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Mingus chosen as leading scholar, attends prestigious retreat

May 20, 2008

KALAMAZOO--A Western Michigan University professor has been recognized as one of the top 50 people in his field, qualifying him to attend a selective retreat for emerging scholars.

Dr. Matthew S. Mingus, associate professor of public administration and director of the WMU School of Public Affairs and Administration, has been selected by a panel of senior public administration scholars as one of the top 50 emerging scholars in public administration. As a result, Mingus is invited to attend the Minnowbrook III retreat in September.

The emerging scholar group will meet for three days at the Minnowbrook Conference Center in Adirondack Park in upstate New York and then will present their collective views on the future of public administration to the full Minnowbrook III conference in Lake Placid. Mingus will also present a paper, titled "Resilience: Developing State-level Capacity to Rise above Societal Limitations," at the full conference with Dr. Catherine Horiuchi from the University of San Francisco, which they co-authored.

The Minnowbrook I and II retreats in 1968 and 1988 were organized by Dwight Waldo at Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and were designed to explore current issues and emerging themes in public administration. By anyone's standards, Waldo was one of the most influential thinkers in the field of American public administration until his death in 2000. One lasting effect of Minnowbrook I was to create a significant role for the value of social equity within American public administration, exemplified by the New Public Administration Movement.

While the value of social equity compared to the values of economy and efficiency has waxed and waned over the decades, Mingus says it is alive and well as a core value in public-serving organizations. In fact, Mingus was a founding member of the section on Democracy and Social Justice within the American Society of Public Administration earlier this year.

"I was deeply moved by this unexpected surprise," Mingus says. "While I've been teaching public administration students about Minnowbrook I and II for over 10 years, I never imagined that I would be honored by an invitation to attend Minnowbrook III. After the death of Dwight Waldo in 2000, I wasn't even sure there would be a Minnowbrook III retreat."

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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