultural economics at Wisconsin had the most complete record of its students. Between 1908 and 1939, 309 persons took graduate work in the department; in May, 1939, 90 were public employees: 76 worked for the federal government and 14 for state governments. These figures do not include teachers and employees of foreign governments.

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