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

By George A. Graham | Go to book overview

CHAPTER I INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION

IN ANY CONSIDERATION of training for the public service it is appropriate to begin with the Institute of Public Administration, formerly known as the New York Bureau of Municipal Research and the Training School for Public Service.1 The institute's experience is significant. It has been a pioneer and at sometime or other has experimented with the basic idea underlying nearly every one of the current types of public service training. This variety of practice is the result both of circumstance and of design. The record is worth reviewing briefly.


LEARNING THROUGH DOING

The Training School for Public Service was established in 1911. Its plan of training--new, stimulating, and almost startling at the time-- in retrospect seems to have been a natural development of the era, a reflection of the conditions or convictions that influenced Frederick Taylor's scientific management, Watson's behaviorism, and T. R.'s progressivism. The idea was to learn through doing, but not through doing alone, rather through doing plus observing freshly, critically, and optimistically. The New York Bureau of Municipal Research had begun to subject the administration of New York City to an objective scrutiny some years earlier,2 and its observations were so significant that it had already won the enmity of Tammany Hall and had laid bare the conditions that led to the reforms of the McClellan, Gaynor, and Mitchel administrations.3 The Bureau of Municipal Research was playing an important part in those reforms. In this atmosphere of successful

____________________
1
The National Institute of Public Administration was incorporated in 1921 and took over the Bureau of Municipal Research and the Training School for Public Service, which were separate corporations but had operated under overlapping trustees and with a common staff. "The trustees of the Bureau and the Training School joined with others in the incorporation of the Institute; and the new corporation took over without extinguishing their legal existence, the old organizations, with their work, accumulated experience, traditions, contacts, library, equipment, staff, and good will." Luther Gulick, National Institute of Public Administration ( New York: National Institute of Public Administration, 1928), p. 69. In 1928 the institute was brought under the state education law, and in 1931 its name was shortened and the word "national" dropped. In July, 1931, the institute became affiliated with Columbia University.
2
Ibid., p. 14. The work was begun under Henry Bruère by the Citizens' Union in 1905. The Bureau of Municipal Research was incorporated in 1907.

-135-

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