The Tulane University School of Professional Advancement (SoPA) announced plans to develop and offer an online Master of Public Administration degree. The launch took place on June 4th in partnership with GNO Inc., where GNO, Inc’s president & CEO Michael Hecht serves as an advisor to the new degree program. The new degree program was announced during GNO, Inc.’s 2019 EVERLAB conference.
The MPA program will start admitting students in fall 2019 for courses planned to launch in fall 2020. For more information on the MPA, visit sopa.tulane.edu.
“Tulane SoPA is excited to get this program underway, and for the opportunity to bring expert knowledge from the New Orleans area to other areas of the U.S., as well as help strengthen the civic sector in this region,” says Suri Duitch, dean of the school. Plans are to seek approval for the program in fall 2019 and launch coursework in August 2020, subject to the approval of the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Tulane’s accreditor.
Through the program, Tulane will highlight the vibrancy, resilience and innovation of New Orleans while helping to strengthen leadership in government, nonprofits and public/private partnership organizations, both locally and nationally.
In the MPA program, both established professionals and those new to the field will learn the foundational concepts of the field of public administration as well as how to innovate while working in the field. Leveraging New Orleans as an exemplary model of community resilience and civic innovation in areas such as environmental management, public safety, and economic development, the program will focus on new approaches to public administration for a technology-driven, data-saturated society.
GNO, Inc. has taken a vital role in establishing a direct connection between government, private industry and higher education throughout the Greater New Orleans region. Through GNO, Inc.’s GNOu program, GNO, Inc. strives to partner with the region’s colleges and universities to create demand-driven programs that yield a better trained regional workforce.
“Successful economic development depends on enlightened public administration,” says Michael Hecht, GNO, Inc. President & CEO. “We are thrilled that the Tulane School of Professional Advancement is launching a Masters of Public Admiration; the result will be a stronger public sector – and more economic development – in the New Orleans region, and the world.”
The MPA program taps into a wealth of knowledge from national and local working experts in public policy, economic development, housing, education, and environmental management. Dr. Halima Leak Francis, Program Director, comes to Tulane with a background in the nonprofit sector, higher education, and strategic philanthropy. An accomplished educator, practitioner, and scholar, her expertise is primarily in the areas of organizational capacity building, strategic planning and sustainability. Throughout her career she has sought to promote equity and the strengthening of communities through meaningful collaboration, public service, and philanthropic investment.
Most models for preparing public sector leaders were developed generations ago; Tulane’s program will help fill a need for updated, forward-thinking approaches to teaching in this field. The Tulane SoPA MPA program is designed to address the complex challenges facing the civic sector. Graduates will be prepared to be public service leaders who can successfully grapple with the issues facing modern society, including the challenges and opportunities posed by data and technology; the need for improved environmental management and leadership in a time of climate change; and how cities can balance progress and preservation.