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Wednesday, August 27, 2003
 
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Ohio University Bicentennial
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Political leaders need to create public value

By Adrienne Gavula

Ohio University researchers have shifted the noses on dinosaurs, helped ease the stress of migraine headaches and painted a picture of baseball played during the Great Depression. Rarely, however, have they had the opportunity to explain their work to such a diverse audience, as they will for the Bicentennial Colloquia to be presented in Walter Hall at 4:10 p.m. on Tuesday afternoons. The series of Colloquia are open to the campus community and public and are trying to encourage a greater understanding and appreciation of the faculty's work.

Mark WeinbergMark Weinberg, professor of political science and director of Voinovich Center for Political Leadership and Political Affairs, will be speaking May 18, and his topic is "why political leaders need to create public value."

Imagine you're shopping for a new car. What kind would you choose and why? Companies are interested in the "why" part of your answer, and they build cars around the things you value in a new car, whether it be safety or aesthetics. Political leaders don't usually focus on these values. Weinberg proposes that public and non-profit organizations and political leaders need to focus on what is of value in developing public programs, whether those programs feed low-income kids or provide public safety. Political leaders and public managers should be focused on value creation and be strategic about using public assets.

"A focus on creating public value is the best public management approach that I've seen in my 28 years of teaching," Weinberg says. "It's developed by Mark Moore, a Harvard professor."

Weinberg's presentation is the last in a series of five colloquia.

"The Bicentennial Colloquia are important because the core activity of the University is learning, so it's a good idea to focus on what faculty do in the classroom and on research activities," he says.


Adrienne Gavula is a student writer for University Communications and Marketing.

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