Graduate Catalog 2000 - 2002

  
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The School of Urban and Public Affairs
Dean: Richard L. Cole, Ph.D.
501C University Hall Box 19588 817-272-3071 www.uta.edu/supa
 
 

Mission and Philosophy
   The mission of the School of Urban and Public Affairs is to conduct basic and applied research into urban problems and public policy, to provide services in support of public and nonprofit agencies, and to educate and train students for public service careers.

History and Overview
   SUPA was established in 1967 as the Institute of Urban Studies by an act of the Texas Legislature. The institute's mandate was to offer Texas city and county governments and other public agencies high-caliber, university-based research, training and other technical services. In 1990, after significant expansion of its staff and programs, the organization became the School of Urban and Public Affairs. The institute continues to operate as a vital part of the school.
   SUPA is the state's only university-based center for applied research and service in urban affairs. It is called upon routinely to study and recommend solutions for problems confronting government agencies, nonprofit organizations and private industry.
   During its more than 30 years of existence, SUPA has conducted hundreds of studies on such topics as transportation, housing, child care, public safety, corrections, education, human services and regional governance. Its reports are included in the collections of virtually every major library in Texas and have been adopted as texts at many colleges and universities.
   Urban officials view the school, its institute and its Center for Economic Development Research and Service (CEDRAS) as a primary source of information and advice in such matters as computer applications in urban management, home rule charters, redistricting, interlocal contracting, economic development, personnel management, revenue administration, land appraisal, zoning and land-use issues. SUPA is active in training local government officials and in consulting on service projects for governmental agencies worldwide. Urban professionals rely on SUPA for consultation and guidance in accomplishing such goals as urban revitalization, pollution control, conservation, and facility planning and siting.
   Though much of its research is done in response to specific requests by particular entities, SUPA makes the results available through its publications to others who find themselves confronting similar situations.
   SUPA uses the most advanced computer equipment, data collection and analysis techniques in conducting its research, and its team of more than 20 faculty and staff have rich and diverse educational and cultural backgrounds to draw upon. One distinguishing feature of SUPA is its location in the heart of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, a rich urban laboratory of more than 150 cities with a total population of approximately 4.5 million. This complex urban arena offers a wide array of opportunities for student projects, internships and employment. SUPA faculty, staff and students work on "real-life" urban and public affairs projects in cooperation with city governments, public agencies and nonprofit

organizations through the school's institute, CEDRAS, and the national Coalition to Improve Management in State and Local Government, which is headquartered at SUPA.
   More than 500 students have earned graduate degrees at SUPA, and many hold key management positions in local governments, public agencies and nonprofit organizations nationwide. Currently, SUPA has a diverse student body of approximately 250 students. Many of these students also hold full- or part-time positions in government, private or nonprofit organizations.

Accreditation
   The School of Urban and Public Affairs is one of only approximately 20 in the country having both its Master of Public Administration and its Master of City and Regional Planning programs fully accredited by their respective accrediting agencies.
   The Master of City and Regional Planning is accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board which requires graduate planning programs to meet high professional and academic standards. Students enrolled in accredited programs are eligible for certain national APA scholarships, and graduates of accredited programs may qualify for certification by the American Institute of Certified Planners after fewer years of experience than graduates of nonaccredited programs. Also, accreditation qualifies a CIRP program for representation on the board of the Educational Foundation of the Texas Chapter of the American Planning Association which provides annual scholarships and other benefits to students in accredited planning programs. The Master of Public Administration degree is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration which requires public administration programs to meet strict standards for faculty qualifications, curriculum content, admissions and program requirements, student composition and services, budget and facilities. Accreditation enhances the program's national recognition and will open doors and provide opportunities for students applying for Texas-based scholarships and nationwide positions.
   In 1992 a nationwide poll of similar programs conducted by the Urban Affairs Association ranked SUPA as having the nation's fourth best program of higher education in urban affairs.

Scholastic Activity and Research Interests of the Faculty
   SUPA faculty are actively engaged in research and community service projects that benefit local jurisdictions, public and nonprofit agencies with expertise that is beyond the normal scope of their particular services and resources. Typical projects include revitalization studies for inner-city neighborhoods, development plans for central business districts, economic development strategies for municipalities, interlocal contracting studies, and assessments of service delivery alternatives in communities and school districts.

 
Graduate Catalog 2000 - 2002

  
233