Patricia Ingraham directs the Alan K. Campbell Public Affairs Institute at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. She was recently named a Distinguished Professor by the Office of Academic Affairs.
As director of the Alan K. Campbell Public Affairs Institute, Professor Patricia Ingraham is accustomed to things like juggling airline schedules and attracting national press coverage. But the caliber of the graduate students working with the institute and the impact of their work never cease to amaze her. |
Through the institute, a division of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, graduate students participate in practical research projects that explore the quality and effectiveness of various levels of government in the United States. This year Ingraham and her doctoral students released a survey of the country’s 35 largest cities. The survey is part of the Government Performance Project, a 42-month collaborative study with Governing and Government Executive magazines and a host of federal agencies. “The things we do at the institute, like the Government Performance Project, would be literally impossible in a regular classroom setting,” Ingraham says. “This project has grown so much. Our studies require a practical application of what the students have learned, and demand hard work. Being involved with this process has been alternately exciting and exhausting.”
Ingraham was instrumental in founding the institute, named for former Maxwell School Dean Alan K. “Scotty” Campbell, four years ago, and continues to feel a personal connection with the institute. “Directing the Campbell Institute is very important to me,” she says. “I am honored to serve as the first director. I knew Scott Campbell, and there are still times when a question comes up and I wish he were here to answer it.”
Ingraham’s work as director of the Campbell Institute has required her to cut back on teaching responsibilities, but that hasn’t diminished her appreciation for the rapport between Maxwell faculty and students. “Teaching is the most important reason for my being here,” Ingraham says. “The students at Maxwell are very talented—extremely bright. The executive education students I teach are always exploring issues that can lead to further research.”
Ingraham’s respect for Maxwell students and faculty is not only recognized, but reciprocated. “Pat’s dedication to the students and the Government Performance Project is evident when you walk in the door,” says Bill Kitteridge, a Maxwell research associate who worked at the Campbell Institute for two years. “Even though she is an internationally recognized scholar, she always makes time for students. Many academics can’t bridge those two facets of their work as well as she does.”
This past October, Ingraham was named a Distinguished Professor during the 75th anniversary convocation of the Maxwell School. "It was a complete surprise,” says Ingraham, who joined the Maxwell faculty in 1991. The Office of Academic Affairs confers distinguished status to faculty members in recognition of significant scholarly contributions over time. Professors are recommended for the honor by their deans or department heads. Ingraham is the first woman, and one of only 16 active faculty members, to receive the honor.
For Ingraham, who earned master’s degrees in political science from Michigan State University and the State University of New York (SUNY) at Binghamton, and a doctoral degree in policy science from SUNY Binghamton, being named a Distinguished Professor adds to an already hefty list of accomplishments. She received the Distinguished Research Award from the National Association of Schools of Public Policy and Administration in 1994 and was elected president of the organization two years later. In 1986, Maxwell students honored her with the M.P.A. Student Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Several public administration journals and co-written or co-edited several books. She jokes that she is able to juggle her schedule and her home life because she is “married to a saint.” “The reputation of the Maxwell School has enabled me to do so much,” she says. “For that I am very grateful.”