Delaware's Jeff Raffel assumes presidency of NASPAA
Jeff Raffel addresses the attendees at the annual NASPAA conference.
Jeff Raffel cuts the cake at a reception held in his honor while Jerome Lewis, director of UD's Institute for Public Administration, looks on.

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8:56 a.m., Nov. 13, 2009----Jeffrey A. Raffel, Charles P. Messick Professor of Public Administration at the University of Delaware, was installed as president of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) at the organization's annual conference in Arlington, Va., on Oct. 16.

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NASPAA is a national and international resource for the promotion of excellence in education and training for public service. Its institutional membership includes more than 270 U.S. and non-U.S. university programs in public affairs, policy, administration and management.

In his address at the conference, Raffel said, “There is nothing more gratifying and inspiring than to be asked to lead an organization whose goals, values and members you have admired for three decades.”

Citing the organization's recent accomplishments -- including an ambitious new human capital plan developed to influence the Office of Personnel Management and Congress to revamp the federal hiring process, the initiation of a database project “which will lead NASPAA to being the authoritative source of data in our field,” an active marketing program, and the development of new accreditation standards that will be extended to international institutions as well as those in the U.S. -- Raffel promised to build on this active agenda as he continues to move the organization forward as its president.

Raffel is the first representative of UD's School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy to serve in this capacity at NASPAA. For the past year, Raffel has held the position of vice president and president-elect. He first served as the University's principal representative to NASPAA in 1980.

From 2005-08, he served as chair of the NASPAA Standards 2009 Steering Committee, responsible for developing new accreditation standards. The new standards, based on public service values and the measurement of students achieving five universal competencies, were passed by a 90 percent positive vote at the annual business meeting.

He also actively participated as a member of NASPAA's Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation (COPRA) from 2001-05, serving as chair from 2003-05. In addition, he served on the NASPAA Executive Council from 1996-99.

“Jeff Raffel has contributed so much to NASPAA over the years, that we all -- NASPAA staff, Executive Council, and member institutions -- are looking forward to his year as president,” said Laurel McFarland, NASPAA's executive director. “It is like welcoming a member of your family to the table for Thanksgiving.”

In written remarks for a reception held in Raffel's honor at the Arlington conference, Michael Gamel-McCormick, dean of the College of Education and Public Policy, cited examples of Raffel's leadership at the college, state and national levels, including terms as director of the School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy from 1997-2007 and vice president of the American Civil Liberties Union of Delaware.

“For almost 40 years you have provided mentorship, leadership and vision to the field of public administration and public policy in Delaware and throughout the nation,” Gamel-McCormick wrote. “You are recognized nationally as an expert in school desegregation, school reform and privatization... But most importantly, you are a clear thinker, a quick wit, and the conscience of our school, college, and University -- a role that is invaluable in these challenging times.”

In his most recent contribution to scholarship in his field, Raffel co-edited a new book, Public Sector Leadership: International Challenges and Perspectives, along with Tony Middlebrooks of UD and Peter Leisink of Utrecht University, the Netherlands.

According to James A. Cox, editor-in-chief of Midwest Book Review, the book is a “knowledgeably compiled and deftly edited” collection of 18 “informed and informative essays by experts in the field” that represents “a body of impressive and impeccable scholarship.” The book was published in September 2009 by Edward Elgar Publishing.

Photos courtesy NASPAA

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