Building a Better Wilmington Campaign

Dr. Brudney Teaching

Courses Taught By Dr.Brudney

PLS 308 - Introduction to Public Administration

This course is designed to give students a greater appreciation of the breadth and scope of public administration theory and practice to improve your ability to work effectively as public mangers. Although the focus is public administration, we provide skills that can also be used in business and nonprofit organizations. The learning outcomes of the course are to:

Introduce you to the key theories, concepts, and tools in public management

  • Develop your ability to work and manage effectively in public (and other) organizations
  • Improve your understanding of public organizations and the context within which these organizations operate
  • Enhance your skills and ability to think, act, and communicate effectively in public and other organizations
  • Increase your ability to work effectively in groups
  • Raise your awareness of public management as an exciting career field

These learning outcomes will be met by introducing you to a variety of theories and conceptual frameworks, as well as the related management tools and techniques, for understanding and managing public organizations. The course will develop your critical thinking and writing skills through analyses of cases and the preparation of case memos. Additionally, a group project to prepare a grant proposal will improve your ability to present your ideas and arguments in oral and written form.

PLS 360 - Introduction to Nonprofit Organizations

This course is designed to give students a greater appreciation of the breadth and scope of nonprofit administration theory and practice to improve your ability to work effectively as mangers in the nonprofit sector. Although the focus is nonprofit administration, we provide skills that can also be used in business and public organizations. This course satisfies the UNCW requirement of an Exploration Beyond the Classroom, accordingly, the course requires students to volunteer with a nonprofit organization (15 hours). The course has the following learning outcomes:

  • Introduce students to the key theories, concepts, and tools in nonprofit management and the key role of nonprofit organizations in society
  • Improve students’ understanding of nonprofit organizations and the context within which these organizations operate
  • Develop students’ ability to work and manage effectively in nonprofit (and other) organizations
  • Enhance students’ skills and ability to analyze situations, and to think, act, and communicate effectively in nonprofit (and other) organizations
  • Network and interact with key ley leaders in the local nonprofit community
  • Raise students’ awareness of nonprofit management as an exciting career field
  • Provide on-the-ground insights into nonprofit organization and management through volunteering

These learning outcomes will be achieved through the introduction of students to a variety of theories and conceptual frameworks; interaction with leaders and managers of nonprofit organizations; and volunteer involvement, reflection, and learning with a nonprofit organization. The course will develop students’ critical thinking and writing skills through analysis of cases, preparation of case memos, and volunteering participation and reflection.

PLS 362/535 - Leading and Managing Volunteers

This course addresses major issues in the leadership and management of volunteers in the nonprofit and public sectors.  The course focuses on the two main types of volunteers:  service volunteers and policy volunteers.

“Service volunteers” are those who assist organizations in undertaking or supporting their major operational tasks, such as delivering services to clients (for example, providing mentoring, counseling, etc.) and facilitating the work of paid staff (for example, performing administrative and maintenance tasks for the organization, such as filing, telephone, etc.).  When people speak about volunteers, they usually mean these “service” volunteers.  Equally important are “governance” or “policy” volunteers, those who serve on the board of directors or policy-making committees of nonprofit organizations (for example, finance committee, nominations committee) and are entrusted with decision-making authority.  Normally called board members or directors or trustees, these volunteers bear ultimate responsibility for the organization, and offer strategic guidance and leadership to it.

The course will closely examine both types of volunteers.  With regard to service volunteers, the course considers the design and organization of volunteer programs, including background on volunteerism, elements of the volunteer program, structuring the volunteer program, job design for volunteer programs, volunteer motivation and retention, and evaluation.  With regard to governance or policy volunteers, or directors or trustees of nonprofit boards, the course considers the general requirements of board members, as well as some important models of board governance.

PLS 362 is an elective course toward the Political Science Major, the Public Administration Minor, and the Nonprofit Management and Leadership Minor.

PLS 434/534 - Nonprofit Leadership Experience

This course will help students to:

Learn and appreciate the role of the nonprofit sector in building and sustaining a civil society.

  • Develop practical job skills for the nonprofit sector that can also be transferred to the public (government) and for-profit (business) sectors.
  • Take ownership of their education and professional presentation of themselves for meaningful jobs and careers.

 This course presents a great opportunity for engaged learning that will benefit students’ formal education and professional career.  Students will learn about nonprofit organizations, acquire useful job skills, and apply them in projects designed by nonprofit organizations in conjunction with the instructor. Working with the instructor, nonprofit organizations have submitted these projects as work they need to complete – and from which students can benefit and learn.

This non-traditional course will expand students’ professional development:  Class meetings are held in intensive session; a variety of special panels and guest speakers are scheduled; students will complete projects developed and needed by nonprofit organizations in the community; and students will meet and interact with members of the UNCW and nonprofit communities.

 The course begins with a series of intensive seminars about the nonprofit sector, held early in the semester.  The goal is to give students the background and knowledge to succeed in projects in the community. After we complete these classroom sessions, each student will undertake and complete a project with a local nonprofit/community organization.  Working with local nonprofits, we have developed projects, and we are also open to projects that you might suggest; the instructor must approve all projects.

 The projects will require approximately 20-40 hours of student assistance.  At the final meeting of the course, students will present a poster of their project to the class, the nonprofit organizations sponsoring the projects, members of the local nonprofit community, and interested UNCW officials at a Student Project Poster Session. Thus, students will network with members of the nonprofit community and UNCW officials.

 Students can select the projects that interest them: You might prepare a board of directors manual, develop a volunteer recruitment plan, build a website for a nonprofit organization, create a marketing plan, manage a fundraising event or campaign, etc.  It is also possible for you to complete a project for a nonprofit organization in which you now work or volunteer, including faith-based organizations and political organizations, as long as the project differs substantially from your regular work, duties, and involvement with the organization. The instructor must approve all projects.

 The skills and experience students gain in this course will be useful whether students decide to work for a nonprofit, for-profit (business), or government (public) organization. The course has resulted in employment for some students.

This class guides students to increase their learning, present themselves to potential employers, and gain valuable job skills -- provided that they are prepared to work closely and responsibly with a nonprofit/community organization.  For your learning, and in respect and appreciation of the numerous guest speakers and panelists who have volunteered their time to assist you, attendance and professional behavior in class and in your nonprofit project are required. Professional dress is strongly recommended for all class sessions.

 When you assist a nonprofit/community organization please remember that you represent yourself, the Department of Public and International Affairs, and the University.  You should be prepared to work in a professional manner with the organization to schedule your time, meet your obligations to the organization, and complete your project successfully. If you fail to do so, you harm not only yourself but also other UNCW students by making it more difficult to attract projects from the community.  

 This class is open to all undergraduate and graduate students at UNCW.  The course may substitute for the internship requirement for the Public Administration Minor as a “Culminating Professional or Field Experience.”  The course is required for the Minor in Nonprofit Management and Leadership. As explained above, the course meets the University requirement for an Exploration Beyond the Classroom.