Contact:Suzanne Trimel
(212) 854-6579

For immediate release
May 26, 1999

New Degree in Public Administration To Be Launched in the Fall at Columbia

Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs will launch a new part-time master's degree program in public administration for working professionals in the 1999 fall semester.

The Executive Master of Public Administration Program is the first degree program launched through the new Picker Center for Executive Education, made possible by a $2 million gift from former SIPA Dean Harvey Picker, who led the school from 1972 to 1983 and launched the MPA program in 1977.

The new program will meet on Saturdays during the fall and spring semester and in the evening during the summer term, allowing students to complete the degree on a flexible basis in either two or three years.

"We have long believed that we needed a more flexible structure to deliver our education and training to varied audiences," said Dean Lisa Anderson. "We are confident that we have this structure with the Picker Center."

The new center will be directed by William Eimicke, who previously served as Director of SIPA's Public Management Training Center and has been a policymaker in state and city government for 20 years.

"Increasingly, we were finding excellent candidates for the MPA program who were not able to make the commitment to come here either because of the scheduling and time demands of their personal lives or because they could not afford to give up their jobs to attend our full-time program," said Eimicke.

The program will allow experienced managers in government and the nonprofit and private sectors the opportunity to earn a graduate degree from a premier university while they continue to build their careers, Eimicke said.

The curriculum includes core courses in advanced management and finance techniques and a three-course "context" sequence with seminars in public policymaking. Students with professional management experience will be granted nine graduate credits of advanced standing to count towards the 54-point program.

Open houses have been held at the school through the spring semester. The goal is to admit 20 to 30 students for the first class. The application deadline for September admission is July 15.

In the future, the Picker Center expects to expand its programs to meet the need for skilled managers in the public and non-profit sectors. The center's offices are currently on the 14th floor of the International Affairs Building. Plans call for expanded facilities in the building. The telephone is (212)854-2710.

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