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

By George A. Graham | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 7 THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA

TRAINING for public administration was a recognized university function at Minnesota in 1940. An organization had been created to facilitate the selection, instruction, and placement of students and to facilitate cooperation among the participating colleges, schools, and departments of instruction. The university was concerned both with training students in the professional schools for public life and with training a small select group for public administration through a special program of study, research, and internship. The latter study-program was a combination of common core subjects with individual courses of study at the graduate level; students were drawn both from the public service and from undergraduate colleges and professional schools. All were required to spend a full academic year or more in residence, and the pre-service fellows also spent a year as interns in the public service before qualifying for a master's degree. A thesis was required.


Purpose and Philosophy of Training

The purpose of the training program was essentially to mobilize the university's resources for the benefit of persons who expected to become or were already public employees. The aim was distinctly to train professional and technical workers for the public service as well as managerial and research personnel. In a sense the program was simply official recognition of what had come to be a fact: a large number of the university's graduates were going into public rather than private employment.

A survey1 of graduates of the university in the classes 1928 to 1936 inclusive indicated that about 41 per cent of the men and 66 per cent of the women had gone into government employment and that about 31 per cent of the men and 45 per cent of the women had remained there. Twenty-five per cent of this governmental employment had been federal, 29 per cent state, and 46 per cent local. Almost half the governmental employment was in educational work--teaching, research,

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1
See Lloyd M. Short and Gordon O. Pehrson, A Survey of University Graduates Employed in Government Service, 1928-1936 ( Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, Public Administration Training Center, 1940). The analysis includes only graduates with bachelors' degrees, law graduates, and doctors of medicine and surgery. Graduates obtaining advanced degrees are not included.

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