McFarland Publishing Contracts Public Administration Professors to Pen Five Books

By Joaquin Gonzalez, Mayor George Christopher Professor of Public Administration at the Ageno School of Business at Golden Gate University

McFarland Publishing has contracted four GGU Public Administration professors and me to write five more books on Public Administration. This publishing house, a leader in academic and nonfiction titles, recognizes GGU’s unique capacity to contribute to real-world solutions for the Public Administration community around the world. No public administration program in the San Francisco Bay Area has been granted such trust, confidence, and respect. I am proud to say that my co-authors/co- editors are also graduates of GGU’s Public Administration program.

These five publications–as yet untitled–will cover street-level policy concerns that are intriguing and controversial:

Spring 2018: GGU Ageno School of Business Associate Professor and GGU alum Dr. Mick McGee (MPA, DPA) and I team up for an eye-opening compilation on legalized marijuana and what cities are doing to manage this “growth” industry.

Fall 2018: This book will focus on how cities, states, and the Feds are helping veterans—especially in this period of mass drawdown—that I will co-edit with Dr. McGee and GGU alum Roger Kemp (MBA, MPA, DPA) who is a distinguished adjunct professor here.

Spring 2019: Dr. McGee and I examine what cities are doing to reduce or entirely eliminate chronic homelessness.

Fall 2019: Dr. McGee and I dive into the topic of needle exchange programs and including the opioid crisis, as well as how citizens and communities are acting on this serious concern.

Spring 2020: Dr. Kemp and I are joined by another GGU alum, Willie Britt (DPA), for a book that examines senior-citizen services.

As seasoned public affairs experts, we will bring together a vast network of colleagues from universities, to governments, to journalists. However, a bulk of the writing will come from practitioners from the field who are active members of leading public administration organizations such as the International City/County Management Association, American Society for Public Administration, and the American Planning Association. Many of the articles have been vetted by cutting-edge professional publications like Governing, Planning, PM Magazine, and PA Times. Some Doctor of Public Administration and Executive Master of Public Administration alums have also agreed to contribute their research papers as chapters in these volumes.

…if you visit the GGU library, you will see a wall of books written by our faculty and alumni.

Five Publications Add to GGU’s Existing Body of Work

In my close to two decades at GGU, I am always asked by curious students, colleagues, and community members: “Do you write books too? You know like famous professors?” My answer has always been a humble, “Yes.” And, usually, I add that if you visit the GGU library, you will see a wall of books written by our faculty and alumni.

In the last two years, Dr. Kemp and I have authored Immigration and American Cities, Corruption and America’s Cities, Privatization in Practice, and Small Town Economic Development (with long-time Connecticut economic development manager Jonathan Rosenthal). Before the end of the year, our latest project on Cities, Citizens, and Eminent Domain will join this series.

Why do we write these kinds of books?

There is an increasing demand from classrooms and citizens for discussions on up-to-date, practical, and hands-on experiences and innovations in the Public Administration field. Walking down city streets, you will notice that America’s economic growth has not benefited everybody. While there are Americans who are getting more affluent, there are also many who are living on the streets or dealing with drug abuse and other social ills. For instance, while we know that concerns relating to our aging population will catch up with us, our cities were are not prepared for the massive return of U.S. veterans.

Thus, we must share not only the basics and the classics of our professions but also share practical nationwide solutions that work and expose those that do not work. Community leaders and regular citizens want to read about them so they can make smart suggestions at town hall meetings and better engage politicians and hold them accountable.

After browsing through GGU faculty publications, you will notice that many of our publications delve into real-life practices in business and other fields like mine. Most of our publications are more readable by what I would call the broader “Amazon.com audience”—not just students, but even “Regular Joes”. I like it that way.


About Dr. Joaquin Jay Gonzalez

About Joaquin Jay Gonzalez III, PhD, is Mayor George Christopher Professor of Public Administration at the Ageno School of Business of Golden Gate University, San Francisco, California. He has taught at the University of San Francisco, the National University of Singapore, and De La Salle University (Manila). He was Commissioner for Immigrant Rights for the City and County of San Francisco for close to a decade and has worked for the World Bank (Washington, DC) and the Institute On Governance (Canada).

Jay is the author of more than a dozen books including the recent Corruption and American Cities: Essays and Case Studies in Ethical Accountability. Gonzalez has also written a book on the theme of boxing, From Pancho to Pacquiao: Philippine Boxing in and Out of the Ring, and has demonstrated his boxing moves while training American soldiers on Philippine Relations.


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What Matters Most In Public Administration: Ethics Or Loyalty?

By Joaquin Gonzales, Mayor George Christopher Professor of Public Administration at the Ageno School of Business of Golden Gate University

Loyalty in business is to the owner(s) of the company. Loyalty in government is to the U.S. Constitution and the American people. President Trump wanted the former when he invited the then FBI Director James Comey to the White House for a one-on-one dinner. Comey gave him the latter.

At Golden Gate University, we think that the most important duty of a public official is to be an ethical public servant. Unlike other universities that make ethics the last course in a Public Administration degree program, we put it first.

Almost all cities, states, and federal agencies make employees take an ethics training course prior to assuming office – just as it is mandatory for non-government employees to take sexual harassment training. At the training, public servants learn that loyalty in business is different from loyalty in government. For instance, at a restaurant or hotel, tipping is accepted for good service. At City Hall, you are not allowed to receive a tip for good service. In government, as a public servant you and your family are not supposed to bid for business contracts in the agency where you work. Whistleblowers are encouraged and protected by the law. If members of the public witness abuse of power or authority, it is their civic duty to report it.

From Trumps’ behavior, according to Comey’s testimony, President Trump and his team should have been given a public ethics training course!

Unlike other universities that make ethics the last course in a Public Administration degree program, we put it first.

When I was serving as commissioner for the City and County of San Francisco, I — along with my fellow public servants  had to sit down and participate in an ethics training class held by the City Attorney’s office. Corruption and ethical accountability is a key topic of discussion in GGU’s Executive Master of Public Administration classes, because the temptation to abuse power and steal from the public purse are great. Therefore, everyone from citizens to public employees should know the rules and be vigilant.

We had to attend ethics training every year as a public official or face consequences from the City’s Ethics Commission. As in my case, Trump is answerable to a number of government bodies, including the Congress and the Judiciary as co-equal bodies that checks and balances presidential power. That’s good because it shows the respect of the Constitution is alive and well somewhere.

For more about this issue, please see my recent interview: “BA’s Political Commentator on James Comey Testimony,” The Filipino Channel (TFC), ABS-CBN News, and KTSF Channel 26.


About Joaquin Jay Gonzalez

About Joaquin Jay Gonzalez III, PhD, is Mayor George Christopher Professor of Public Administration at the Ageno School of Business of Golden Gate University, San Francisco, California. He has taught at the University of San Francisco, the National University of Singapore, and De La Salle University (Manila). He was Commissioner for Immigrant Rights for the City and County of San Francisco for close to a decade and has worked for the World Bank (Washington, DC) and the Institute On Governance (Canada). Jay is the author of more than a dozen books including Corruption and American Cities: Essays and Case Studies in Ethical Accountability.

Public Administration Ethics and Donald Trump’s Firing of James Comey

By Dr. Jay Gonzalez, Professor and Chair of GGU’s Department of Public Administration

The recent firing of FBI Director James Comey by President Trump has livened up the usual quiet summer of the Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA) program at Golden Gate University. This issue is front and center in discussions about Public Administration ethics and the politics-administration dichotomy. As is typical for our program, we have law enforcement agents in the summer class, including FBI agents as well as CIA professionals. It’s a good time to be in an EMPA class at Golden Gate University.

In the fall, when the EMPA program ramps up, students and professors will have plenty to discuss during the introductory course called Theory, Ethics, and Practice in Public Service. The firing raises the classic politics-administration issue of whether politics or partisanship should be allowed to seep into the work of neutral public service. In other words, should civil servants just follow the whims and wishes of elected politicians? The incident will also be used for a case study for this and other classes. Bringing current issues into the classroom reflects GGU’s approach of making real-world scenarios a part of the learning experience.

Bringing current issues into the classroom reflects GGU’s approach of making real-world scenarios a part of the learning experience

Loyalty to What?

In Washington, it is normal for the presidential victor to change heads of cabinet-level departments — from secretaries to undersecretaries — as well as leaders of bureaus or agencies like the FBI or CIA. So, there is no doubt that what President Trump did was well within his legal mandate. However, what is being questioned by many is the political interference in the administrative neutrality of career civil servants. Assisted by FBI career agents and analysts, Director Comey’s actions as a public servant do not favor one party or another. The FBI’s Russia investigation and its conclusions will be based on data and evidence, not politics. The loyalty of men and women in the FBI — including Comey during his tenure — is to the Constitution and the American people, not to the Presidency. This allegiance is also the biggest difference between public and business organizations.

The Saturday Night Massacre

In 1973, the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General both resigned after refusing to follow Nixon’s presidential directive to fire Special Watergate Prosecutor Archibald Cox – in an incident that became known as The Saturday Night Massacre. In the context of class discussion, the question is: What is the parallel between the Nixon-Trump political sagas? Both Nixon and Trump doubted the sworn public servants’ capacity to fulfill their administrative mandates in a non-partisan way. Thus, both presidents disregarded long-time career civil servants’ experience and tenure. Trump felt that an ounce of presidential loyalty is worth more than a pound of Russian investigative intelligence. “Director Comey, YOU ARE FIRED!”

Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox (center) was fired by Richard Nixon in 1973.

The Watergate affair unfolded in an era of television, newspaper, and radio. Now, news is 24/7. Besides the traditional sources, breaking news flows to you on your phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop. Even if you are not looking for news, you will get notifications on Twitter, Facebook, or email. This makes the scale of public knowledge and exposure of the Comey firing 100 times greater than the Saturday Night Massacre. Armed with smart phones, everyone is a reporter. With so much Washington drama coming through our newsfeeds, there’s never a dull moment in the EMPA program!

For more on the Nixon-Trump correlation, watch the Jay Gonzalez television interview that aired on The Filipino Channel (TFC), ABS-CBN News, and KTSF Channel 26 on May 11, 2017.

About Dr. Jay Gonzalez

jay-gonzalez-speakingDr. Jay Gonzalez is a Mayor George Christopher Professor of Government and Society. He has authored 13 books, including Corruption and American Cities and Privatization in Practice. Dr. Gonzalez has worked as a public servant with the governments of the Philippines, Singapore, and most recently the United States — as Commissioner of Immigrant Rights for the City and County of San Francisco. In 2005, he received a Special U.S. Congressional Recognition for his public and community service.


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