Graduate Degree Program in Public Policy and Administration Transcript - Part 2


BOILARD: So let's pick up the conversation.  And as we talked about earlier, we-- the depart[ment]--the program began as this entity, interdisciplinary entity.  And at some point along the line, it became a Department.  And, Ted, can you talk a little bit about how that transformation took place?  

LASCHER: Yeah, I'm glad to, but I think I would stress first that probably the more critical things that happened earlier, that it really was having full-time faculty in the program that was the really crucial change that had people who had tenure lines who are committed to the program.  The move to making it our Department was actually, in many ways more symbolic.  It was-- and in fact, one of the things I discovered when I initiated this and I think that we'd all talked about this at the department that we want to do it.  There weren't really clear guidelines as to what makes something a Department.  And frankly, there still aren't really clear guidelines  about that.  So it was-- you know, we-- essentially, I wrote a memo to the Dean and asked that we-- you know, explain how the Department had grown and how the alumni and how our contributions, et cetera, and then that was approved.  And I think it went up to the Provost at least and was approved to be a department.  But--  

TORCOM:  It was Bill Sullivan's tenure, right?  

LASCHER: No, no, it was Joe Sheley.  And I should say that actually, Rob and I, we on[ly]—I guess this  is right--  we only were under Bill Sullivan's tenure for a few months.  

TORCOM: Yeah.  

LASCHER: Because Joe came--  

TORCOM: In '98.  

LASCHER: Joe came-- No, actually he came in the fall of '96.  So it was really-- It was under his tenure.  

DETWILER: Was there some advantage to be a Department?  Did you get extra perks or a classy parking place?  

LASCHER:  I didn't-- No, no, no, that's a good question, Peter.  But no, we didn't-- actually, it didn't change.  We didn't get extra tenure lines, we didn't get extra staff.  And frankly, that's still being the case.  And since I've been-- just since, while I've been Interim Dean, we moved to make Gerontology a Department.  And that's happened just in the last few months.  But it's more symbolic.  It gives-- You know, it's-- Departments are-- have-- there's more recognition in the staff.  

DETWILER: By whom, by the Faculty Senate  or by the Provost or by students?  

LASCHER:  I think sort of all of those, yeah.  

BOILARD: So when you say that the formation of the Department is more of a symbolic thing that it just kind of puts a name on a more important transformation, which is getting full-time faculty lines, et cetera,  it seems like the program had hit a stride.  It has regular cohorts of students coming through, et cetera.  How did the program/department-- how is it seen on campus?  I think, you know, Rob, you had mentioned there's always some stories about the kind of interdisciplinary nature and the kinds of difficulties that presents.  Ted, you or others had mentioned that the Department kind of had a special understanding in terms of how a number of FTS is counted.  So I'm just trying to think, is--were there rough points or strained relationships once the Department kind of hits its stride?  

LASCHER: Yeah. I think there were.  But I don't think they really had a lot to do with the move to formally being a Department.  Nobody objected to that.  And then, I give frankly, Jean and Cristy and Lou and everybody else a lot of credit for making that probably a lot easier.  There were other things that were much tougher.  And, you know, we, we considered doing an undergraduate major.  And for political reasons and for-- and for, partly for capacity reasons,  we decided to pursue a minor instead.  And that was tougher to get through but also tougher to do.  And then we have eventually actually dropped that.  

BOILARD:  Dropped the idea before it ever materialized? 

LASCHER: No, we tried it for a while and it's funny but this one of those things I thought that-- there are certain things you try and you think, why did we try this?  This was-- but this is one where we went in with our eyes open.  We all knew it was sort of a risk.  And Tim Hodson who's-- that's another name that hasn't been mentioned, and I should say.  So Tim was the Director of the Center before you too, Steve, of course, and was incredibly supportive  through this whole time of the department, came to the meetings, taught classes, did a lot of things  for us behind the scenes.  And Steve warned us that it would be hard to do--  


LASCHER: Excuse me, I mean Ti-- Tim warned us that it would be a tough, tough one to do, but we tried it anyway.  And we just could not get enough students.  And we never had courses in general education and things like that.  So that was tougher and we could talk about some other sort of interdisciplinary efforts that were tougher.  But they weren't-- but just getting--  becoming a department wasn't one of them.  

BOILARD: So it sounds like one  of the themes I've been hearing is there are some on campus  who really view a CSU/ Sacramento State an undergraduate--  the mission really being about undergraduate instruction.  And so, it seems like maybe all graduate programs run into this.  But is there some difficulty in like resource allocation where others can resent that much-- funds and resources--  

LASCHER: Yes, yeah.  And that's been the case in-- with other programs in which we've associated.  And again, giving credit to one of our colleagues, this has been an issue for--  this was an issue in the formation of the educational doctorate program that that was seen as a potential issue by lots of people.  And. Cristy did a good job of sort of warning us about a lot of these things from the outset.  But yeah, that's always been an issue of-- for graduate programs.  And, it still is because there's no separate funding for graduate programs.  And so, that means-- and campuses has receive money based on full-time equivalent students; and the graduate students pay a little more and they're counted a little more, but not as much--  not sufficiently enough to make it to be proportional.  So essentially, you need a lot of undergraduate students  to support graduate programs, and that's always been the case.  And this is been an issue since I've gotten here.  

BOILARD: So some other departments would have their own undergraduate programs and they could kind of make a better argument to well, you know, we're subsidizing our own graduate programs.  So by definition, somebody else has to be subsidizing.  

LASCHER: Right, whether it's within their own Department or within a College or things like that.  But one way or another, there are some cross subsidies that are needed.  

BOILARD:  Cristy?  

JENSEN:  I think another part to this issue--  this challenge about appropriate resources in support at the graduate level-- I think it comes in a way in the--  that overall Sac State culture that had developed way back of not-- of being a non-elitist institution.  In contrast to Don's use of the term “People's University”  which was an inclusive--  some people pitted it as you're elitist,  you think you're better than-- that kind of thing.  And so, every time there was an effort to establish centers for excellence or maybe the-- I still think of the color—“pu”, ”puise?” --

TORCOM:  Yes, purple and


JENSEN:  There was a whole color coding of programs--  

TORCOM: Jolene established a committee.  We really had to establish some priorities within the University.  And I was involved with the one in Arts and Sciences and we had to rank all the departments.  And we didn't want to go by medium and low or-- so we developed a color coding.  Jolene was not amused [laughter].  

BOILARD: Were you supposed to be ranking them on what basis or to-- according to what criteria?  

COHAN:  How many students they got?  

TORCOM:  A variety of criteria in terms of their centrality to the mission of the University.  


TORCOM: At some point, you have to be willing to say goodbye to something.  We don't teach how to like to take buggy whips anymore.  That's probably not the best example--  

DETWILER: Well, the Department of Serbo-Croatian languages wasn't--  didn't have a lot of FTE that year.  

TORCOM: Right.  


TORCOM: So, that is a difficult problem.  We took it.  We took the-- We took it very seriously.  

 [unknown speaker]: Yes, we did  

TORCOM: But we just didn't like having to use those--  

DETWILER: So, you color-coded them?  

TORCOM: -- other words, so we color-coded them.  

DETWILER: What was the best color?  

TORCOM: I think it was purple.  

DETWILER: Look at that [pointing to Torcom’s purple jacket]  

BOILARD: Well, this gets back to I think the whole theme of all of these discussions and that is, what is the mission, what is the identity of Sacramento State?  What's its comparative advantage?  And, one of the reasons for talking about PPA is because, you know, Don is always taking the view that this is central to a State University in a State Capital, connecting to the policy community to leveraging in that proximity to government.  And, not just training people who are currently working in that government,  but presumably the University also is able to make contributions to policy discussions and the policy apparatus.  Ted?  

LASCHER:  And, you know, Don I think coined the term, or under Don's watch, of the “Capital  Campus”.  An interesting thing to me is that then -- after Don left, that sort of fell out of favor for a while, but  it's sort of coming back, that very term.  But for the very reasons you say, Steve, about the sort of the recognition of where we are and our comparative advantage and things of that sort.  I mean, I still get into discussions with people, you think about it, this is the center of the most important sub-national government in the known physical universe.  And that's when you put it that way, it's pretty important, you know?  

[Multiple Speakers]: Crosstalk. Yes, it is important.  

GERTH:  I'll have to remember that one.  

BOILARD:  So, this-- sticking with this theme of connecting  to the government in the downtown, how did--  as the Department was developing its faculty, it seems like there continues, though, to be, you know, a core faculty, full-time faculty, and continue to make use of adjunct faculty like my neighbor here [referring to Peter Detwiler].  And, could you talk-- could any of you talk just  about the thinking of how those adjunct faculty are able to--  how that leverages this relationship to government or how it enhances the instruction in the  department?  

JENSEN:  OK. I think that's a really essential question because, I think, I've had a lot of experience with a lot of different adjunct faculty members, co-teaching with them at USC.  And, it's a challenge to move, to be able to utilize this tremendous practitioner expertise in an academic classroom.  I mean you have everything from--  and I won't name names, but you have people, you know, who could regale the students with war stories for, you know, an hour and get them in stitches, but doesn't know how to pull  that into what are the patterns we're seeing, what are the lessons learned.  What-- So, a part of it's the teaching thing, it's not just getting up and telling what you did for 30 years as the LAO director or whatever.  And so-- And then there's the burdensome,  the student advising, the things that Peter does so beautifully,  the connecting with the students and the supervising thesis.  It's hard to find ways that are unusual.  It's unusual to find practitioners, you know, who want to spend all of that time because the students obviously then want Peter as their reader because he has this expertise.  

DETWILER:  I had 48 theses.  

JENSEN: Yeah. So, I just wanted to say that that whole issue of how to utilize and how to get the best--  

LASCHER:  I agree with Christy.  One thing I'd stress is it's harder than people often realize.  

JENSEN: Yes.  

LASCHER: That-- I mean, look.  If we had a dozen Peter Detwilers around, it would be easy because Peter combines all these sorts of skills.  But ,we did encounter times where we would invite people in who had a distinguished record, who had done really good things, and struggled in a classroom for a variety reasons.  Either they told war stories or they couldn't get the-- or they couldn't do discussion very well, or they couldn't get the rigor right.  I mean, we-- Interestingly enough, we sometimes had people who assigned-- in their effort to be more academic, they would assign way too much reading.  

JENSEN: Yeah.  

LASCHER: And then-- Yeah.  And then that thing that-- which wasn't appropriate, that--  for people who are working part-time.  

JENSEN: Yeah.  

LASCHER:  Again, you know, I shouldn't say just Peter, but also Steve Boilard, who taught for us.  I mean, we had people with great practitioner experience who did well, but we also had people who struggled.  And we actually then had to like try to make--  moderate and make things better afterwards and stuff.  So, it's-- I would still find-- I don't know, Rob and Cristy probably had the same thing happened to them.  But I would regularly get people who would say, call me as Chair and say, oh, I've been in public service for 30 years.  I thought now I'd like to teach, you know.  And like-- And you'd say, have you ever had any experience?  No. You know, have you-- And it's like, you know, I've watched Department of Finance for 30 years.  It'd be fun to lead the Department of Finance, you know, I mean, but there was-- the people would seem to be--  there's this view that if you can--  if you've done it, you can teach.  Well, teaching is actually a skill that you develop over time that isn't, you know, it isn’t just a function  of having had a lot of experience.  And that's one of the issues that we can--  

DETWILER: Well, let me look at that from the practitioner's point of view.  

LASCHER: Yeah.  

DETWILER: Looking in it at all of you guys, my relationship with Cristy goes back to ASPA, the American Society for Public Administration,  the local chapter, in the early to mid '80s.  And I think I followed you as ASPA Chapter Chair in '80--  you know, it's kind of weird to be, you know, an officer in the American Society for Public Administration in 1984.  The Orwellian undertone was just too wonderful.  But it was because of that relationship that you hired me on a one-time contract at USC.  And, what really helped me was, you said, here's the syllabus, here's our curriculum, here's how this course fits in, and we need you to teach this, fiddle with it,  but it's got to be this.  And it was even more than a template.  So, I could teach that and then that was, you know,  probably three or four years later once you migrated a little further east to this campus and then drew me  in to teaching the introductory course.  Again, it was an established course.  And so, I didn't have to make it up.  It wasn't as amorphous as budgeting or something  where it would  really be a struggle for a practitioner to think through rigorously about what needs to be transmitted and then how to illustrate it.  So, I came to teaching  by whatever you had all produced ahead of me and then slowly made it my own.  And then after about five years, the program or the department, whoever you were at that time, whether you'd reached statehood status or you were still a territory, right?  But maybe once you'd reached statehood status, you all as a faculty made the decision that core courses were to be taught by full-time faculty members.  And I was little hurt losing 200.  

JENSEN: And we were--  


JENSEN:  -- hurting too.  

DETWILER: But the advantage was, I got to develop this other course and was able to teach that all on and off all the way through '15.  So, I learned a lot about teaching because of what I inherited from you guys, and that was really helpful.  I think it'd be very different to just be handed a blank sheet of paper and say create a course.  Thank you.  

LASCHER: And I appreciate what Peter said.  Again, we've had some good-- really good practitioners over time, but we've-- but along with the other issues.  But the other thing I think Peter is pointing out, since we do have a curriculum that fits together in a particular way--  

DETWILER:: Yeah  Right.  

LASCHER: -- and the faculty regularly meets to talk about what goes in there, so-- and how the courses fit together--  

BOILARD: going back to Rob's point of teaching objectives and how they really fit..  

LASCHER:  Right. And so, one issue was also that sometimes, it took a lot for a practitioner to come in not just do the content and the pedagogy right, but to really see where it fits, you know.  And that we need-- you know, we need this  not necessarily that, you know, because we're doing that somewhere else.  

BOILARD: So, it's one thing as a-- to have this conception going back  to Don's view for the university  that what we really need is a interdisciplinary program that's going to really focus on policy administration that's going to be practical.  And, we're going to work with people who currently work in government or want to work in government and we're going to provide them with valuable skills.  This isn't just going to be a, you know,  philosophical exercise.  But there does have to be-- you know, the curriculum is developed with a, as you were pointing out, with a logic to it that builds on different pieces.  There's that piece of it but at the same time, we want to tap into the strength that we have by our proximity to the Capital.  So, it would be one thing to say, here's the kind of adjunct faculty we need and let's go identify them and solicit, you know, them to come help us out.  It's another thing as you say, Ted, to kind of get these unsolicited offers saying,  hey, I want to teach.  

LASCHER: Yeah.  

BOILARD: You know, I've got a lot of experience, not teaching,  but I've got a lot of experience.  So, I'm just trying to think how able is a-- is the Chair or the department able to identify the right adjunct faculty to bring on.  Is it a kind of crapshoot, is it something that over time that you kind of start to work it out or is it a constant struggle?  I'm trying to think, how do you make-- it's one thing to have a Department on paper and have a curriculum on paper.  It's another thing to make it work.  

JENSEN: One thing I would suggest as an out-- as an issue right at the beginning of that question is the circumstances under which this distinguished practitioner becomes available to you as a Department.  And it's—it’s sometimes it's through a messy path of someone in the legislature is termed out and has been supportive and wants to come back and doesn't really have academic credentials or the temperament, but you have to find-- I mean, but you're kind of told you have to do, you know, you--  

COHAN: Find some place--  

JENSEN: You have to find a way to utilize, that's it, kind of maybe utilize his or her expertise.  So, that's just something-- it's not always the matter of the Department saying,  do we really need somebody to strengthen the ethical component of our-- this class?  And who's a practitioner that we've all worked with or know, or a former-- or alum that can fill that?  That happens, but my own experience has been it was more the other way where you get a call from Development or--  

BOILARD: So it's a two-edged sword of being located in a government town with a lot of connections to the political processes.  There's advantages with that but you're also exposed to these political factors and political requests, yes.  

WASSMER: You know, one thing I had when coming here from teaching  in a doctorate program was the need to be practical, you know, to find practitioners and to adopt to your curriculum  to be contemporary to what's going on.  And so, I mean I think you bring practitioners into the classroom as much as you can, you know, to talk on subjects and get students involved with them and have capstone type of classes where students organize discussions and focus groups and all of that.  And then, you know, when you're calling upon maybe look at the experience that you had with them in the classroom then that can maybe lead to picking them to come in and teaching an entire class.  But I think this was probably, you know, the period that we're talking about, this was probably more of an issue than what we're having currently in that regard that we have a pretty strong core of faculty right now and our courses are largely covered by that.  And it's-- our public budgeting class is the one that we've had issues for a while  and that we've never had really a public budgeting expert  and we've drawn upon Steve, who did a very nice job in teaching that at one point.  And we have a current staffer from the legislature teaching that now.  But that is an interesting course from my perspective as an economist, you know, and as a finance person,  there's very specific economic theory and even political theory in regard to budgeting.  But, you know, when you bring the practitioner in,  it becomes more of a practical course, you know,  of a political course and budgets as political statements.  And we only covered some of that in our political environmental policy making  so there is a tradeoff, you know, between the two.  I'd like that practitioner to have an economist come in, you know, maybe and give two or three lectures and then go back to the practitioner.  It's always that fine balance between how you reach the-- strike a balance between those two.  

BOILARD: Ted?.  

LASCHER:  Somebody mentioned one area though that I think was-- that heavily involved practitioners and was I think clearly very successful.  And that was the area of Collaborative Governance.  And this then connects to, I know, another discussion you've had [referring to Panel Discussion #2 of this series]. But I would say sort of in the first couple of years that I was Chair, one of the big themes was that we needed stronger public management.  So we needed to push through some more strength in public management side and more options there.  And at that point-- so we all agreed on it as a faculty.   I can remember a specific retreat where we talked about that.  And, one-- we all decided that I-- that it would be a good idea for me to reach out to Susan Sherry, and it turned out-- who was then Director of the Center for Public Dispute Resolution at that time, before it became the Center for Collaborative Policy.  They needed-- and they wanted to strengthen their academic ties.  And so, there was this mutuality of interest which of course is exactly what Susan talks about in all of her work.  And so, slowly over a number of years and, you know, we developed first one course and then two courses and then  actually for a while three courses and a certificate.  But-- and that was always-- we reached out to them.  They were practitioners, but sort of academically oriented practitioners.  They helped really develop-- they really took the lead on developing the curriculum.  And then I actually started teaching in that area but really later on because we knew one of us needed  to have some of that skill that--  

WASSMER: And, Ted, that's a great example because you took the lead in doing a theoretical course to begin.  

LASCHER:  Right.  

WASSMER: So bringing the academics into it and then bringing a practitioner to be coming afterwards with the Saturdays working with actual clients.  And that really is a perfect example of what we're to bring the both together.  

BOILARD:  So it would be fair to say that doing that, building this stable of practitioners and integrating them with the more academic side,  is that something that would be much more difficult at a, any of the other CSU campuses?  

DETWILER: Well, the State Capital isn’t in Bakersfield.  

 [unknown speaker]: Yeah.  

BOILARD: Yeah. You could be more local government-focused I suppose.  You could bring in people working in local government.  

JENSEN:  Well, and then Long Beach is--  

LASCHER: Yeah.  

JENSEN: -- is known for being successful doing that on a regional government--  

LASCHER: Right.  

WASSMER: City level.  

JENSEN:  -- city, county.  


BOILARD: And then I wonder, you know, we talk about would you say, Rob, 500 alums at this point.  

WASSMER:  Yeah, approaching that.  

WASSMER: Somewhere between 450 and 500.  

BOILARD: Several hundred alumni, a number of those alumni are in positions of influence in the government and I'm wondering to what extent does that-- we're down to see it to Sacramento State's broader visibility and connections downtown.  I'm trying to think, is there any overlap or is it really just-- is it really something--  I guess what I'm trying to say is, do the students who go  through this program, see it primarily as, yeah,  I'm in the PPA program, I know the faculty,  I know my cohort of students. Is it more that than I'm a Hornet at Sacramento State or is there some overlap to the campus, more broadly?  

WASSMER: I mean I think those alums, you know, and the Alumni Association that has been formed, the Hornets Politics & Policy Association, within the last 10 years, you know,  are our strongest ambassadors.  I mean, I think that was the vision that Don and Cristy had,  ou know, to be a Capital Campus and to put those people out there that are working in almost every state agency  or legislature, SACOG, city government, county government,  you know, we-- our tentacles are wide and spread out.  And, you know, they're great aspirants for the current students, you know, role models that you can point to that, you know, they started out just like you sitting in this class, never had microeconomics, you know, never saw the whole melding,  they never saw the communication type stuff that they we’re teaching  and they've taken that and used that as a base to build great careers.  I mean, a lot of, you know, unsung heroes, you know, that are at middle level type positions are out there.  And, you know, they recruit for us and they are just great examples.  I always tell students it's very hard to find somebody who speaks ill of our graduates, right?  I mean, did you-- you really have to make an effort to find  out that that was a program, you know, that I wasted my time and I didn't learn anything or it wasn't a good investment.  And-- so I think, yeah.  I mean, I think that's important.  And I think it reflects very well on the campus, you know, and the need even for our CSU to be concerned  about master's level education, because those are the movers and the shakers that go out into the community and can really make a difference.  And I think it's a real credit  that we can say we attract private school people, we attract UC people in equal numbers to CSU people.  You know, and our graduate program is not built on Sac State students just coming along and continuing.  I mean really it's not at all.  I mean, part of it is because we don't have an undergraduate program.  But, you know, we don't draw mainly from econ or government or sociology at the undergraduate level for the people that come into our program.  

JENSEN: I think there is though-- I think we've done a lot and Ted and Rob are both really active in supporting, and you, Peter, in terms of meeting with that alumni group, you know,  informally and formally.  But I think that in the spirit-- in the new spirit of entrepreneurial,  I would call  it privatization or commercialization of the academic enterprise.  But the-- that we need to--  we can still do more to develop a very visible culture of responsibility that alums have back to us, not only in--  I've worked in a private university setting where that expectation of what you do as a Trojan, in terms of supporting the school  or whatever, is really there.  I mean you're constantly urged to do that.  You're constantly invited to take interns, you know, develop internships for students and that kind of thing.  So I think there is-- there's still more of that kind  of groundwork or-- you know, to be done.  I don't know.  Peter, did--  

DETWILER: You know, I was at the University of Wisconsin for my Master's in this sort of transition.  It was then called the Center for the Study of Public Policy and Administration, really unwieldy title.  But it grew out of political science.  And I don't know whether I was way too young and naive to understand whether there was some faculty revolt going on,  but one of the tenured professors created this Center.  And she drew from other academic departments and created the Center.  And that eventually became the La Follette School of Public Affairs.  And so in the alumni materials that I see, there is a continuing outreach.  Every time they get a presidential management intern, that information is out and-- to other-- to the alumni community.  And they've made terrific inroads in their state government of placing people.  And so, it's a program that matured-- you know, its creation story sounds a lot like the Sac State creation story, and yet they have way more faculty.  And they have dedicated staff members, paid university staff members to do alumni and placement.  And I would hope that those resources, at some point, would become available to serve those 500 to double that number. 

BOILARD: Yeah, Ted.  

LASCHER: A couple of things I'd say.  There's one other name that hasn't come  up here who's actually been critical  in the success of the program.  And that's Suzie Byrd--  


LASCHER:  -- who's been our staff person from--  since I arrived here.  And Suzi has-- is very talented and really--  and does a great job of getting PPA information out there  so that we probably have, as our little department has one  of the-- and for years, has had one of the best websites on campus, the most information, the most interesting things.  She has, more recently, has really pushed the social media thing.  So, I think most people who've looked at what we've done  at a department level would say we do a lot  to reach out to alumni.  And--  

DETWILER: Compared to other programs--  

LASCHER: Compared to other programs-- The problem, in part, is that--  


LASCHER: --and I mean-- is that sometimes the University as a whole hasn't done as well.  I think we're doing better now in reaching out to alumni.  So while I think our department has done quite well in reaching out, I'm not-- and I'm, you know, I'm--  I regret saying this, and it's hard, but I don't know if the University, as a whole, has done as well.  And just as a sign sort of how much loyalty there is to the Department, I would note that Rob was-- had supervised a thesis a couple of years ago  and I was the second reader on--  that looked at contributions to campus--  

WASSMER:  Oh yeah.  

LASCHER: --And which actually showed that PPA students are way out of line with the rest of the campus in terms of proportion giving money.  And so-- And this was shown-- we used to have regression analyses-- [laughter].  

DETWILER: Who knew?  

LASCHER:  But-- Who knew?  So, again-- I mean, I think that we've made a very strong effort.  You know, we've have an alumni chapter that has won alumni chapter of the year multiple times.  But then, there's also the question of it has to be imbedded in a larger University effort to reach alum.  And I think again the University is getting much better, but that hasn't always been the case.  

BOILARD: Are there other departments or programs on campus  that similarly make heavy use of practitioners, that would--  that may be drawing upon similar kinds of students?  

DETWILER: What about Gerontology, you know, that started out as a program when you guys started out as a program or, or Social Work or, or Criminal Justice?  

COHAN: Well, I think Criminal Justice probably is very active.  

LASCHER: And Gerontology does.  There are a few departments that use practitioners, yeah.  

BOILARD: I’m just trying to think of how much of an outlier is PPA on campus--  I mean, you're saying, you know, the alumni relations clearly are different.  

LASCHER: Yeah.  

DETWILER:  Is it in the nature of an interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary program like gerontology  and criminal justice and PPA that you would go to the practitioner community and--  

LASCHER:  Well-- But it gets complicated still  because this also gets overlaid with budgetary issues.  


LASCHER: And what's happened was that the budget, particularly after the Great Recession, the budget was so bad that people--  that really the campus was moving to about 50% of the sections were part--  were being taught by part-time instructors.  And that was not out of conscious design to use practitioners, but just there wasn't--  we weren't doing any hiring.  I remember one year when I was in the Dean's office, we hired one faculty member for the entire year.  

[unknown speaker]: Wow.  

LASCHER:  So there-- that gets overlaid onto that as well.  

TORCOM: And our part-time ranks are not just comprised of practitioners.  They were all--  

LASCHER: That's right.  

TORCOM—also academics--  

LASCHER:  Right.  

TORCOM: -- with PhDs who can't get full-time jobs.  

LASCHER: That's right.  

DETWILER: Yeah, fair point.  

BOILARD:  So, one thing we haven't talked about-- we were talking about curriculum.  One thing we haven't really touched on a lot is decisions or efforts with regard to accreditation of the program.  And, Cristy, you have a knowing look about this.  

JENSEN:  Well, I was going to-- I was-- related to the previous point, I was going to bring up the issue of accreditation.  One of the challenges or opportunities or challenges, depending on how you look at accreditation bodies, is that the interdisciplinary fields tend not to have them as much as strict disciplinary fields.  So I was thinking in terms of resources to use practitioners as a special thing.  I was thinking I wonder what's happening with the Physical Therapy department, which has its new applied doctorate, audiology,  speech and audiology, you know,  where they're using great degree inflation, you know, as a tool in the field and raising money.  And it's all connected together.  Interdisciplinary fields, we don't have anybody to really push against or--  as much--  to say our body requires this or that or they're urging resources for this or that. So I mean, I think that's--  I don't know whether what's happened with our NASPA work,  whether that's going to-- but I don't know that NASPA--  

DETWILER: Ted and I had an exchange about that a couple  of months ago because I had noted, I think,  in an ASPA publication, the-- at CSU campuses, those programs which had the name Public Administration somewhere embedded or Public Policy, something like 80% of those had NASPA certifications.  And I remember being at some faculty meetings here you all would sort of flirt with the idea  and then back away, and then towards it, back away,  and the whole moth and candle thing.  And--  

JENSEN: Yeah.  

DETWILER:  -- Ted set me straight on that by saying--  

LASCHER: I don't think I remember it.  

DETWILER: Well, I think you said it was a conscious choice not to do it.  

LASCHER: Yeah.  

DETWILER: That it was expensive.  

TORCOM:  Expensive.  

LASCHER: Right.  

DETWILER:  It didn't really get you anything.  And it wasn't a good fit for a program department that was both publicpolicy and administration.  

LASCHER: So that's been the issue--  

DETWILER: Is that what you said?  

LASCHER: Yeah.   It's been expensive.  The other thing is-- and then this has to do with also being in a somewhat innovative program.  One problem with doing accreditation too is we're  constantly thinking about it.  At the same time, we're thinking about revising our program.  And so-- I mean, I went--  you know, I actually attended the workshop, the NASPA workshop not this-- in 2016, in the fall of 2016, and I sat through all the workshop about what's involved  and could-- I think we could do it.  But one of the things they told us even was if you're thinking about doing these big changes,  this is probably not the year to do it, you know.  And so-- but the larger context I think Steve is getting at is, it's not required to accredit.  This is not a field where you have to have.  It's not dietetics.  It's not some other fields like that. We are, as Cristy said, truly interdisciplinary,so sometimes the fit is harder.  It's expensive, you know, it's expensive to do it.  And if you look across the range of programs, some, you know, some very notable programs in the state, Berkeley--  


LASCHER:  -- UCLA, USC, I think, right?  I'm not sure of this--  

JENSEN:  Does not--  

LASCHER-- are not NASPA accredited.  

JENSEN: And they make it their badge of--  

DETWILER: Right.  

JENSEN:  -- of honor.  

DETWILER:  Right.  

LASCHER: Yeah. And so we-- it's-- we've been-- we're trained in cost-benefit analysis, right?  And so the questioning is all that we keep going back to, you know,are the benefits of doing NASPA,  do they exceed the cost in terms of both the expense  and the time involved, you know, with--  

WASSMER: And a potential student base is really not national, right?  The accreditation really would then come from somebody coming from South Carolina looking at it and say, why aren't you accredited?  So, I mean, there has been some people locally who have thought  about it, you know, why aren't we accredited, but I think Ted is fully--  the case of what's been talked about.  And, you know, the CSU or at least Sacramento State, does not support paying for accreditation fees unless it is an absolute necessity for your profession.  

LASCHER: Right.  

WASSMER:  So we bumped up against that.  

COHAN: Is there any accreditation program other than NASPA that addresses,you know,  interdisciplinaryprograms at all? 

WASSMER: You know, we did an internal and external review  when I was Chair about five, six years ago.  And we bought in from Long Beach the woman who was in charge of the accreditation program for NASPA and, you know, had gone to site visits and everything like that.  And partly for that exact reason, we we're exploring this type of issue.  And she barely clearly looked at our program and how we'd laid out all these program objectives and what we were teaching and filtering through what was there.  And she said, you would have no problem getting accreditation.  

COHAN: Right.  

WASSMER:  And she-- No, and all the points that Ted raised,  he said it's-- you know, if I-- and she actually--  I think she actually wrote this down, it's still in the documents saying that, you know,  I would not probably recommend you going through it.  You know, it would be too much work for what you have and the payoffs, as Ted mentioned, the benefits would not outweigh the cost.  We flirted with a little bit more a couple years back, we'll probably flirt with it again because we are in the process, as Ted was saying, of thinking about some major changes, you know, in our entire curriculum.  But it's just not an absolute necessity.  And honestly, it's probably about an $8000 bill, you know, when you begin the whole process. 


WASSMER:  And then, you know, we are a member, a dues paying member for NASPA, but once you become unaccredited, even the annual fees become larger and then you move into a reaccreditation file, you know.  So--  

DETWILER: Then they've got you.  

BOILARD:  So-- And so long as the students, the applicants aren't viewing this as, you know,  a particular negative, that it's not--  

WASSMER: Right.  

BOILARD: -- a specifically accredited program and so long as the degree is being accepted by potential employers without concern about it, then yeah, you do kind of get this question of what would be the advantage, you know, what's the point?  The other thing about this program, and, again, I haven’t a tremendous amount of knowledge on this, so I'd be interested in what all of you think, but since I get it's a--  over the years, there's been just a lot of attention to program objectives and learning outcomes really thinking through what is it we want our students to know  by the time they get to this program.  It gets back to the point that it's more of an integrated sequence of courses rather than just kind of grab] bag going to accumulate so many units, and we'll give you a degree.  So, if that's true, if the department has very thoughtfully really paid  attention to what do-- what are the outcomes we want students to have and then you've intentionally integrated them--  too, to your point, Peter, even when an adjunct comes on,  there is some information about here's what you need to be able to convey, here's what the students need to know at the end  of it, then there really is much less of a need for some outside person to come in and say, here's what you need to be doing.  But could any of you talk more about the kind of specific kinds of outcomes that the department expects of its students for its students?  

BOILARD:  What does that look like?  What is it you're saying--  

WASSMER: I wish I had the matrix in front of me

BOILARD: Yeah. I mean-- I don't mean necessarily the specifics but just in general who are we trying to serve?  What does that student leave Sacramento State possessing?  

JENSEN:  One thing that I think to kick this part off that Nancy Shulock brought to our faculty meetings early on was her experience at the Goldman School at Berkeley, where they regularly have a kind of real time 24-hour, 48-hour time period for a group of students to craft a position paper or a proposal or perspectives or something, the kind of thing that would happen in the real world either in the legislative or department setting.  So they did build that in as part of their pedagogy, part of their assignment process.  So, in-- to that end, I think that what Rob was talking about, about the two-page proposal that Department of Finance commented about, the two-page--  what was it, Rob, that--  

WASSMER: It's just more kind of a summary.  You know, read this 20-page report and then come back and brief us or, you know, the governor or one of his executive appointees about what was in this memo and what's the critical things  that you need to take away from it.  

JENSEN: So, those kind of real world time-based, issue-based documents, products, I think is one direction.  

WASSMER:  I think you raised a good point, Steve, especially in this era that we have about, you know, fact-based analysis taking it out of ideology is really--  I mean, in my professional career, I grew up in this program.  You know, I came from an economic background and, you know, we trained as a public finance economist but, you know, that one thing that I wanted to impart upon students from the very beginning on the public policy side of thing is, you know, there is a theoretical role for government in a capitalist economy, right?  And, you know-- and this is where--  you know, when you're trained as a public policy analyst, you should start with this type of thinking, you know, public goods, externalities, market failures, monopolization,  information, asymmetry, all that type of stuff, you know, as a basis for why government should get involved  and start there.  You know, that's on market efficiency type of things, but there's equity-base, there's institutional-base things to think about.  And, you know, we had this triangle analogy that people always talk about, it shows up on the back of our t-shirts, you know, this economist Charles Munger, Munger is talking about bringing these things all together.  But I think that's really a takeaway from our program  and kind of an aha moment.  And it supports what most people who come into the program usually have some type  of interest issue advocacy.  Like the thing we do, there really is a theoretical basis from that.  But then you have to think about, you know, using facts, using previous analysis to think about, OK, as Ted mentioned,  you know, the benefits and the cost  of actually getting involved, right, and then bringing  in the idea of government failure.  You know, there can be market failure, but there can be government failure.  And the liberal side more is obviously thinking about the market failure and the conservative side is more  obviously thinking about the government failure.  So I think that was some of the key points that are takeaways, you know, that we've established in our program and then applying it to contemporary issues, you know.  And in the 20 years, all those contemporary issues have remained in California but some of them have actually come to the forefront.  You know, climate change, you know, is the mother of all market failures, right?  It's got every element of it.  And it's not just an-- a local or a state issue, it's an international issue, you know.  And hence, it requires an international presence.  And that's why I think many conservatives balk at doing something about it  because it requires something like, you know, Paris Accord,  the United Nations getting involved and telling us what our climate admission--  so to recognize and think about that, you know,  and then have a better understanding about why California-- people haven't joined in in broad support  of what's going on with AB 32, I think, is important.  And then also another thing, and I'll just be brief, is what Cristy mentioned about problem definition.  You know, many people when they go into public policy, you know,  they-- you know, the problem is that, you know, we don't have enough charter schools, right?  Well, the problem is that teachers aren't paid enough, right?  Now those are solutions, right, to a broader problem that we help our students-- and this is-- comes out of Bardic School, of, you know, identifying what the promise based on what I talked  about earlier about a role for government in the economy, then coming up with some alternatives and think  about criteria about how to trade out all those alternatives.  And you just get a broader view, a more balanced view of the world in thinking about, you know, why a conservative may support this idea and why a liberal may support this idea.  They may weigh the criteria how they're evaluating them differently.  And I think that really creates some--  brings more people into the middle, more people to think about wanting to think about collaboration, which fits very nicely into what we've done also.  And as I would say, you know, were kind of training you know, training people to be disciples and go out to this and to change the world and it's becoming a bit more important,  you know, in the current environment to have this type of thinking.  And thankful to be in California, more of that type of thinking is actually done.  

BOILARD:  Ted.  

LASCHER:  So I would strongly agree with what Cristy said about, you know, this sort of applied ideas that, you know, apply things to be a lot of problems and what Rob is saying about, teach people about public value  and how you determine that and all that.  The other thing, I would say, is we also try to commit, you know, really get people to think to carefully about what is really feasible.  And that, you know, we have a big emphasis on what you know, the political environment and what--  you know, when are things at, you know, when things are going  to be likely to really happen because of changes  in the agenda and things like that.  And then, within the bureaucracy, you know, how this organizational culture and things like that influence what gets done.  

TORCOM:  Have your alumni comeback to suggest what you should change in the curriculum based on, you know, their experience?  Any suggestions along those lines, what they think might have been overlooked or should be emphasized?  

JENSEN: In the program review maybe one or two cycles ago, we invited a group of alumni to come in and talk with us.  I think they articulated a lot of these themes.  I'm not sure that-- they talked some about like mock-- not mock but, you know, mock --  

COHAN: Practice.  

JENSEN: -- practice appearances before legislative panels.  

DETWILER:  Oh, a huh—[then crosstalk]

JENSEN:  More practice sessions, skill building kinds of things.  

LASCHER: And I would say that's one thing, to me, that from those-- from what we've heard from them, we probably put a bigger emphasis on communicating effectively--  

JENSEN: Yes.  

LASCHER: -- than even we did say 10 or 15 years ago.  So, the intro course, PPA 200, has been sort of restructured  so that it's a little less about introduction to the disciplines,and more about communicating effectively, writing clearly, all those ideas.  So I would say that is something that shows up quite a bit, sort of writing, communicating effectively, being very clear, you know, and succinct and things of that sort.  It's something we want people to come out.  And we do hear that a lot from the-- from people outside that they want that.  

BOILARD:  So all of these are good examples  of just very practical skills, you know, communication and understanding organizational behavior, working with data  and analysis, which, you know, again this sense of data-driven decision-making is an important one,  particularly in an era that-- I  know we're sticking kind of that 2003 end point.  But, but you know, the world has many forces that don't value facts and data, and so equipping our graduates to be able to work in that way is very valuable.  One thing that does strike me though, from my experience in the department, is that there is also, alongside this, you know, data and analysis focus is a recognition of the importance of ethics and ethical behavior, and public value.  And so there are these more--  I don't know what the right word is, but they-- these are--  I don't want to say entirely subjective, but there are these qualitative parts to public service that is really in the core of the teaching of the Department.  I guess I just want to say a little bit that it's not as soulless or as dry as just, you know, doing regression models might initially come across.  You know, those are really important skills to have.  But , they’re embedded within this sense of public value and public good.  However, a student may want to define that.  I think the Department tries not to force one particular view of, you know, here's how you define public good.  But to have students be attentive to that concept in their public service, that you are spending somebody else's money,  you are affecting other people's lives, and so you have an obligation and so I don't know-- This is supposed to be a question.  Somehow it became a speech.  I'm sorry.  

DETWILER: No, no, because sometime in the mid '90s, I think, in one of my sporadic attendances at faculty meetings, there was a robust discussion about chartering you know,  commissioning a separate course on public ethics.  And I thought that was just a grand idea and yet, I think where you came down, which I think is a grander idea is no, we're not going to teach  that as something standalone.  We're not going to wait until, you know, it's the penultimate course before your thesis experience.  We should, as a faculty, embed that in 200 and 240 and 250 and talk about ethics, and talk about values, and talk about public service.  Now I may be completely misremembering that conversation but that's kind of part what I remember.  

LASCHER: That's exactly right.  We had those brief discussions.  And just to give one example,  PPA 210 which is the political environment course--  


LASCHER: -- always had a little ethical component, but we've built more in over time.  

DETWILER: You mean, a little component on ethics?  

LASCHER:  Yeah.  Ok

COHAN: Right.  

LASCHER: Well taken, Peter.  

LASCHER:  But-- So now, there is a segment within PPA 210 that's focused on what kind of--  what's a just society using actually a very good book that's  on theories of justice and then what are our individual responsibilities, you know, in terms of particularly what respect to higher authorities.  So--  

DETWILER:  I think that's a really important discussion that you had as a faculty and so we all know, you know, it is our responsibility as educators, as leaders,  as shapers to make sure that our graduate students are getting this at every step.  

LASCHER: Well, and even that's partly sort of by design and partly practical.  

DETWILER:  Well, you know, you couldn't [inaudible].  

LASCHER: That partly by design is you want to give them a message that it's-- you know, you can talk about ethics  in different places and there may be different sort  of ethical topics.  


LASCHER: The other problem is if you have-- you put it all in one course, that's interesting.  What happens when that person goes on sabbatical or things like that?  I mean, it's their sort of both theoretical reasons why to spread it out and sort of practical you know, do we have somebody who can, you know, do all that, you know?  

JENSEN: And I think-- I know from my own experience getting my  Master's degree in public administration, ethics was taught separately or more distinctly, but it was all “professional code of ethics” that various disciplines have, which is an appropriate way is one way.  But I think what Rob and Ted have alluded to, it is that every one of our disciplinary lenses to well, you know, gives a different set of questions that format.  And so I think we try-- that's another rationale for why we're doing--  we do it in that course--  

COHAN: In my review of the current edition of 210,  I noticed quite clearly that this was different  in these important ways.  There was the analysis, the differentiation between analysis and advocacy, and also the sections on ethics, which were not there at the beginning.  And I thought that was very, very essential and very important.  You know, other things were, you know, about agenda building or-- and, you know, other things were common to what they had been there before-- this is at the very beginning.  So clearly, this, these categories, analyses versus advocacy and ethics are very essential now, and obviously a product of your consultation on some of the years.  

GERTH: Well, it tells--  

WASSMER:   [inaudible] that NASPA, you know, probably when they we're discussing it earlier.  NASPA did have a very specific requirement that there be a standalone ethics course.  NASPA has since come around--  

LASCHER: That's interesting--  


WASSMER: -- throughout the entire curriculum.  

DETWILER: Oh really?  

WASSMER:  We would have to suggest that to be a better way to go. 

DETWILER:  OK.  Well, that's interesting.  

WASSMER: Yeah.  

BOILARD: So it's also notable, I think, that, you know, Ted and Rob to this day and Cristy until recently, stayed with this program for many, many, many years; and so, there is a core-- we talk about core faculty, there's a number of you who have remained involved and developing and modifying and evaluating this program  for years, and year, and years.  And I assume that's a little more unusual.  I mean, I see other departments with a lot more turnover than in PPA.  

LASCHER: Well, there is that.  And then there's the tradition of doing things as a group, which is important.  Now, partly that's possible because we were relatively small.  So-- but, so much is done as sort of committee of the whole.  And you can see it even in certain very tangible ways that we’re different.  I mean, but you can—like, you look—you look at -- every department has a review tenure and promotion document.  And PPA is one of the only ones that makes the Chair of the Department, also the Chair of the RTP committee and the Chair of the search in every place.  So-- but that's the idea is that, it's no, we're not going to divide this into a bunch of separate committees.  We're going to do this as a group, you know, to the extent we can.  And so, I mean, we kid about, but I don't--  what makes us really unique I think is the fact we've had a retreat pretty much every summer since about 2000.  

JENSEN: Oh, before that.

LASCHER: Yeah.  Ok

JENSEN: But yeah, I think that's been built in--  

LASCHER:  Yeah.  

JENSEN: -- at the time when we get together and hash it out.  

COHAN: Hash it out.  

JENSEN:  -- an agenda.  

GERTH:  That is in one sense an advantage of size. If there are a dozen people in a department it's tougher to do that, but it's an extraordinary strength that this department has.  I'm jealous,  you know, Betty Moulds and I moved our academic appointments, I think it was in '96, from government to PPA, in part just to add some strength.  I hate to admit it, but I had talked regularly, fairly regularly, as Jean knows, up until '96, when I got involved in an international organization, and Bev said to me do you think, maybe you ought to pull back on few things.  And so I've never taught in the department, which I regret.  But with the size of the department, you're able to build a sense of purpose and integrity and so on, and it sustained you well.  

BOILARD: Well, I think ownership that--  

GERTH:  Yeah.  

BOILARD: You feel ownership over the department.  You care about it, which I think it has a lot  to do with the success.  

TORCOM: How many other tenured faculty do you have or tenure track, besides the two of you?  

WASSMER: Two others.  Well, soon to be a third.  

LASCHER:  Yeah.  

DETWILER:  Right.  

DETWILER: Not many?  


GERTH: No, that's still a small department.  

LASCHER: No, and the other-- that's one thing that hasn't come up much, is that-- I mean, it's--  like I have some very talented colleagues and over the years, they've done lots of different things, so that what's happened is that people have often had multiple role--  played multiple roles, so you know, you know.  Steve was kind enough to teach for us, but his man job was as Director of Center for California Studies.  You know, Rob has directed the Urban Land Development Program.  People have been involved in the Educational Doctorate program.  So, people often had, then we had both first Nancy [Shulock] then Andrea [Venezia] led educational centers.  So there's a lot of-- there's a small faculty but they also tend-- we also attend multiple roles.  

GERTH:  I didn't realize Andrea was a member of the-- this department.  

TORCOM: Yeah.  


GERTH: Does she teach in the department?  

LASCHER: Yes, but only generally one course a year.  

GERTH: Yeah.  

BOILARD: That also leads to this interdisciplinary angle we've been talking about: that you have people who bring to their teaching in the department other experiences, other relationships, which just adds to richness of the curriculum.  

JENSEN:  And a broad understanding of how the campus or the system is functioning.  I mean, our world view gets expanded because we're out there with our-- so on statewide committees or--  

DETWILER: Faculty senate, or something, yeah.  Is there any other department within your current school that has so few tenured positions?  I think you have five, is that right?  

LASCHER: Yeah, and then for us, it always depends on how you count.  


[unknown speaker]:  But--  

DETWILER: Back to the counting game again.  

COHAN: Some position—[crosstalk]  

DETWILER:  Because it makes one of the smaller departments, does it?  I mean, by contrast, the government must have--  

TORCOM: more.  

 [unknown speaker]-- more.  

 [unknown speaker]: Several.  

DETWILER: Thank you.  

TORCOM:  Not nearly as many as it did in 1970.  


TORCOM:  But certainly more than that.  

LASCHER: There are a couple others-- like gerontology still only has three faculty.  But it has quite a few undergrads at this point

GERTH:  Could I raise a different question?  How do your students get here?  How do students come here?  Are they simply people in public sector or with ambition for public sector employment in this region?  Are they people of state government, with local government?  Or can you] generalized about how students--  who they are and how--  

WASSMER: Yeah. I mean, I think recently, it's probably, you know, within the last five, there's been some changes, but there's probably I would say about one-third are undergraduates, you know, who may have been in a social science or not  in a social science, but have decided that they want to go into government.  You know, they’re-- and some of them actually come from outside of Sacramento, you know, to move up here.  And then the other one third may be the more grizzled veterans, you know, that's been around for 10, 20 years and deciding to want to come back for a PPA.  And then some of the other ones are, you know, only out maybe three or four years  and felt their career a bit stalled.  But, you know, we don't-- we draw pretty well from--  throughout the entire state.  You know, I mean, I guess it's kind of a badge of honor to be the safety school of a lot of people, you know, and then ultimately Ted and I both have tried  to make some calls when people are admitted and to convince them, you know, we've been successful in some ways that, you know, this would be the place  that you'd want to come even, you know, as opposed to going out of state if you really want to work in-- we've had--  we were very close to getting somebody who had Duke and NYU, you know, teaching assistantships and research assistantships, who had, you know, full rides going there, and convincing that they wanted to actually come back to California, and we can make a very legitimate case.  I mean, you know, I'm an economist so I'm competitive by nature.  So one of the proudest achievements that I can think about is how we beat USC, right?  We really did, right?  When we came here, they were the number one place to go for a Master's in Public Administration.  And I think now we are on par or even above.  I can easily make a case when somebody comes in and saying that I have an offer from USC and, you know, the increase in our program have seen with the decline in that program in the number of-- and I think it's due to our focus both on policy and administration, on our much more hands-on approach that we give the students, and even the rigor of our thesis, you know, and then our alumni network is much more stronger here in Northern California than USC does very well in Southern California.  So, I mean, I think that's a major accomplishment, to see where, you know, CSU would come in and beat a private school or the UC at offering a very similar degree.  

LASCHER: And that also relates, Don, I think to where people--  I also think this is related, where people go I mean, because we tell them this when they-- when we are--  and this is whenever we do actually have good data, and that is if you look across the country at schools of public policy and admin, a lot of them are sending a minority  of their students into government.  They're actually sending maybe 30% to 40% of their students.  The rest of them leading to consulting firms, you know--  

COHAN: Political firms.  

LASCHER-- political firms, things of that sort.  We send-- Most of our students go into public service of some sort, and we tell them that,  that you know, we're different.  Our students, yes, some of them go into--  as Cristy mentioned, we have people who joined prominent lobby firms and things like that  and we have people who are at public affairs at Google.  But the most of our students go into state and local government and a few go into federal government.  But one thing is that if you're interested in public service, we can tell people we've got pretty much every state department you can think of, a huge number of local governments and things of that sort, you know.  

BOILARD:  I don't know if this influences the students as much but clearly, I think because we are a State University, that that idea of serving the public is in our DNA.  So, I'm not surprise that we have a lot of our students as opposed to somebody going to maybe a private university that would choose public service.  
COHAN: And maybe they don't have the student loan burden --  

BOILARD:  I think it is an easier pathway for somebody who wants  to go in to public service without having  to pay USC tuition or, you know.  

JENSEN: Your last comment, this last comment about other programs throughout the country, I think that one of the things we haven't mentioned, and I think at least deserves mention because it's on those signs that are outside pointing in here,  State Universities--  Public State Universities in State Capitals.  In the early '90s, Don and Susan Sherry and I and Betty and several others, you know, worked to kind of draw together-- try from an association or collection  or a joining together of schools in state capitals and we did a first conference here--  two here but was it like in '92 or '93.  And we had the LBJ School, we had SUNY, Albany, we had La Follete, we had Southern Illinois.  

GERTH: We actually had--  

JENSEN:  Georgia.  Yeah.  

GERTH:  We actually had every State University in a State Capital-- everyone came--  

TORCOM: Wow.  

GERTH:  -- in the first year.  And we we're asked to do the second year, and did that.  Then we were asked to do the third year and we said, no.  We got to go someplace else.  And w went to our home state to the University of Illinois which then had a new campus in Springfield, the Capital.  And the third was there.  And actually, Steve and I talked not too long ago about maybe trying to do that again here and perhaps whoever comes to the Center for California Studies or somebody around will try and deal with it --PPA could do that for that matter.  As a matter fact, it might help strengthen the Department in another way.  But that was very significant in terms of the emergence of this campus and the PPA program and everything else involved.  We might want to think about that.  

JENSEN: Yeah.  

BOILARD: Well, so we're nearing the end here.  I know Don is going to give us a benediction.  But was there any other comments on this general theme of the PPA Department and how it's connected to Sacramento State--downtown that anybody would like to share?  

JENSEN:  I just like to share one experience that's maybe not been replicated or it doesn't have as broad--  to California but some of the-- this program was--  had an opportunity in the '90s when after the breakup of the Soviet Union, the United States State Department wanted to reach out to American universities in public policy and administration, political science, and others to work with partner institutions in the Soviet--  in the former republic there,  because obviously there was no history of preparation requirements or standards for the appointment  into government positions except party membership and loyalty to the party, although it's sort of maybe coming-- going back to it.  But anyway, so we had--  and during that window when it was opened and was closed again by Putin in 2000, but that window from Yeltsin- Yeltsin's years, where we had an opportunity to send students.  We had three of our graduate students who spent three—three-- four weeks in Vladivostok.  We had other faculty members from the Department--  from the University outside of PPA that spent time teaching there.  So there was a service connection kind of that we provided and we have those students and faculty here for periods of time.  So, you know, that window is kind of--  you know, it closed pretty abruptly  when Putin said he didn't want it anymore-- those government liberals coming over there.  But I'm just bringing it up because lest we think  that we're really only talking our responsibility downtown, there are many different of opportunities for outreach, so I just wanted to make sure.  

BOILARD: You got the Chair of the Department and the Dean both here at the table who can act on that.  Ted, you want say something?  

LASCHER: Well, just very quickly.  We're going to a period of reevaluating Centers on campus.  And I think one thing I should say is that the department has benefited over the years  from close collaboration with a couple Centers.  And that really should be recognized.  And since Steve is here in particular, the relationships between the department and the Center for California Studies has been really, I think, really helpful for the department and I hope the Center as well in terms of students and programs and doing some teaching together and things of that sort.  

BOILARD:  Well, I would-- just as an example of that,  a few years ago, we we're successful  in bringing the annual state politics and policy conference,  the APSA, here at Sacramento State.  And it was the PPA Department and Center for California Studies and the Government Department that really made all that happen.  And it was a good collaboration, I thought.  

BOILARD:  So, Don, did you want gives a benediction?  

GERTH:   I think I simply want to say thank you.  This has been a fascinating discussion, not only for a former president, but for a political scientists.  And it's been a very impressive discussion about all that you have accomplished over the years, and that you have reinforced the notion of what it's like to be a State University in the State Capital.  So I say thanks to all of you and I appreciate your time.  And those of you who are still on active duty, to use my own military expression, and those of us who are not on active duty, you've all contributed a great deal.  

JENSEN: Thank you for your vision.  

TORCOM:  [participating in] these discussions together.  It is just really remarkable, Don, how much was going on during your tenure.  

GERTH:  Well, it still goes on.  It's--  

TORCOM:  But still-- But-- I mean, we're talking about things that were initiated that began and came  to fruition and very successfully  

GERTH: But we need to remember, the campus was founded in '47.  And in a sense, it was ready in the 1980s to go a kind of a new period in its development.  And we had strong support from the trustees.  There were several trustees who almost had this campus as a hobby.  It was very interesting.  The two leaders were Black trustees.  And it took a long time for this system to get any Black trustees on the board, believe me.  And so, a woman named Claudia Hampton and -- what is it—Willie Stennis--he owned a chain of restaurants in Los Angeles, chicken restaurants.  And so, he's the only trustee we've ever had who had a child, he also had become a trustee.  His son--  

[unknown speaker]:  A second-generation trustee.  

GERTH:  Michael Stennis has become a trustee.  They're both deceased now.  Michael had a great deal to do with Jolene becoming the president of the Northridge campus, and so on.  But we had a lot of enthusiasm on the part of board members, not just a few but basically the majority of the board about being the State University in the State Capital and the tremendous support from a fellow named, Barry Munitz,who became chancellor in '91.  Pardon me?  

COHAN: For a while.  

GERTH: Well, he only stayed seven years and then went on to become the president of a major foundation and so on.  Barry is still round but he's active on our Los Angeles campus.  On occasion, he teaches a class there.  And--  

BOILARD:  Well, I agree with Jean though that it was a very fruitful period.  There's a lot—a legacy still going on, so I appreciate everyone's involvement on this panel.  It's been a joyful discussion.  

GERTH: Thank you.  

WASSMER: A quick word.  And I just want to thank everybody involved for, you know, giving Ted and I the base to build this and, you know, and to try to continue to build this.  I mean I think really when you think about it, the stars really aligned, you know, in this period  that we're talking about, you know, in the late '90s  and early 2000s and provide us with this base.  And Ted and I have tried to build upon it and we continue to battle, you know, to continue with this base and to keep the stars aligned.  And, you know, we are aging out ourselves, probably have about a decade or so left.  So we hope that we can continue on with this tradition.  But the stars aren't, you know, aligning as much as they once were, so it's a continual battle.  So, in some sense, we'll try to keep up the good fight.  

GERTH: This is a very complex time in the history, in my judgment, of the California State University with different kinds of emphases emerging, and with a , a different style of administration emerging, given the age, and the maturity of a system that's [inaudible].  So, your-- you and your colleagues are doing a  wonderful job.  

WASSMER: Time will tell.  

GERTH: Thank you all.  

BOILARD: Thank you.