David Rosenbloom

David Rosenbloom

David Rosenbloom

Distinguished Professor of Public Administration

Professor Rosenbloom specializes in constitutional-administrative law, administrative theory, history, reform, and personnel management.

A major contributor to the field and a National Academy of Public Administration Fellow, his numerous awards include the Whittington Award for excellent teaching, Gaus Award for exemplary scholarship in political science and public administration, Waldo Award for outstanding contributions to the literature and leadership of public administration, Levine Award for excellence in public administration, and Brownlow Award for his book, Building a Legislative-Centered Public Administration. He edited Public Administration Review, co-edited the Policy Studies Journal, currently serves on the editorial boards of about 20 academic journals, and is editor of the CRC/Taylor & Francis series in Public Administration and Public Policy. Author or editor of over 300 scholarly publications, he frequently guest lectures at universities in the US and abroad. Faculty appointments include the following universities: Kansas, Tel Aviv, Vermont, Syracuse, City University of Hong Kong, Hebrew (Israel), and Renmin (China). Professor Rosenbloom served on the Clinton-Gore Presidential Transition Team for the Office of Personnel Management in 1992. His text, Public Administration: Understanding Management, Politics, and Law in the Public Sector, was ranked the fifth most influential book published in public administration from 1990-2010. His extensive American University credentials include teaching a variety of legal courses in the School of Public Affairs’ MPA, executive MPA and online MPAP.

Professor Rosenbloom holds several degrees, including a PhD from University of Chicago, an MA from University of Chicago, and a BA from Marietta College. Professor Rosenbloom is also an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Marietta College.

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MPAP Faculty Profile: David Rosenbloom

[00:00:14.77] DAVID ROSENBLOOM: My educational background began at Marietta College in Marietta Ohio. Then I got my degree in political science. And I went off to the University of Chicago for a Master's in Political Science, followed by a Ph.D in Political Science.

[00:00:30.94] During my time at the University of Chicago for my Master's degree, I focused on public administration and constitutional law. In those days we had to write a thesis. I wrote a thesis on loyalty security program for federal employees, which was the program that began in the 1940s and continued in a lively way through the 1950s, but in a sense, part of it still remains.

[00:00:59.12] It was coinciding with the McCarthy period and the Red Scare. Those years, which everybody was suspected of being a communist or a fellow traveler. And the constitutional law with regard to the rights of public employees became a hot area of jurisprudence.

[00:01:20.48] In terms of my own work, I tended to focus more on legal issues, constitutional law, to some extent, administrative law, as well as public administration. Well, I've been teaching for about 40 years now. And what I like best about teaching the subjects I teach is I teach public administrators how to respect other people's rights and how not to violate the individual's constitutional rights, how to do their jobs within the framework of protecting individual rights and even human rights.

[00:01:54.42] My motivation I suppose comes from both the teaching, which I really enjoy a great deal, and the writing. For me, writing is therapeutic to some extent. I've written about 40 books and about 300 articles. And if I'm not writing something sometime I'm probably not feeling too good.

[00:02:15.87] Washington, DC is a very dynamic place for faculty like me who are interested in public affairs, generally. Being here I've had lots of opportunities to work with federal agencies on various kinds of projects. I've also had the opportunity twice to testify before the US Senate, one committee or another. And that's a sort of a nerve wracking experience, but it's also very energizing.

[00:02:41.95] I think what I want my students to get out of my course most is a respect for the Constitution and the constitutional rights of the people upon who their jobs have an impact. Public administration has a set of values that really don't respect very much constitutional values. Efficiency tends to conflict with due process. Standardization tends to conflict with diversity.

[00:03:11.30] There's sort of a low tolerance in hierarchies for freedom of speech. And what I'm trying to do in my courses is-- and I've had thousands of students by now, what I'm trying to do is to educate the students so that they'll be able to do their jobs well, but within the framework of respecting individual constitutional rights.

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