Monday, February 11, 2019

Returning to the Roots of #MeToo and Unanswered Questions for Academia to Tackle

David M. Shapiro, CPA
Fraud Risk and Financial Crimes Specialist

David M. Shapiro, CPA (inactive) is a Fraud Risk and Financial Crimes Specialist. He is also an expert generally on financial investigations and law enforcement. His extensive background includes work as an FBI (public sector) special agent / assistant legal advisor, assistant (public) prosecutor, and corporate (private sector) investigator. In brief, David has focused on conduct and financial crime risks.

David serves as a Distinguished Lecturer and Coordinator of the Fraud Examination and Financial Forensics program at New York's John Jay College of Criminal Justice, instructing in the fields of inspection and oversight, fraud examination, and financial forensics (FEFF). He is the coordinator for the FEFF program. He has published articles in the areas of accounting, finance, and risk management. He recently wrote a special chapter for the book "How They Got Away With It: White Collar Criminals and the Financial Meltdown."

David was an expert management consultant, having completed assignments in the fields of risk management, fraud investigations, and investor due diligence in a variety of contexts, including mergers and acquisitions. To contact David please use his professional email address: or work telephone no.: (212)393-6882.


The ‘me too’ movement began as a collective voice to aid victims from low-wealth communities, yet its statistics do not directly and specifically address issues of wealth, income, and class. While National Crime Victimization Survey statistics disclose an approximate per capita consistency of sexual assaults from 2015 to 2017 (i.e., 1.6; 1.1; 1.4 per 1,000, respectively), and EEOC statistics from 1997 through 2011 on sexual harassment disclose an uptick in no reasonable cause findings from 41.40% to 53% arising from sexual harassment charges filed over this period (with EEOC charges received declining from 15,889 in fiscal year ’97 to 11,364 in ’11), the likelihood of underreporting sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment in the workplace, imprecisely and noticeably persists at the grassroots level monitored by organizations such as ‘me too.’ Like much public data, drilling down into individual cases seems both impractical and undesirable, yet a distinction should be made between absence of a formal record and absence of an underlying act of sexual misconduct. 

A detailed itemization of reasons not to report publicly need not be exhaustively recited (e.g., personal relationship with the offender, fear of retaliation, lack of belief in the helpfulness of the criminal justice system). In fact, BJS statistics for years 2015 and 2016 suggest that almost one-half of serious violent victimizations, including sexual assault, are not reported to the police. Unfortunately, obstacles to reportingmay not be limited to the U.S.

Perhaps, the ‘me too’ movement has amplified otherwise silent voices in seeming opposition to the perception that some voices count more than others. Moving beyond the formal criminal justice system, including police, public prosecutors, and judges, the ‘me too’ voice is louder in concert with other voices not contingent upon support from this system of justice but amplified through informal mutuality of victimhood. However, while ‘me too’ serves to organize informally victims of reported and unreported sexual misconduct and gives them a social media platform, it does not mitigate information risk (i.e., assurance of integrity of the claim). Additionally, all categories of sexual-related wrongdoing are not equivalent: crimes are heterogeneous in their fact patterns and seriousness. A set of rules and effective process are necessary to analyze the relevant conduct apart from overbroad legal offense jargon that may serve to aggregate disparate data misleadingly and impair the development of theoretical and conceptual research about causation. 

The reports of victims are varied. Ultimate causes need to be identified and parsed out or inferred from proximate causes. For example, while unchecked executive discretion may cause one incident, another may be the immediate result of situational dynamics such as individuals working long together in invisible venues (e.g., business travel). While non-consensual sexual conduct is wrongful, superficially consensual conduct in fact (i.e., circumstances of assent) may be deemed non-consensual in law (e.g., sexual conduct against a minor). In particular, inequality in the relationship (e.g., instructor over student) may be an under examined factor of causation, and in general the data gathered from criminal justice sources may not adequately represent the problems. 

The original vision of ‘me too’ seems to be neglected: are there disparities in wealth, income, and class such that this broad power imbalance results in unequal protection under the law? Are the laws adequate both in scope of protection and range of enforcement? Are there proxies or instrumental variables from which to infer the frequency and severity of sexual misconduct in the workplace? Are there key variables such as social, economic, and political inequalities that influence reporting within the criminal justice system? Is mitigation of the risk of sexual misconduct more a managerial than a legal problem; if so, how would the public and policymakers become adequately informed about potentially proprietary data in the private sector; how are the managers to be governed without robust access to information by impartial and independent regulators and supervisors? The data accumulated and analyzed to date seem materially incomplete from which to draw clear solutions and changes to public policy.

I propose the following action items for academia, the most respected fact-finders in our society, investigating like a multidisciplinary task force:

Secondary research should be conducted, using systematic and other reviews of authoritative literature, to assess the limits, strengths, and deficiencies in existing policies and laws, both domestically and internationally. The problem(s) demands a clearer and more general formulation. As data sources vary by jurisdiction (e.g., the American states’ reports) and the problem of sexual misconduct seems to transcend not only American state boundaries but countries’ boundaries, there would likely be an abundance of literature demanding further analysis and reconciliation. Common factors needs to be parsed out of the disparate literature to develop a more transparent assessment of causality. Moreover, experts across jurisdictions, including institutions focused on sexual misconduct such as ‘me too,’ could provide insight beyond the statistics generated through official sources. Consideration may be given to identifying underexplored units of analysis such as the workplace, especially within the context of how policy and law are actually implemented and their effects on the accuracy, completeness, and timeliness of reporting on sexual misconduct. Essentially, secondary research should not only integrate prior authoritative findings but interrogate these as well: substantial issues such as data deficiencies and policy limitations to remedy such deficiencies require identification and analysis across jurisdictions, determining what works (or not).  

Theoretical and conceptual research should be conducted, using case studies and other explorations of sexual misconduct inside and outside the workplace to postulate common factors heretofore covert or under-researched (e.g., effects of unchecked managerial discretion, effects of monopolization of the criminal investigative and prosecutorial processes, inconsistency and unreliability of accountability mechanisms such as internal watchdogs / auditors). The development of comparative case studies across jurisdictions, domestic and international, would likely provide a fertile source of information about sexual misconduct, including how it progresses, how it evades detection, how accountability is impaired, and so on. Comparative case studies may be especially important with crimes such as sexual misconduct where personal and professional boundaries are stretched, if not perverted. Broadly, sexual misconduct often implicates an overbearing aggressor and under protected victim. How accountability mechanisms did not succeed in the prevention or timely detection of many of these cases is an issue that demands in-depth interviews of a highly intimate nature that may fill out the bare statistics and data gathered to date. Essentially, theoretical and conceptual discussion should move beyond past statements: grassroots responses such as ‘me too’ may signify both policy and data failures. Problem solving may benefit from such analytical and creative restatement.    

Monday, January 28, 2019

The Commonality of #MeToo in Academia: Why we need to change

Shannon Portillo, Ph.D.
Assistant Vice Chancellor 
KU Edwards Campus 
Associate Professor
School of Public Affairs & Administration 
Twitter: @Prof_SP 

Shannon Portillo is Assistant Vice Chancellor of Undergraduate Programs at the KU Edwards Campus and an Associate Professor in the School of Public Affairs and Administration at the University of Kansas. Dr. Portillo takes an interdisciplinary approach to her work pulling on organizational theories rooted in Public Administration and Law and Society to explore how rules and policies are carried out within public organizations. To date she has done work in a broad array of organizations including local government, the military, courts,  policing, and higher education. Using a variety of methods, she collects empirical data to assess how social, cultural and legal factors influence the day-to-day operations in these organizations. Teaching and research interests include social equity, social justice, organizational theory, and law and public management. Her work has appeared in Law & Policy, Administration & Society, Law & Social Inquiry, Journal of Public Administration Research & Theory and Public Administration Review among other outlets.

As a graduate student I attended the Midwest Political Science Associate conference. It was my first academic conference, and I was excited to meet many of the scholars I had read in the field. I was fortunate to attend a dinner with quite a few senior scholars. After the dinner I was thrilled to be invited out for drinks with some of them. At the end of the evening, one of them insisted on walking me back to my hotel. I naively thought it was a faculty member being overly protective of a student in a city at night. Unfortunately, once we arrived in front of my hotel and I tried to say goodnight, he tried to force a kiss on me. Maybe he didn’t recognize the gross inequity in power in the positions we had. Maybe he was just acting on an attraction. He sent me into a spiral of questioning my own worth and intelligence. Maybe I would never be taken seriously as a scholar. Maybe I didn’t belong at that conference or in this field. Maybe there was something uniquely wrong with me. 

The power of the #MeToo movement founded by Tarana Burke is the power of storytelling. When Ms. Burke started the hashtag that eventually went viral with the help of celebrities, scholars, students, and women from every walk of life, she knew her story and her trauma were not unique. It’s the commonality in these stories that is truly horrifying and moving. 

I told a friend, a fellow graduate student, my story at the time, but I knew there was no complaint to file, no public outrage. I felt like an interloper in a field dominated by men. I didn’t want to speak out or seem high maintenance or call attention to my otherness in this space. As I progressed in graduate school and early in my career, I learned that other women had similar stories. There were whispers shared about scholars you shouldn’t be alone with or who the safe men really were in the field. I learned as best I could, and navigated the field based on whispers and guidance from strong mentors of all genders. I knew early on I wanted to become a leader in the field, I wanted to mentor future generations of scholars, and ensure that other students didn’t experience what I had. I don’t want to be a part of a field that is seen as only old, white, and male.  

Unfortunately, the #MeToo movement has shown that my story is not unique. Fortunately, the #MeToo movement has also shown that there are brave women willing to speak out, share their stories, and demand that things change. Public administration is not exempt from this moment. Our field must change. We should support women speaking up and sharing their stories. But, this moment is not just about women sharing their stories. We should encourage senior scholars of all genders to be strong mentors and create an environment where we don’t turn the other way when we hear whispers about our colleagues. This is a moment for senior colleagues to recognize that they set the tone for what is acceptable and tolerated, and who is seen as belonging to our field. Let’s all ensure that the stories about our field are the ways that we lift each out up and push the scholarship forward. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Implications of the #MeToo Movement for Academia

Nicole M. Elias @NicoleEliasPhD
Maria J. D'Agostino @MJDPHD

What does this mean for the world of higher education? What are the issues, dynamics, power structures, and practices that are taken for granted and make sexual harassment and sexual assault so prevalent in higher education?

Most recently, Karen Kelsky conducted a crowd sourced survey of sexual harassment in the academy that documents more than 2400 cases. The implications of the #Metoo Movement for academia span common practices, policies, and culture in higher education. #MeToo experiences have emerged from teaching, mentoring, and research arrangements beyond the classroom. These incidents have prompted a larger conversation and rethinking of the power dynamics in academia; namely, the role of institutions and individuals in preventing sexual harassment and assault. The #MeToo movement presents an opportunity to question and change the assumed  practices and structures that perpetuate and render sex and gender inequity invisible. This blog thread will run throughout the Spring 2019 semester with a contribution from Dr. Shannon Portillo. Contributors to this series provide diverse perspectives on #MeToo. We invite anyone interested in these topics to join our discussion with the aim of offering potential solutions to these difficult challenges. If you have questions or would like to contribute, please contact us at:  

Monday, November 19, 2018

Student Responses to the 2018 NECoPA Conference

Six students from John Jay College’s MPA program participated in the 2018 Northeastern Conference on Public Administration (NECoPA). The NECoPA Conference took place in Baltimore, Maryland from Friday, November 2, 2018 - Sunday, November 4, 2018. This academic conference provided opportunities to present research, participate in panels and workshops, and engage with colleagues in networking events. Below are reflections from the conference written by Emily Cole-Prescott, Gwendolyn Saffran, Shanelle Greenidge, Sofia Calsy, and Uroosa Malik.

Emily Cole-Prescott
This November, I had the opportunity to present at the Northeast Conference on Public Administration (NECOPA). The conference highlighted new research on a wide range of public policy and administrative topics, from gender, health care and the pay gap to marijuana reform and mayoral authority. The primary theme of the conference focused on blind spots within public administrative policy and practice. Workshops and panel presentations shared the research at a digestible level for both students and professors.

The workshop of Professors Elias and Chordiya challenged attendees to analyze mayoral decision-making authority. Late one evening in August 2017, Mayor Pugh ordered the removal of Confederate statues throughout Baltimore, using the State’s Charter as justification, that allows the Mayor to make decisions for public safety and welfare purposes. However, Baltimore has a contract with the Maryland Historical Trust that allows the Trust to have input on such decisions. Students, professors, and professionals within the field of public administration engaged in a conversation about whether the Mayor overstepped her authority to make such a decision, and an array of perspectives were discussed. In general, attendees seemed to agree with the moral concept of the Mayor’s removal of the statues, noting that such an act required bravery. Attendees expressed concern that the decision could be legally challenged; however, attendees generally agreed that within the political context, removal of the statues represented a public benefit.

Such discussions are critical to both the academic and practitioner of public administration. Decisions within public agencies are often fraught with political concerns that, in some cases, merit swift resolution. Other concerns may require a calculated decision path that involves detailed analysis of alternatives, stakeholder collaboration, and strategic implementation. This case study demonstrates the pressing matters of which public administration professionals are often faced. Although in this case, the elected representative made the decision, appointed officials such as City Managers and department directors face and must resolve similar, pressing matters on an ongoing basis. Therefore, this conversation is critical to the professional development of future public administrators. Similar discussions were continued the next day of the conference, in “Managing Public Organizations in the 21st Century: Navigating Political, Social and Fiscal Challenges,” where panelists debated what it means to be a public administrator now and how administrators navigate the many political, social and fiscal challenges of public organizations.

The NECOPA conference provided growth opportunities for those developing their leadership skills. As a student researcher, I had the experience of sitting on a panel with four other John Jay students to present the implications of the #MeToo movement. Each panelist shared research on such factors as gender identity records, sexual harassment training, and implicit bias. Uroosa Malik discussed how the #MeToo movement has actually existed for more than thirteen years but has recently been invigorated by social media initiatives. Sofia Calsy explained how implicit bias limits leadership and career growth for women. Shanelle Greenidge presented research about the transparency of Offices of Inspector Generals, and Gwen Saffran and I presented our research on assessment of the X marker for gender identity within the legal and political context.

The NECOPA conference connected me to like-minded peers, professors, and potential contacts for continued professional development. As a primarily-online student, this conference was a dynamic opportunity to interact with individuals in my field. I look forward to staying in contact with these professionals as our careers progress.

Emily Cole-Prescott is a Graduate student at John Jay College where she studies Public Administration and Policy with a specialization in Management and Operations. Emily was a Research Assistant for Professor Elias. She has worked for twelve years in various local government roles, focused primarily on land use development. Emily graduated from Western CT State with a BA in English and recently had the opportunity to work with the Center for Compassion, Creativity and Innovation and Dr. Chris Kukk on various research and community-driven initiatives about how to grow compassion within society. Emily lives in southern Maine with her husband and two dogs.

Gwendolyn Saffran
From November 2-4, 2018, I attended the Northeast Conference on Public Administration (NECoPA) in Baltimore, Maryland, hosted by the University of Baltimore. I went to NECoPA with professors and students from John Jay; most of us were presenting on topics relating to gender issues in the public sector, but also on transparency in government, diversity, and issues in health care and Medicaid. The conference opened with the Social Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (SEDI) Workshop, presented by Professors Rashmi Chordiya (Seattle University), Nicole Elias (John Jay College), and Sean McCandless (University of Illinois, Springfield). The workshop’s aim was to examine how issues of SEDI manifest in public service. The presenters used the case of Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh’s late-night removal of Baltimore’s Confederate statues. Workshop participants discussed not only the issues of social equity and racial justice surrounding Confederate monuments, but Mayor Pugh’s latitude to unilaterally decide to remove the monuments. Despite the controversial nature of the subject, participants could agree that it is the job of public administrators not only follow procedure but to consider what is fair, just, and equitable.

In the following session, I was part of a panel titled “#MeToo: Implications for the Public Sector Workplace.” The other John Jay students on the panel were Emily Cole-Prescott, Shanelle Greenidge, Uroosa Mallik, and Sofia Calsy. The panel discussed non-binary gender identity markers, transparency in government, the #MeToo movement, and implicit bias in the workplace. The name of my presentation, which I presented with Emily Cole-Prescott, was titled “The ‘X’ Marker: Implications of Non-binary Gender for Public Administration and Policy.” We discussed seven jurisdictions in the United States that offer an X gender marker (as opposed to an F or M) on some form of state-issued identification documents. We discussed the findings of our qualitative analysis of these seven policies and the implications for public policy, public administrators, and public service values. The academic literature discussing gender change policies and non-binary identities is very small, so it was exciting to be able to contribute to the academic conversation and discuss this topic with academics and current and future public administrators.

In the days since our all-women panel presented at NECoPA, a record number of women have been elected to the House of Representatives. There were also historic wins in both state and federal legislative positions for LGBTQ public servants, as well as people of color and Muslim people. As the United States continues to diversify, it is important to elevate these voices, and I thank NECoPA for giving us the opportunity to speak.

Gwen Saffran is in her second year at John Jay College pursuing an MPA studying Public Policy & Administration with a specialization in Criminal Justice Policy. She works as a research assistant with Professor Nicole Elias studying sex and gender in the public sector. Gwen is also a Tow Policy Advocacy Fellow through John Jay’s Prisoner Reentry Institute. She is placed at the Vera Institute of Justice, where she works on the Center for Sentencing and Corrections’ Safe Alternative to Segregation Initiative. The Initiative works with state and local departments of corrections to reform and reduce their use of solitary confinement.

Segun Olaniyi
Being able to attend NECOPA was an amazing experience. I was able to learn a lot about different policies that are affecting our communities in different fields. From the #metoo movement to the opiate crisis, these topics will somehow impact our lives either directly or indirectly. When I attend the SEDI workshop regarding Baltimore’s mayor, Catherine Pugh, removing a Confederate statue before going through the proper channels, it opened the floor to questions of what consequence can occur. When you think about how previous Presidents have used executive orders to do similar things on a macro level. It has empowered President Trump to implicate travel bans and recently plans to not allow anyone to just become a citizen because they were born on US soil. In my opinion, Mayor Pugh, was fair with her actions to remove the statute. However, the question may arise if this starts a domino effect and cause other Mayors to overstep their authority. The implications of how the political standpoint it may present an interesting discussion in the future.

Having the opportunity to present my topic on home health market at NECOPA was refreshing. I spoke about new policies in New York possibly forming monopoly agencies in the home health market. I was able to interact with people that had a lot of interest in my topic. I was even surprised that people as me questions regarding some of the benefits of the policy I was addressing. I didn’t know the full answer, but it allowed me to think about different ways to improve my research going forward.

Segun Olaniyi is a native of New York but was born in the United Kingdom. He moved to the United States with his family at the age of 9. He is a senior at John Jay College of Criminal Justice working on his Masters in Public Administration. Segun also attended John Jay College for his undergraduate degree and served as the President of African Students Association (ASA). He was a member of the Malave Leadership Academy and worked on volunteer projects that involved non-profit organizations such as Habitat for Humanity. He currently works at the Center for Court Innovation and serves as a member of the Organization of the Advancement of Nigerians (OAN) and American Society of Public Administration (ASAP).

Segun’s research examines new provisions adopted by New York State’s attempts to control Medicaid fraud and labor marketing committed by home health agencies. Segun is hoping to explore the implications of these new policy approaches and how it effects Licensed home care agencies and Consumer Direct Personal Assistance Program through a qualitative analysis. Segun will be interviewing stakeholders such as caregivers, clients, agencies and insurance companies. The conclusion of the research hopes to address the positive and negative effects these policies have in regard to corruption and the home health labor markets.

Shanelle Greenidge
The 2018 Northeastern Conference of Public Administration (NECoPA) was absolutely inspiring and the catalyst I needed to remind me why I am furthering my education. I was nervous about the conference because of the time frame of my presentation on the politics of Offices of Inspector General, the audience, and my fellow student presenters of John Jay College. As an online student, my biggest fear coming into the conference was being isolated from the John Jay College due to a non-existent prior relationship and no one being interested in my research. I was completely wrong. This conference gave me the opportunity to meet people just like me with similar interests and empowered me to continue my research path. We encouraged each other while we practiced our presentations, before we presented in our group text chat, and celebrated a job well done afterward. The amazing thought-provoking and empowering moment occurred when I realized there were students like me that enjoy discourse on political issues and shared the same interests in public administration. I highly recommend students and faculty to partake in future NECoPA events seeking like-minded people.

Shanelle Greenidge is a second-year online graduate student at John Jay College, CUNY. She currently works as a Graduate Assistant for Women in the Public Sector (WPS) under the direction of Dr. Maria D’Agostino and Dr. Nicole Elias and as a Research Assistant under the direction of Dr. Robin Kempf, in addition to being a Recruitment Assistant and a volunteer for various organizations. Shanelle hopes to continue her education in advance professional degree programs after she earns her master's degree in Operation and Management.

Sofia Calsy

NECoPA 2018 Conference in Charm City!

Hi! My name is Sofia Calsy, I live in Georgia, and I am an online student at John Jay College of Criminal Justice pursuing my master’s degree in Public Administration. I most recently attended the North Eastern Conference of Public Administration (NECoPA) in Baltimore, Maryland. This was my first experience attending and presenting at a conference. I have to admit it was such a privilege and I found the whole conference experience to be amazing. I was able to meet peers, colleagues and learn about many issues discussed in the Public Administration field.

Nervousness is an understatement. I was a bundle of nerves before the conference. I was excited about the experience, but there was so much unknown. Being an online student that does not live in New York is sometimes isolating. I never get to attend on-campus activities or have a chance to interact with other students. I didn’t know if the other students on the panel had been to a conference, or if they all knew each other. However, meeting my fellow John Jay peers was one of my favorite parts of the conference. I arrived in Baltimore and later that night the panel of students, and Dr. D’Agostino met each other in the lobby. We introduced ourselves, and each presented our PowerPoint to each other. We provided feedback and comments. I quickly learned everyone was as nervous and excited as I was. We instantly stayed together as a group. That night we made breakfast and dinner plans for the weekend. It was a great start to know that you would not be alone for the weekend.

The next day was Presentation Day! I have been working on a research project with Dr. D’Agostino, the study purpose is to see if public sector leaders are aware of implicit bias in the workplace or aware of their own implicit bias. I built off of this and presented on the lack of women in leadership, implicit bias and the future of public administration. I had this image that I was going to present to 300 people. It was much less, I am a bit dramatic! It was not bad at all, and I prepared and felt like I did well on my presentation. Questions were asked after by Professor Kempf, that was the most nerve-wracking part for me, but again I worked myself up for nothing. She asked fair and thought-provoking questions. If you know the material behind your presentation, you will know how to answer the questions. I think all my peers did an exceptional job and all their presentations were on such relevant topics.

Saturday was a more relaxed, as my presentation was over with, I felt accomplished. Saturday was another day filled with rich and valuable content. I was able to meet and network with many professors from all over the United States. Some of the presentations I attended discussed: Private and public prisons and what detention centers look like in our own country, Hurricane Maria and the United States Federal Government response to natural disasters, Intelligence dilemmas, and the complexity of democracy in Nigeria. The presentations were followed by a very stimulating Q & A session, it made me feel part of an engaged and valued audience. This was a fantastic opportunity that enriched my education by introducing me to new and innovative people and topics that make me excited for the future!

My name is Sofia Calsy, and I am a graduate student at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. My specialization is human resource and management and operation. My passion is learning, if I could be paid to be a student, I would. My area of interests includes tackling significant issues. My current research interests are gender equity. As a former case manager, I continue to pursue approaches that will help enrich and better the lives of adults and children. I continue to grow and evolve. I look forward to building my career with my gained education from John Jay College.

Uroosa Malik
Attending the NECoPA Conference was one of the best experiences I had in my college journey. Ever since my sophomore year of college, one of my professors told me about the NECoPA conference and encouraged me to attend and present there too and at that very moment, I set a goal for myself to make that happen. A few years had passed, and I always had that goal in the back of my head, however, I never got the chance to actually pursue it until the same professor emailed me to register for the conference and send my proposal in. I took no time in doing so and sent my proposal to present on the #MeToo Movement and Sexual Harassment.

Once the proposal was approved, I knew it was my time to shine. I started preparing my presentation and as time neared, I started to become very nervous. However, I received guidance for professor D’Agostino and fellow panelist which helped me understand the direction of my presentation a whole lot better. Furthermore, as time had neared, the other panelists and I met in Baltimore, Maryland. We all shared our presentations, felt better as to how the actual presentation day would go, and became much more confident. The run through calmed my nerves and I was ready to speak about the most controversial topic in our society today. It was important for me to share my thoughts and my insight on the MeToo Movement and how it impacts thousands of individuals not only in the private sector, but the public sector as well. As a future public administrator, it was important for me to stand up and inform others on the sexual harassment policies, along with Human Resource blind spots which need to be catered towards creating a safe work environment for all.

As the 3rd presenter on the panel, I was able to get all my nerves and thoughts together and mentally prepare myself for my presentation. As it was my turn to present, the next 10 minutes were so impactful and truly unforgettable. I stated all my points in a concise and timely manner and the professors around me were very proud. After we all presented, professor Kempf asked us each a question which I believed I wouldn’t be prepared for. However, after questioning me on my next steps regarding this topic and where I see myself taking it next, I was able to give my thoughts on how it’s important to work with other organizations and understand what works and what doesn’t work regarding sexual harassment policies, while incorporating other mechanisms from other agencies, in order to make a bigger impact for the future. Professor Kempf seemed very proud and stated, “I see your next step as taking over the world!” and at that moment, I knew my goal was truly met and I made the impact I wanted to, as I envisioned for the past 3 years.

Uroosa Malik is in her final year in the dual-degree BS/MPA program, studying Public Administration and specializing in Inspection and Oversight at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She has interned with the Department of Correction and CUNY’s Research Foundation, which furthered her interest in serving the public in an effective and efficient manner. In addition, she aspires to explore her horizons and study abroad in the Middle East. Lastly, upon graduation, Uroosa plans on working for the Inspector General’s Office or the Department of Investigation and pursuing a career with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Progress on Gender Equity in the Academy, but More Work Remains.

Heath Brown, Associate Professor of Public Policy, John Jay College, CUNY
E-mail Address:
Twitter: @heathbrown

Heath Brown is an associate professor of public policy at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, and the CUNY Graduate Center. He has worked at the US Congressional Budget Office as a Research Fellow, at the American Bus Association as a Policy Assistant, and at the Council of Graduate Schools as Research and Policy Director.

In addition to his research, Brown is Reviews Editor for Interest Groups & Advocacy and hosts a podcast called New Books in Political Science,, where he interviews new authors about their political science publications. He is also an expert contributor to The Hill as well as to The Atlantic magazine and American Prospect magazine.
The recent summary by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) of research by the Council of Graduate Schools shows great hope for gender equity in the academy. For eight straight years, women earned more graduate degrees than men in the United States. Women earned 52% of the doctorates and 57% of masters degrees. When I was the Research Director at the Council of Graduate Schools we saw the early signs of this trend and excitedly awaited this point.

These trends are hopeful for better gender equity in the professoriate and research. However, three cautions are worth noting. First, gaps in some fields of study persist. Fields like engineering and math remain overwhelmingly male. Men earned nearly three-quarters of doctoral degrees in engineering and mathematics, continuing historic patterns of under-representation of women.

Second, in 2018, our society has come to better recognize that gender identity is more than dichotomous. National data collection should better reflect this reality by providing more disaggregated enrollment and degree data. This won’t be an easy change for institutions with strong traditions and well-established survey design practices. Nevertheless, the time has come for higher education research to make appropriate changes in order to better understand the challenges faced by the trans community in the academy.

Third, and most importantly, the changes in the gender composition of graduate programs has not happened on its own. Concerted efforts by universities and the federal government — such as the ADVANCE program administered by the National Science Foundation — have provided the resources necessary to compel greater equity throughout the academy. The recent book by Duke University professor, Deondra Rose, Citizens By Degree: Higher Education Policy and the Changing Gender Dynamics of American Citizenship (Oxford University Press, 2018) documents the way federal lawmakers have passed major laws since the 1950s, such as federal aid programs and Title IX, to advance women at universities and reduce discrimination. Interesting, Dr. Rose finds that the benefits of these programs are not just found in educational achievement, women’s political participation has also improved notably over the last several decades.

Celebrations are warranted when indicators of progress and equity are found. Yet policy makers and university administrators must remain vigilant to make sure the direction of this trend persists into the future and that fields with continued imbalances are better addressed.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Continuing the Gender Equity in Academia Conversation: Recommendations and Next Steps

Maria J. D’Agostino


Nicole M. Elias

On July 3, 2018, we posted our summer blog thread, “Big Questions Surrounding Gender Equity in Academia and the Field of Public Administration”. The response we received from journal editors, board members, and leaders in the field was impressive and eye-opening. Throughout the summer our blog contributors reflected on women’s roles in academia, specifically public administration, with the goal of considering next steps and new ways of thinking and taking action to advance women in public administration. Some recommendations include promoting oneself and others, speaking up on behalf of untenured faculty, identifying collaborators, being transparent in selecting journal editors, and citing and including more work published by women in course materials and research.

Patricia Shields, editor of Armed Forces & Society, notes how her perspective as a woman contributed to editorial decisions. She proposes several means to increase the visibility and impact of women’s ideas and scholarship in public administration, including not to be shy and promote our work via conferences and social media. Similarly, Staci Zavattaro, editor of Administrative Theory & Praxis, recommends that we know our worth, be confident and kind as we stay true to ourselves. She also reminds us that we cannot do this alone and suggests to “find your tribe” and make that group of scholars your home and support. In addition to being supportive of female colleagues, and promoting oneself, Carole Jurkiewicz, editor of Public Integrity, offers actions we can take to mitigate organizational and cultural barriers for women. Specifically, she emphasizes the need to advocate for and speaking up on behalf of non tenured female faculty.
Recognizing the “Power in Editorial Positions: A Feminist Critique of Public Administration,” Mary Feeney, incoming editor of Journal of Public Administration Research & Theory,  Lisa Carson, and Helen Dickson argue that it is time to address the inequity of women in editorial leadership positions and suggest a range of personal, interpersonal, and structural strategies to combat these inequities, including the establishment of transparent search and selection criteria for editorships. Such changes, as highlighted by Hillary Knepper and Gina Scutelnicu in  A Tale of Two Journals: Women’s Representation in Public Administration Scholarship, are essential for women’s success in the academy. Knepper, et. al find that women publish less than men, with men producing twice as many peer-reviewed articles as their female counterparts. They recommend that women cite other women’s work to increase visibility and citation counts.  Megan Hatch reminds us that inclusion and creating a sense of belonging starts with the MPA curriculum. She suggests that one way to make women feel included in public administration is to include more women authored research in our syllabi. She introduces us to the Gender Balance Assessment Tool (GBAT) developed by Jane Lawrence Sumner to test the gender balance of our syllabi. More resources like the GBAT could remedy some of the challenges our contributors identified throughout the summer blog thread.
So, what comes next? To date, more than sixteen blog participants have contributed to the WPS blog, a forum that was created a year ago to consider the role sex/gender plays in public service and how that shapes the way we think, govern, and are served by sex/gender identities and markers. As we start off the new academic year, we hope to continue the conversation and encourage readers to undertake practices outlined by our guest bloggers. As a first step, WPS, in collaboration with Megan Hatch and Academic Women in Public Administration (AWPA), we will develop a shared database of articles authored by women in in public administration to help facilitate the creation of more inclusive syllabi and research, provide a forum to promote ourselves, and create a supportive community of scholars and practitioners. Our hope is that this blog thread provides a starting point for thinking creatively and taking action toward greater gender equity in academia.

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Returning to the Roots of #MeToo and Unanswered Questions for Academia to Tackle

David M. Shapiro, CPA Fraud Risk and Financial Crimes Specialist Email: David M. Shapiro, CPA (inactive)...