Panetta Offers Degree In Practical Public Policy
Monterey's favorite son will head faculty in new CSUMB program to teach 'how to get things done.'
Thursday, November 7, 2002
While in Washington, Leon Panetta helped protect the Central Coast from offshore drilling by working to establish the Monterey Bay Sanctuary. When Fort Ord was decommissioned Panetta was instrumental in transforming the fort into California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB). The Monterey native will now pass on what he has learned in Washington as a central faculty member in a newly formed master''s program in public policy at CSUMB.
"I hope to give students some understanding of my experiences," Panetta said in an interview this week. "Having worked in Congress and the White House, I understand a lot of the issues involved with implementing policy. I will teach students how to make it through the jungle. How to get things done."
The Interdisciplinary Master''s of Arts in Public Policy program was unveiled last Thursday in a joint press conference held by Panetta, director of the Sylvia and Leon Panetta Institute, and CSUMB President Peter Smith.
The program, which will accept 20 students for the Spring 2003 semester, focuses on the practical side of public policy and will address local issues while drawing on Panetta''s experiences at the federal level.
It is designed to prepare students for careers as congressional staff members, city or county managers, political consultants and environmental analysts.
Courses for the three-year, part-time program will be offered in the evening and on weekends in an effort to attract working professionals.
As the degree program expands, a two-year, full-time enrollment option will be added. In addition to coursework, a 400-hour internship requirement will strengthen practical applications of policy theory.
A major drawing card for the program is Panetta himself. Teaching ''how to get things done'' lies at the heart of Panetta''s practical approach to public policy.
"I always try to stress what practically can be done so you can get policy implemented," said Panetta, who will teach Congressional and Presidential Politics and Policy this spring.
Citing political gridlock in Sacramento and Washington and the potential for war in Iraq, Panetta says the time is right for the program.
"It is a very uncertain time in our nation''s history, a time when the systems of democracy aren''t working well. I can''t think of a more appropriate time to launch this program."
"With its unique emphasis on ethical leadership, collaboration and diversity, this program embodies the CSUMB vision," Peter Smith said.
"This is not just lip service. Public policy leaders of the future need to know how to work collaboratively, ethically, and cross culturally. We saw these core values lacking in other [public policy] programs and feel our program is unique in American higher education."
Part of what makes the program unique is its multidisciplinary nature.
"The new program is extremely collaborative, focusing on service to the community in a very unique, applied, hands-on way. I think it''s going to be an extremely popular program," Smith said, noting that interest in the program already exceeds availability.
Kim Jutson, The new program''s director, said, "We intend to evolve the program to work collaboratively with other policy programs and agencies in the area."
Specialized concentrations for the new master''s program will be available in Electoral Politics and Policymaking and Health and Social Policymaking.
The Interdisciplinary Master''s of Arts in Public Policy program will join CSUMB''s three other master''s degree programs in education, management, and marine science.
Enrollment in the part-time program is $650 per semester for California residents. The program will accept twenty students for the Spring 2003 semester with classes beginning on January 27, 2003.
An information session for interested applicants was held Monday, November 3, at CSUMB.
Applications will be available beginning on Tuesday, November 11. For more information, call 582-4650.