Research by Faculty

The faculty in the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Western Michigan University are engaged in research dealing in various areas, such as leadership, ethics, intergovernmental relations, student learning preferences, evaluation, and comparative public administration. Below is the list of ongoing research for the School of Public Affairs and Administration faculty members. Click on the individual faculty members name to view more information on their directory pages.

Dr. Vickie Edwards' research interests include nonprofit management, strategic planning and action, civic engagement, democratic governance, volunteerism, and organizational behavior. Her current research focuses on informal volunteerism and pro-social civic behaviors in socioeconomically depressed and minority communities. She has evaluated programs in the fields of education and health care and served as a consultant to various public and nonprofit organizations. Her recent publications include Examining the Ethics of Government-Organized Nongovernmental Organizations (GONGOs) (co-authored, Public Integrity, 2017), Fifty Years of Science Fiction Television: Themes of Governance and Bureaucracy in Star Trek and Doctor Who (Administrative Theory and Praxis, 2014), and Examining Absenteeism in the Public and Nonprofit Sectors (International Journal of Organization Theory and Behavior, 2014).

Dr. Matthew S. Mingus' research focuses on comparative public administration and particularly multilevel systems of governance, the changing nature of borders and national sovereignty, and democratic reform. He has extensive international experience in China, Iraq and Canada. He was the Fulbright Research Chair at the University of Ottawa’s Centre on Governance, where he studied Canadian democratic and electoral reform efforts at the national and provincial levels. This systemic reform continues to be an area of research interest in multiple countries. His recent publications include: Practical Challenges in Comparing Chinese and American Local Government (International Relations and Diplomacy, 2015).

Dr. Robert Peters'research focuses on instructional strategies, intergovernmental relations, and the politics of budgeting. The focal point of his current research is the extent to which teaching strategies promote creativity and critical thinking within the context of the students and instructors' preference for stimulus-response learning. A portion of his current research also examines the development of federal public assistance and health care policies during the 1950s and 1960s. His recent publications include: "The States as Generators of Incremental Change in American Health Care Policy: 1935-1965" (with Minerva Cruz, "Social, Economic, and Political Perspectives on Public Health Policy-Making," 2016) and "Anchored Learning and the Development of Creative, Critical Thinking and Life-long Learning Skills" ("Teaching Public Administration," 2015).

Dr. Vincent Reitano's research interests include public budgeting and finance, public policy, and statistical methodology. His research also draws from his consultation and applied research experience focusing on budgetary and financial challenges facing a variety of cities and school districts across the United States. His recent publications include: Accumulating and Maintaining Fiscal Savings (coauthored, Journal of Government Financial Management, 2017), The Fiscal Savings Behavior of Pennsylvania School Districts through the Great Recession (coauthored, Public Budgeting & Finance, 2017), Examining the Evolution of Cross-National Fiscal Transparency (coauthored, American Review of Public Administration), An Open Systems Model of Local Government Forecasting (American Review of Public Administration, 2018), A Glimmer of Optimism in Government Savings Accumulation? An Empirical Examination of Municipal Unassigned Fund Balance in Florida (coauthored, Public Finance Review, 2018), and Sweat the Small Stuff: Strategic Selection of Pension Policies Used to Defer Required Contributions (coauthored, Contemporary Economic Policy, 2018).

Dr. Daniela Schroeter’s research interests include evaluation theory, methodology, practice, and capacity building with a special emphasis on social and organizational change in nonprofit contexts. She is currently working on two grants: a study of evaluation competencies in public administration (from WMU) and an evaluation of Indiana State University’s Accelerating College Completion through Math Mindset Program (from the U.S. Department of Education). Her recent publications include: Does Research on Evaluation Matter? (coauthored, "American Journal of Evaluation," 2016), An Overview of Evidence-Based Program Registers (EBPRs) for Behavioral Health (coauthored, "Evaluation and Program Planning," 2015), Comparing Rating Paradigms for Evidence-Based Program Registers in Behavioral Health (coauthored, "Evaluation and Program Planning," 2015), Assessing Standards of Evidence in Evidence-based Program Registers for Behavioral Health Treatments (coauthored, "Drug and Alcohol Dependence," 2015), and Deconstructing Evidence-Based Practice: Progress and Ambiguities (coauthored editorial, "Evaluation and Program Planning," 2015).

Dr. Udaya R. Wagle's current research encompasses a variety of social policy topics in the United States as well as internationally. In the US, his current research focuses on understanding the politics of welfare state with special attention to how ethnic heterogeneity has shaped and reshaped the development in welfare state policies. International coverage of his research examines the evolving context of social policy development in Nepal, international comparisons of poverty and inequality, and impact of social protection policies on poverty and inequality globally. Recent publications include: The Role of Social Protection Policies in Reducing Poverty and Inequality: An Insight from Asian Experiences (Global Social Policy, 2017), The Caste/Ethnic Bases of Poverty Dynamics: A Longitudinal Analysis of Chronic and Structural Poverty in Nepal (Journal of Development Studies, 2017), The Impact of Foreign Remittances on Poverty in Nepal: A Panel Study of Household Survey Data, 1996-2011 (coauthored, World Development, 2018), and Ethnic Heterogeneity Politics of Welfare State in the United States: A Time Series Analysis (Race and Social Problems, 2019).