Local Government ProgramWestern Social Science

Courses

Courses in the MPA program are designed to allow part-time students the flexibility to complete the program while working. Courses are offered during week nights, on weekends, and as one week intensives. The program aims to have about thirty students per course with a relatively equal balance between full-time and part-time students.

Please take the time to review the course descriptions, schedules, and outlines to see if the program is right for you.  Josh Morgan is happy to answer any questions you have.

Note: The course outlines will be available about 1 month before the start of a course.  Full-time students will take 9901, 9903, 9911, 9914, 9915 & 9916 in the Fall, 9902, 9904, 9912, 9913 & 9922 in the Winter and 9917, 9923 & the Final Paper in the Summer term.

Fall 2017 Classes

PA 9901 - Advanced Local Government

Objectives:

This course provides an introduction to the structures, functions, and financing of local government in Canada. The focus is on Ontario, but students will also learn about the history of local government in Canada, the United States, and Western Europe. Through surveys of relevant academic literature, student presentations, and class discussions, students will develop views on the appropriate role for local governments in governing Canadian communities.

Main topics:

Systems of local government; historical ideological movements; central-local relations; special purpose bodies; annexation; amalgamation; regional government; fragmentation; council-staff relations; budgeting and finance; property tax.

  • Wednesdays: Sept 13, 2017 - Nov 29, 2017
    Times: 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
    Location: Room 4255 SSC
  • Instructor: Joeseph Lyons
    Email: jlyons@uwo.ca
    Office: Political Science Dept
  • Term Code: 1178 (Fall 2017)
    Class No: TBA

PA 9903 - Organizational Behaviour in a Local Government Environment

Objectives:

This course introduces students to selected aspects of the academic literature on organizational behaviour. Students will learn how to apply theories and concepts from the organizational behaviour literature to public sector organizations, with a particular emphasis on local government administration. Using case studies, students will learn how to analyze problems and challenges of local government administration through an organizational lens.

Main topics:

The aims of public sector organizations; local government organizations and their changing environment; comparison of public and private sector management practices; council-staff relations; structure and culture in local government organizations; decision-making in public organizations; power, motivation, diversity, leadership and organizational change.

  • Thursdays: Sept 14, 2017 - Nov 30, 2017
    Times: 11:30 am - 1:30 pm
    Location: London City Hall (Committee Room 4)
  • Instructor: Jennifer Kirkham
    Email: jenkirkham02@gmail.com
    Office: 4226 SSC *in the Local Government Library/Lab during class days only
  • Term Code: 1178 (Fall 2017)
    Class No: TBA

PA 9911 - Municipal Law

Objectives:

This course provides students with a general overview of municipal law. Students will be introduced to the field through a review of legislation and cases related to a selection of municipal law topics. The goal is for students to learn how to apply the law to legal issues that tend to arise for municipal officers, administrators and employees. The course is organized to provide students with opportunities to participate in exercises and examine issues leaving them with a better understanding of how the law works and how to deal with legal issues that may arise for local government administrators.

Main topics:

An introduction to law in Canada, constitutional and statutory framework for municipal corporations, municipal practices and procedures, municipal decisions, land use planning law in Ontario, and special topics in municipal and land use planning law.

Dates: Sep 29 Sep 30 Nov 3 Nov 4 Dec 1 Dec 2
Times: 3pm - 7pm 9am - 4pm 3pm - 7pm 9am - 4pm 3pm - 7pm 9am - 4pm
Location: 4255 SSC
  • Instructors:
    K. Strong - Previous Instructor
    Email: strong@municipallawyers.ca
    Office: 4226A SSC *in the Local Government Library/Lab during class days only

    T. Oudekerk - Previous Instructor
    Email: oudekerk@municipallawyers.ca
    Office: 4226A SSC *in the Local Government Library/Lab during class days only
  • Term Code: 1178 (Fall 2017)
    Class No: TBA

PA 9914 - Research Methods

Objectives:

This course is designed to introduce students to the research process. The principles and techniques covered here will be useful both for academic work (including the MPA Research Report) and for applied administrative and policy research. As well, it is designed to help students critically evaluate research encountered in academic work and on the job.

Main topics:

Research methods - the research process, operationalization, survey and questionnaire design, the logic of experimentation, qualitative techniques. Statistics - simple descriptive statistics, estimation and inference, measures of association, analysis of variance, regression and multiple regression.

Dates: Sep 15 Sep 16 Oct 20 Oct 21 Nov 17 Nov 18
Times: 3pm - 7pm 9am - 4pm 3pm - 7pm 9am - 4pm 3pm - 7pm 9am - 4pm
Location: FNB WALS 2210
  • Term Code: 1178 (Fall 2017)
    Class No: 1055

PA 9915 - Program Evaluation

Objectives:

The purpose of the course is to familiarize students with the major issues in the fields of program and policy evaluation. Students will develop an understanding of the theoretical frameworks used for evaluative research, validity issues in evaluative research, and the multi-methods, theory-driven approach to evaluation. The course reviews the process through which policies and programs are considered, developed, approved, implemented and evaluated. Evaluation research is of increasing relevance in an era where economy, efficiency and effectiveness are integral to the delivery of public sector services.

Main topics:

Types of evaluation, including formative, process and summative evaluation, economic evaluation, and performance measurement; evaluation design and delivery in a climate of evolving citizen and political expectations; relevant externalities such as professional judgment, ethics and objectivity, public expectations, and political sensitivities.

Dates: Sep 22 Sep 23 Oct 27 Oct 28 Nov 24 Nov 25
Times: 3pm - 7pm 9am - 4pm 3pm - 7pm 9am - 4pm 3pm - 7pm 9am - 4pm
Location: 4255 SSC
  • Instructors: Bill Irwin - Previous Instructor
    Email: birwin6@uwo.ca
    Office: 4226A SSC *in the Local Government Library/Lab during class days only
  • Term Code: 1178 (Fall 2017)
    Class No: TBA

PA 9916 - Theories of Public Administration

Objectives:

This course introduces students to selected elements of the academic literature on theories of public administration in modernity. Students will learn how to use theory-based critical analysis in the study and in the practice of public administration. Source materials for the course and classroom discussions will provide students with the opportunity to learn to analyze current and emerging issues in local government administration through a theoretical lens.

Main topics:

Public administration in the era of modernity; local government and public administration in a global economy; modernity, rationality and bureaucracy; the nature of theory and the role of theory in public administration; Weber and the classic model of bureaucracy; New Public Management; post-modern public administration; theories of elitism, corporatism, democracy and pluralism; Marxist and neo-Marxist theory; public administration in a multi-level governance model.

Dates: Sep 8 Sep 9 Oct 13 Oct 14 Nov 10 Nov 11
Times: 3pm - 7pm 9am - 4pm 3pm - 7pm 9am - 4pm 3pm - 7pm 9am - 4pm
Location: 4255 SSC
  • Instructors: Andres Perez - Previous Instructor
    Email: aperez@uwo.ca
    Office: 4164 SSC 
  • Term Code: 1178 (Fall 2017)
    Class No: TBA

Winter 2018 Classes

PA 9902 - The Policy Process in Local Government

Objectives:

This course introduces students to selected aspects of the academic literature on the making of public policy. Students will learn how to apply theories and concepts from the public policy literature to Canadian local governments. Using case studies, students will learn how to determine the main factors that cause different kinds of local public policy outcomes in different circumstances.

Main topics:

The external and institutional contexts of municipal policymaking; the stages of the policy cycle, with an emphasis on the "multiple streams" approach to understanding the policy process, including problem definition, agenda-setting, policy diffusion, public engagement, instrument choice, implementation, and evaluation.

  • Wednesdays: January 10, 2018 - April 5, 2018 (No class on Feb 21 or Mar 14)
    Times: 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
    Location: Room 4255 SSC
  • Instructor: Martin Horak - Previous
    Email: mhorak@uwo.ca
    Office: 4142 SSC
  • Term Code: 1181 (Winter 2018)
    Class No: TBA

Prerequisite: You must take course PA9901 before taking this course.

PA 9904 - Local Government Management/Administration

Objectives:

Drawing upon theories and research findings in public administration and management, this course examines administrative approaches, issues and debates arising in local governments in a changing environment. Students will learn how the complex and unstable environment of public sector organizations produces both challenges and opportunities for public sector managers, and will work through case material that requires them to apply insights from management and public administration literature to real-world local government settings.

Main topics:

Models of public management (New Public Management, New Public Service); leadership; managing on the edges; managing the policy process; ethics and values; interacting with the administrative environment (Council, stakeholders, the public); partnerships and contracting out; public value; service delivery and service implementation.

  • Thursdays: January 11, 2018 - April 5, 2018 (No class on Feb 22 or Mar 15)
    Times: 11:30 am - 1:30 pm
    Location: London City Hall - Committee Room 4
  • Instructor: Joe Lyons - Previous
    Email: jlyons7@uwo.ca
    Office: 4162 SSC
  • Term Code: 1181 (Winter 2018)
    Class No: TBA

Prerequisite: You must take course PA9903 before taking this course.

PA 9912 - Financial Management

Objectives:

This course focuses on the tools and understanding that public managers in local government require to effectively manage public resources in the service of good public policy. Students will develop an understanding of the basic elements of public sector financial management, and learn to appreciate how financial considerations play a role in virtually every local government activity.

Main topics:

The financial planning cycle of local government and its impacts on policymaking; understanding and interpreting financial information (basic accounting principles, financial statements); sound financial management in local government (resource allocation, effective budget management, management control); elements of financial accountability (reporting, internal and external oversight).

Dates: Jan 26 Jan 27 Feb 23 Feb 24 Apr 6 Apr 7
Times: 3pm - 7pm 9am - 4pm 3pm - 7pm 9am - 4pm 3pm - 7pm 9am - 4pm
Location: 4255 SSC
  • Instructor: Kelley Coulter - Previous Instructor
    Email: kcoulte7@uwo.ca
    Office: 4226A SSC *in the Local Government Library/Lab during class days only
  • Term Code: 1181 (Winter 2018)
    Class No: TBA

PA 9913 - Economics and Policy Analysis

Objectives:

This course introduces students to microeconomic theories and concepts. Economic theoretical approaches relevant to public administration, and specifically local government, will be examined. Practical exploration of these concepts will allow students to understand, assess, and utilize microeconomic tools in a local government context. Prior knowledge of microeconomic concepts is not necessary or expected.

Main topics:

An introduction to core microeconomic concepts (supply, demand, utility, intangibles, etc); various microeconomic methodologies relevant to local-level governments such as cost-benefit analysis and intangible valuation strategies; practical application of concepts and theories to enhance decision making at the local level.

Dates: Jan 12 Jan 13 Feb 2 Feb 3 Mar 2 Mar 3
Times: 3pm - 7pm 9am - 4pm 3pm - 7pm 9am - 4pm 3pm - 7pm 9am - 4pm
Location: 4255 SSC
  • Instructor: Rob Leone - Previous
    Email: rleone@uwo.ca
    Office: 4140 SSC 
  • Term Code: 1181 (Winter 2018)
    Class No: TBA

PA 9922 - Human Resource Management

Objectives:

Drawing from interdisciplinary theories and research findings as well as practitioners’ applications and best practices, this course provides an overview of current human resource management functions, responsibilities and issues. The aim is to expose students to progressive and strategic human resource management, with emphasis on the Canadian local government environment. Using an analytical case study approach, we take a multi-stakeholder perspective on HRM, and explore the essential and complimentary roles of managers and HR practitioners.

Main topics:

Human resource management and planning, current HR challenges; legal framework of HRM; defining and designing work; recruitment, selection and orientation; HR planning, training and development; performance management and dealing with poor performance; labour relations and collective agreement administration; HR implications of downsizing, restructuring and amalgamation; compensation policy; health and safety; workplace equality.

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Dates: Jan 19 Jan 20 Feb 9 Feb 10 Mar 23 Mar 24
Times: 3pm - 7pm 9am - 4pm 3pm - 7pm 9am - 4pm 3pm - 7pm 9am - 4pm
Location: 4255 SSC
  • Instructor: Catherine Burr - Previous
    Email: cburr@sympatico.ca
    Office: 4226A SSC *in the Local Government Library/Lab during class days only
  • Term Code: 1181 (Winter 2018)
    Class No: TBA

Summer 2017 Classes

PA 9901 - Advanced Local Government

Objectives:

This course provides an introduction to the structures, functions, and financing of local government in Canada. The focus is on Ontario, but students will also learn about the history of local government in Canada, the United States, and Western Europe. Through surveys of relevant academic literature, student presentations, and class discussions, students will develop views on the appropriate role for local governments in governing Canadian communities.

Main topics:

Systems of local government; historical ideological movements; central-local relations; special purpose bodies; annexation; amalgamation; regional government; fragmentation; council-staff relations; budgeting and finance; property tax.

Dates: May 8 May 9 May 10 May 11 May 12
Times: 9am - 5pm 9am - 5pm 9am - 5pm 9am - 5pm 9am - 5pm
Location: 4255 SSC
  • Instructor: Christopher Alcantara
    Email: calcanta@uwo.ca
    Office: 4144 SSC
  • Term Code: 1176 (Summer 2017)
    Class No: 1180

PA 9902 - The policy Process in Local Government

Objectives:

This course introduces students to selected aspects of the academic literature on the making of public policy. Students will learn how to apply theories and concepts from the public policy literature to Canadian local governments. Using case studies, students will learn how to determine the main factors that cause different kinds of local public policy outcomes in different circumstances.

Main topics:

The stages of the policy-making process; the “multiple streams” approach to the understanding of the policy process; the role of “social forces”, including analytical approaches that apply especially at the local level, such as “community power”, pluralism, non-decision-making, local governments as “growth machines”, regime theory and multilevel governance.

Dates: May 15 May 16 May 17 May 18 May 19
Times: 9am - 5pm 9am - 5pm 9am - 5pm 9am - 5pm 9am - 5pm
Location: 4255 SSC
  • Term Code: 1176 (Summer 2017)
    Class No: 1181

PA 9903 - Organizational Behaviour in a Local Government Environment

Objectives:

This course introduces students to selected aspects of the academic literature on organizational behaviour. Students will learn how to apply theories and concepts from the organizational behaviour literature to public sector organizations, with a particular emphasis on local government administration. Using case studies, students will learn how to analyze problems and challenges of local government administration through an organizational lens.

Main topics:

The aims of public sector organizations; local government organizations and their changing environment; comparison of public and private sector management practices; council-staff relations; structure and culture in local government organizations; decision-making in public organizations; power, motivation, diversity, leadership and organizational change.

Dates: May 29 May 30 May 31 Jun 1 Jun 2
Times: 9am - 5pm 9am - 5pm 9am - 5pm 9am - 5pm 9am - 5pm
Location: 4255 SSC
  • Instructors: Carol-Lynn Chambers
    Email: cl.chambers@sympatico.ca
    Office: 4226A SSC *in the Local Government Library/Lab during class days only
  • Term Code: 1176 (Summer 2017)
    Class No: 1182

PA 9904 - Local Government Management/Administration

Objectives:

Drawing upon theories and research findings in public administration and management, this course examines administrative approaches, issues and debates arising in local governments in a changing environment. Students will learn how the complex and unstable environment of public sector organizations produces both challenges and opportunities for public sector managers, and will work through case material that requires them to apply insights from management and public administration literature to real-world local government settings.

Main topics:

Models of public management (New Public Management, New Public Service); leadership; managing on the edges; managing the policy process; ethics and values; interacting with the administrative environment (Council, stakeholders, the public); partnerships and contracting out; public value; service delivery and service implementation.

Dates: Jun 5 Jun 6 Jun 7 Jun 8 Jun 9
Times: 9am - 5pm 9am - 5pm 9am - 5pm 9am - 5pm 9am - 5pm
Location: 4255 SSC
  • Term Code: 1176 (Summer 2017)
    Class No: 1183

Prerequisite: You must take course PA9903 before taking this course.

PA 9917: Issues in Local Government

Objectives:

This is the capstone course in the MPA program. The objectives are two-fold. First, the course provides a venue for students to review and apply what they have learned in other courses, by discussing a selection of topics related to local government. Second, the course allows students to get constructive critical feedback on their MPA research projects in progress.

Main topics:

In this course, students discuss and debate a selection issues in local government topics. Issues covered differ from year to year, depending in part on the research interests of current students. Issues are introduced by the instructor, by guest presenters, and by students. The course also features a review and discussion of research methods as they relate to the students’ MPA research projects.

Dates: Jun 12 Jun 13 Jun 14 Jun 15 Jun 16
Times: 9am - 5pm 9am - 5pm 9am - 5pm 9am - 5pm 9am - 5pm
Location: 4255 SSC
  • Instructors:
    Martin Horak
    Email: mhorak@uwo.ca
    Office: 4217 SSC
  • Term Code: 1176 (Summer 2017)
    Class No: 1184

PA 9923: Strategic Planning and Management

Objectives:

The purpose of this course is to explore the theoretical ideas and practical challenges involved in planning and managing strategically in local government. Its aim is to investigate organization performance and the role of ‘strategy’ in creating public value. Strategic management concepts and planning techniques and processes will be viewed from an organizational, political and community context. The course will challenge the MPA student to think critically about ‘strategy formation’ in public sector management.

Main topics:

Strategic planning and management in local government; the strategic management framework & process; linking strategy to performance; tools and techniques of strategic planning and management.

Dates: May 8 May 9 May 10 May 11 May 12
Times: 9am - 5pm 9am - 5pm 9am - 5pm 9am - 5pm 9am - 5pm
Location: 3010 SSC
  • Instructors:
    Kane Faucher
    Email: kfauche@uwo.ca
    Office:
  • Term Code: 1176 (Summer 2017)
    Class No: 1185

Note: Full-day courses will have a break for lunch, please consult the course outlines for details.



Accessibility

Please contact poliscie@uwo.ca if you require any information in plain text format, or if any other accommodation can make the course material and/or physical space accessible to you.