Mayor and professor teach class together
A professor has teamed up with the mayor of South Orange Village to pioneer a new course in the Masters of Public Administration program here at Seton Hall University this semester.
Matt Hale, a professor of Political Science and Public Administration, and Mayor Alex Torpey are currently co-teaching Strategic Management for Collaborative Governance at the graduate level. In what Hale calls a “truly collaborative effort,” the duo has created a curriculum that will allow their students to embody the role of the citizens they will be expected to help in pursuing a career in public administration.
The course came about after Torpey spoke at a ceremony for graduate students on how they could be agents of change at the local level. After the ceremony, Hale decided to “put theory and practice together.”
Over the course of the semester, speakers from various non-profit and government organizations will give lectures to show the students how they can make the biggest impact in their field. The class culminates in a project that prompts students to venture into the real world and have an ordinance brought up to a local government in Essex County. While the students do not need to get their ordinance passed, Hale says that he “wants students to learn how to help citizens” from the experience they gain through the project.
Ultimately, Hale and Torpey are aiming to teach their students how to make positive changes in their government. Both Hale and Torpey are hopeful that their students can be inspired by seeing people who have made a difference and that they can see government in a more positive light.