The Center for Public Management and Regional Affairs engages in applied research, technical assistance services, training and education, and data base development in the areas of public management and capacity building, local government economic development and planning, and public program evaluation and policy research.
The Center’s activities are funded by external grants and contracts from a number of funding sources including the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration; the Ohio Public Works Commission; and the Ohio Township Association. The Center’s primary efforts are directed toward research and assistance to small/non-metropolitan cities, villages, townships, and counties. Center projects are initiated upon request from local governments or by Center staff as an ongoing program for various local governments in the region and statewide. The Center operates with the director, professional staff, and also draws upon faculty, graduate students and undergraduate students in public administration, policy analysis, political science, environmental sciences, and geography.
Miami University maintains a solid commitment to public service. The activities initiated by the Center for Public Management and Regional Affairs stand as a centerpiece of Miami University’s public service mission. Over the past two years, more than 40 local governments (cities, villages, townships, and counties) have benefited from direct applied research projects. For example, the Center conducted a citizen attitudes and public opinion survey for Madison Township in Butler County, and the Center assisted both the City of Carlisle and the City of Sharonville with personnel management related projects. In addition, the Center for Public Management and Regional Affairs had been designated as a University Center by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration.
The Center has also signed a cooperative agreement with the Ohio Township Association. In conjunction with OTA, the Center produces the Ohio Township Trustee Sourcebook, the Ohio Township Fiscal Officer Sourcebook, the Ohio Township Personnel Management Sourcebook, and the Ohio Township Zoning Sourcebook. This four-volume set (Township Sourcebook Series) has been designated by the Ohio Township Association as the recommended resource publication for township officials in Ohio. The Center also coordinates the development of the Ohio Township Administrators Network (OTAN). OTAN serves as a database and information-sharing project for township administrators.
Project Assistance may be available in the following areas:
- Community Surveys
- Computer and Information Management
- Economic and Community Development
- Geographic Information Systems
- Goal-Setting, Team-Building, and Strategic Planning
- Local Government Management and Human Resources
- Public Works and Infrastructure Assistance
- Township Web Site Development
- Training for Elected and Appointed Officials
Recent CPMRA and Applied Project Activities:
Ohio Township Association (OTA) – the Center is coordinating and participating in the implementation of the OTA Leadership Academy (designed to provide elected township officials with continuing education) and developed OTALA workshop sessions for the annual OTA conferences. CPMRA is continuing work on the development of Leadership Academy II (designed to provide elected township officials with continuing education beyond the scope of the original OTALA). CPMRA continues to produce the Township Trustee Sourcebook, the Township Fiscal Officer Sourcebook, and the Township PersonnelManagement Sourcebook, which comprise a multi-volume series on township government and management.The Township Zoning Sourcebook was published in 2009 as the fourth volume in the sourcebook series. The Ohio Township Association has designated the four-volume Township Sourcebook Series as the recommended resource publication for township officials in Ohio. The Center continues to serve as the secretariat for the Ohio Township Administrators Network (OTAN), a professional organization comprised of township administrators from across the state. OTAN serves as a database and information-sharing project for township administrators. The Center currently coordinates meetings and seminars on township management issues.
Ohio Commission on Local Government Reform and Collaboration – Research Monograph: “Does Collaboration Beget Collaboration?: From Cooperation to Co-production in Township Government”. This CPMRA study was one of four research projects supported by a competitive grant from the Ohio Commission. Faculty and student authors included Philip Russo, Director, CPMRA and Professor of Political Science; Andrew Dudas, Senior Project Manager, CPMRA; Patrick Haney, Professor of Political Science; Mark Morris, Senior Project Manager, CPMRA; and Heath Ingram, junior Public Administration major. Bethany Bowyer, senior Public Administration major, and Deanna Watts, Political Science Graduate Assistant, provided additional assistance. The state Commission is to report its findings and recommendations to the Governor, State Senate president and Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives by July 1, 2010.
Ohio Public Works Commission District 10 Integrating Committee (Butler, Clermont, Clinton, and Warren Counties) – the Center serves as district administrative liaison to the four-county Integrating Committee that reviews and recommends $10 million in infrastructure assistance to the Ohio Public Works Commission. The Center’s role is to develop and manage the annual project selection methodology and report District activities to the state agency. Additional assistance is provided to local governments seeking funding consideration. The Center also assists the Executive Committee in evaluating projects under consideration by the Job Ready Sites and Clean Ohio Greenspace Conservation and Brownfield Revitalization programs
Ohio Department of Development - Job Ready Sites (Butler, Clermont, Clinton, and Warren Counties) –continuing the commitment to Ohio’s public works infrastructure programs, the Center continues to provide support to the District 10 Public Works Integrating Committee in delivering the Job Ready Sites program which partners with local communities and the private sector to ensure Ohio has an inventory of buildings and sites ready for large-scale, region-impacting, end-use development.
Green-space Conservation (Butler, Warren, Clinton, and Warren Counties) – the Center is responsible for coordinating the nomination process used by the District 10 Public Works Integrating Committee in appointing members to the Natural Resources Assistance Council (NRAC).
Small Communities Environmental Infrastructure Group (SCEIG) – as an active member in an association of federal, state, local, educational, and service agencies designed to aid small governments in meeting infrastructure needs, CPMRA staff continue to participate in the development and implementation of workshop curriculum for local officials on water quality, systems management, and project financing. Developing the infrastructure necessary for economic competitiveness and improved quality of life is one the most pressing challenges for smaller, local governments.
Scioto Foundation (Adams, Pike, Jackson, and Scioto Counties) – the Center developed a comprehensive scholarship locator online database for high school students and their parents in Scioto County, Ohio as part of the Foundation’s University College Access Network (UCAN) project. The Center is now working with the Foundation to develop an online scholarship application system.