Master of Public Administration

Academy for Strategic Management

Each fall semester the MPA program offers a 40-hour program designed for mid-level government and nonprofit managers and high-potential staff. For more details, contact Mark Imperial, Director of the Master of Public Administration program at 910-962-7928 or

Session Topics

  • Leadership and Self-Assessment - Mark Imperial
  • Strategic Planning and Implementation - Jeff Brudney and Chris Prentice
  • Managing for Results: Performance Measurement - John Brennan
  • Media/External Relations - Jeanne Persuit **will be on UNCW campus

Additional Information about the Academy

  • Each of the six modules will be held on Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
  • Modules will be co-taught by Master of Public Administration faculty and practitioners. Sessions will include concepts, examples, cases, and practice exercises. The standard format will be a lecture provided by faculty followed by panels of community practitioners who will link theory with practice.
  • The cost for the Academy and six sessions is $500. Scholarships and a sliding fee scale are available upon request.
  • This program is designed for mid-level executives in the public and nonprofit sector. Two years of supervisory experience is preferred. Continuing Education Credits are given and Academic Credit is Optional.
  • Materials for each session will be added to the website as they become available. No hard copy of these materials will be distributed. Students are encouraged to download and/or print the materials for in-class use. The .pdf versions of the PowerPoint slides are plain, black and white, and contain no borders (a cost-effective version for printing). To print the handout, outline, or notes view, you will need to use the PowerPoint version and select your view in the print function.

Sample Academy Faculty


  • Jeff Brudney, Distinguished Professor of Nonprofit Management
  • Jennifer Biddle, Assistant Professor of Public Administration
  • John Brennan, Assistant Professor of Public Administration
  • Mark Imperial, Associate Professor of Public Administration
  • Rick Olsen, Chair, Department of Communications
  • Jeannie Persuit, Assistant Professor, Department of Communications
  • Christopher Prentice, Assistant Professor of Public Administration
  • Earl Sheridan, Chair, Department of Public & International Affairs and Wilmington City Council
  • Stephanie Smith, Lecturer, School of Nursing


  • Bill Bennett, former Director of Planning and Development, NC State Ports
  • Tufanna Thomas, Strategic Director, Blue Ribbon Commission on Youth Violence
  • Sterling Cheatham, City Manager, City of Wilmington
  • Chris Coudriet, County Manager, New Hanover County
  • Ben David, District Attorney, New Hanover County
  • Beth Gaglione, Executive Director, Pender Alliance for Teen Health
  • Rob Gerlach, President, VTA Group
  • Donna Girardot, Executive Officer, Wilmington-Cape Fear Homebuilders Assn.
  • Cam Griffin, Budget Director, New Hanover County
  • Ruth Haas, Executive Director, Cape Fear Museum of History and Science
  • Bill Hart, Soil and Water Conservation Service
  • Clauston Jenkins, former corporate and school system executive
  • Katrina Knight, Executive Director, Good Shepherd Center
  • James Leutze, Chancellor Emeritus, UNCW
  • Chris May, Executive Director, Cape Fear Council of Governments
  • Chad McEwen, Town Manager, Town of Burgaw
  • Dick McGraw, former Dept. of Defense and Corporate Executive
  • Chris Nelson, Executive Director, Cape Fear Area United Way
  • Lou Orlando, former Corporate Executive
  • Tim Owens, Town Manager, Town of Carolina Beach
  • Calvin Peck, Town Manager, Bald Head Island
  • Linda Pearce, Executive Director, Elderhaus, Inc.
  • Roy Tucker, former executive with federal government (Peace Corps)
  • Tracy Wilkes, Executive Director, DREAMS of Wilmington

We are always looking for local executives interested in joining the faculty and sharing their expertise. If you are interested, please contact Dr. Mark Imperial at 910-962-7928 or