Fels Institute of Government
|Fels Institute of Government|
Fels Institute of Government
|Status||Previously the home of Samuel S. Fels|
|Location||3814 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
The Fels Institute of Government is the University of Pennsylvania’s graduate program in public policy and public management. Its practical approach to public management education, its Ivy League pedigree and its relatively small size make it one of the nation's leading boutique programs in public affairs. The Institute was founded in 1937 by Samuel Simeon Fels of the Fels Naptha Soap Company in response to a wave of corruption and mismanagement in Pennsylvania government. Originally established for the purpose of training local government officials, over time Fels broadened its mission; it now prepares its students for public leadership positions in city, state, and Federal agencies, elective politics, nonprofit organizations, and private firms with close connections to the public sector. Its 2,000 living alumni work in leadership roles across the US and around the world. As of August, 2008 the Executive Director of the Fels Institute is David Thornburgh, a long-time civic and business leader in the Philadelphia region and son of Attorney General and former Pennsylvania Governor Dick Thornburgh.
The Fels Institute is housed in Samuel Fels' former residence, a brick mansion located on the west end of the University of Pennsylvania’s campus.
Fels offers a Master of Public Administration degree in both a full-time and executive (part-time) formats. Fels also offers 5-course certificates in Economic Development and Growth, Nonprofit Administration, Politics, and Public Finance.
The University of Pennsylvania
Penn students can take elective courses in any of the University's 12 graduate schools. Students can also take advantage of multiple dual degree options, including the Juris Doctor-Master of Public Administration (JD/MPA) degree in conjunction with the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and MBA/MPA with the Wharton School, and MEd/MPA through the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education.
The MPA Degree
The MPA is a 12-course program designed to provide a broad-based education that prepares students to move within and between government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private firms engaging in public sector work. The curriculum develops core competencies in analysis, management, finance, and politics that are applicable to different contexts[peacock term]. Eight core courses cover the fundamentals of effective public administration, developing competencies in analysis, management, finance and politics. Four elective courses give students the opportunity to apply the skills and theories introduced in the core courses to a particular policy topic or sector.
Courses at Fels are divided into four categories: politics, economic development and growth, nonprofit administration, and public finance. A Fels certificate can be earned in any of these areas; or students who wish for broader training can take classes from multiple areas.
Courses include: Policy Development, Performance Management, Fundraising for Nonprofit Organizations, Ancient and Modern Constitutionmaking, Leadership and Politics, Dealing With the Media, Public Finance Investment Banking, The Politics of Housing and Community Development, Lobbying, State Elective Politics, and Foundations and Grant Management.
Faculty members include:
The Fels Approach: “Leadership for Results”
The entire Fels experience is centered around its aim of educating leaders to produce results that matter to citizens. Fels students benefit from being in a small graduate program within a much larger Ivy League university. The Institute has approximately 140 students in its full-time and executive programs. Students work in small cohorts of about 35 students, making for a vibrant, close-knit community of scholars to work with and learn from. Students also receive a high level of personal attention from staff and faculty, who get to know their interests and strengths well[peacock term].
At Fels, students experience and practice the institute’s public service mission by conducting research and providing consulting services for government and nonprofit entities. Fels projects enable to put into practice the skills and theories they learn in the classroom while gaining real-word experience; and by partnering with external organizations, Fels projects bring the intellectual capacity of the University to bear on the challenges facing public and nonprofit organizations[peacock term].
Recent Projects (2008)
The Fels Institute's active research and consulting program distinguishes it as a top-notch "think and do" tank[peacock term]. Fels projects bring Fels staff, alumni, and students together to tackle tough public problems. Recent Fels projects include:
The Fels Performance Action Team, a group of students, staff, and faculty, worked with the City of Philadelphia to transform data-driven leadership into tangible results through its PhillyStat and Budgeting for Outcomes initiatives.
The Pennsylvania Leadership Academy supported Pennsylvania state government officials in identifying and implementing performance-based management strategies.
The Neighborhood Change Project revisited and assessd the current condition of 533 formerly vacant properties in Southwest Center City Philadelphia, providing insight into the process of neighborhood change.
Notable Fels Alumni