Darlene Kelly

Business Transitions Manager
Department of Human Services – Self-sufficiency Program

I couldn't have timed my participation in the Certificate of Public Management better if I’d tried. After 12 years of experience in the public sector, I joined the CPM to expand my leadership capacity, refine my managerial skill set, and make a greater contribution.

Shortly after finishing the program, I took on a large managerial role beyond my job description and outside my professional ‘comfort zone.’ Drawing heavily on the CPM’s lessons, I oversaw the training of a surge of new hires. Thanks to my new skills –and the support of a dedicated staff- the mass training went smoothly and efficiently.

What most impressed me about the program was its close alignment with the unique challenges we face in the public sector. The graduate-level faculty’s instruction, context and projects proved that they knew where we were coming from. They tailored each class and project to the types of challenges that we confront on a daily basis.

Layered over the classes and projects, a series of interactions with the legislature illustrated the interdependence of the state’s various agencies. I now have a richer understanding of how I contribute to my agency’s mission, how my work affects other agencies, and how we can collaborate to make the Department of Human Services a world-class agency.

I would recommend the CPM to anyone with the vision and drive of an aspiring leader; someone who is motivated to amplify her impact by investing in her skills and knowledge.

Kristen Duus

Director of Technology
Salem-Keizer Public Schools

The Certificate of Public Management equipped me with the skills I thought I needed as a burgeoning public manager, and more besides. I came into the CPM with a computer science degree and several years of real-world experience. I needed to bolster my managerial acumen and leadership capacity so that I could continue growing professionally and expand my impact.

Ten years after completing the CPM, the quality of the conversation amongst my cohort stands out as one of the program’s most memorable benefits. It was very enriching to hear the perspective of experienced peers from other departments. During my undergrad studies in computer science and subsequent years of work I hadn’t heard ‘their side.’ Understanding their daily challenges and expectations for technology made me a better manager and collaborator.

The program itself delivered just as much value. The way the CPM aligned best business practices with the unique needs of the public sector has proven indispensable. Though our motives and accountability structure differ, we in the public sector still have to run a tight ship. From marketing to negotiation to IT, every course expanded my perspective of the complex, strategic, and systemic aspects of public management.

Finally, I have to praise the faculty. The real-world experience of the government executives complemented the graduate-school professors. That layering of context over the in-class conversation and material was a real boon.

I would recommend the CPM to any public sector professional seeking a transformative learning experience.

Pat Dodge

Senior Policy Analyst
City of Salem Public Works

I describe the CPM as ‘an MBA without the electives.’ The program is well designed for ambitious public employees who may not have studied business or public administration in college, but wish to build on their practical experience. I took the program as a structured opportunity to update my degree in public administration and my 30-year career.

The CPM helped me to refocus on the challenges that I face as an analyst for the City of Salem, refine my understanding of management, and work more efficiently. It refreshed the way I think about everything, from my daily tasks up to my department’s overall mission.

The CPM also provided a useful opportunity to hear how other agencies, departments, and divisions get their work done. The diversity of perspectives -representing all levels of government- really elevated the quality of the conversation. The program’s duration complemented that breadth of experience; the CPM lasted long enough for us to study and discuss current governmental topics as they played out. It was very informative to hear from the different ‘sides’ of the group as these matters reached resolution.

Between the expanded perspective, the material tailored to the public sector, and the graduate-level faculty, the CPM delivered on its promise. It outlines how to be more effective as a public sector manager. It’s not a refresher course for those who already have a graduate-level education.

I would recommend the CPM to any public or non-profit employee who wants to be successful and work up into the higher levels of public management.

Willamette University

Executive Development Center

Salem Campus

900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.

Portland Campus

200 SW Market Street, Suite 101
Portland Oregon 97201 U.S.A.

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