About Us: Chair's Message

Welcome to the Center for Public Administration and Policy!

by Brian Cook

The Center for Public Administration and Policy's (CPAP's) distinguished place among programs in public administration and policy has been developed and nurtured by a remarkable faculty known across the profession and the globe for their commitment to making democracy work in a constitutional republic. Though retirements and new hires during the past four years have resulted in more than a fifty percent turnover in the CPAP faculty, our dedication to excellence, to our mission, and to our vision of the prominence and importance of CPAP in the world of scholarship and practice is stronger than ever before. We have been vigorously engaged in the strategic planning of our future, and conceptualizing the resources and faculty necessary to maintain our core commitments and achieve new ambitions across our Blacksburg, Alexandria, and Richmond programs.

The Special Place that is CPAP: Our Commitments and our Vision

CPAP is deeply devoted to and engaged in scholarship: the individual scholarship of faculty, the developing scholarship of our students, and the enriched scholarship of our field. We are a distinctive combination of scholars who care deeply about governance and the capacities of government to address public problems effectively.

CPAP is deeply committed to the everyday conduct of governance. Programs and formal ties connecting CPAP to local, state, and Federal officials and leaders in the nonprofit world through educational programs, round tables, conferences, and consulting opportunities enrich our scholarship and teaching by explicitly linking theory and practice.

CPAP is committed to understanding and educating the next generation of leaders in the constitution and administration of democratic governance. To lead is to govern, but how governance is accomplished-the values and practices that support and guide it-is of crucial importance.

CPAP is known nationally and internationally for its broad vision of governance as a moral, constitutional, and integrative endeavor. We are committed to playing a role in enriching and strengthening the related fields of public administration, public policy, public management, and political science by reconnecting them.

CPAP in the 21st Century

CPAP is one program in three locations (Blacksburg, Alexandria, and Richmond), each with a unique student population and unique governing realities. As the thirtieth anniversary of CPAP's founding approaches we have been working with renewed energy to strengthen established commitments, enhance relatively young program efforts, and develop and implement new initiatives, all while concentrating on related capacity and quality issues.

We are working to build new programs and strengthen existing programs in all three locations to better accomplish thoughtful public service through scholarship and practice. We are expanding and strengthening our MPA program in Richmond. We developed a nationally distinctive Graduate Certificate in Local Government Management in partnership with representatives of the Virginia and International City Managers' Associations, and now offer a Certificate in Homeland Security Policy with our colleagues in the Center for Technology Security and Policy in the National Capital Region.

We face tremendous challenges at the national, state and local levels of government that demand expert, knowledgeable and thoughtful public service. CPAP has made significant contributions to the scholarship and practice of public service and will continue to do so. I welcome your interest in our program, and invite you to visit our web site to learn more.

Brian Cook
Chair, Center for Public Administration and Policy