E f f i c i e n t     C i t i z e n s h i p

                                                                              courtesy of su archives

In Syracuse University: The Critical Years, SU history professors W. Freeman Galpin and Oscar T. Barck Jr. note that Maxwell's teacher training, Public Administration Program, and undergraduate citizenship course are considered among Syracuse University's greatest contributions to American education and democracy. The last two were "the linchpins of what Mosher called the teaching of efficient citizenship," Greene says.
      Davenport's desires for the Maxwell School—training students to improve the efficiency of governmental bureaucracy—were realized through the Public Administration Program, the first of its kind in the country. The program quickly grew from a concentration on municipal government to an emphasis on state and federal administration, including such courses as public revenue, public administration, housing, and public health. Today the program remains virtually the only place where professional training in public policy and administration is provided in the academic context of the social sciences. More than 600 graduates work in high-profile positions on Capitol Hill and in every federal department and agency, while others are city managers and budget officers. The master of arts degree in public administration also is offered through Maxwell's Executive Education Program, in which midcareer executives update their knowledge and sharpen their skills. The program is especially popular with international students. "It has been a tremendous opportunity for me," says Mirjana Radic, a native of Croatia who is earning a master's degree in public administration through the program. Radic worked for 10 years as a counselor and administrator for relief programs in war-torn Bosnia and Croatia before returning to school on a Ron Brown Fellowship. "You don't just come here and absorb what you are given. Having had this hands-on experience, living and working in a war situation, I think I bring a lot to this school. On the other hand, I've gained so much from my colleagues. There are surprises for all of us, discovering each other's cultures."
      George Maxwell's concept of the school was reflected in Introduction to Responsible Citizenship, a requirement for all students in the College of Liberal Arts. Created by Mosher, the course was the first of its kind in the nation. "It was incredibly innovative," Greene says. "An interdisciplinary, team-taught course that was going to teach students rudimentary concepts so that they could become good citizens." Cit I, as it was better known, varied in content as it was taught by faculty members from different disciplines. By the mid-forties, however, a number of students and faculty complained that the class had become a general social sciences course, having lost its original focus. Amid calls to drop it as a liberal arts requirement, Dean Paul Appleby hired Stuart Gerry Brown to revitalize Cit I. Renaming it American Issues, Brown converted Cit I into a semester-long case study and employed some of Maxwell's best and brightest to teach it. Several, such as Michael O. Sawyer '41, G'47, G'52 and Ralph Ketcham G'56, began their academic careers as Cit I instructors.
      Ketcham, an internationally known scholar and professor of American studies, history, political science, and public affairs, began teaching Cit I in 1951, while he was a doctoral candidate at Maxwell. He says he enjoyed involving various disciplines in the coursework. "Citizenship is inherently an interdisciplinary topic," he says. "The citizen, whom the course was designed to train, has to have a broad understanding of many subjects, and not in a disciplinary way. A citizenship course doesn't stitch together a little bit of each discipline. Instead it takes a topic, such as civil liberties, and approaches it from many standpoints. The idea was to pick topics and then let the disciplines contribute as they might."
      By 1960, however, the class was no longer required for all liberal arts students. Still, Ketcham says, hundreds continued to enroll and the course went on under the direction of Professor Don Meiklejohn, ending with his retirement in 1973. The ideas behind Cit I continued, Ketcham says, in the school's public affairs program under the direction of William D. Coplin. "There's a direct line of succession from the courses Stuart Brown directed in the fifties, the ones Don Meiklejohn directed in the sixties and early seventies, and what Bill Coplin has done ever since," Ketcham says. "They're very different, but that's where the citizenship energy went." The succession can be traced further, he says, to the present-day MAX 123, Critical Issues for the United States; and MAX 132, Global Community. The team-taught interdisciplinary classes were established in 1993.
      Maxwell expanded its offerings considerably throughout the sixties, seventies, and eighties, even during tough financial times. Greene notes the 1961 founding of the Metropolitan Studies Program (now part of the Center for Policy Research) by Alan "Scotty" Campbell, who chaired the program until he became dean in 1969. The School of Architecture transferred the Master of Regional Planning Program to Maxwell in 1971. In 1974, history professor Stephen Webb founded the innovative Master of Social Science Independent Study Degree Program. And in 1984, a $50,000 grant from the Exxon Education Foundation helped launch the Center for the Study of Citizenship.


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