University of Minnesota
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The Humphrey School of Public Affairs is the University of
Minnesota's school of policy and planning.

Kathryn S. Quick

Assistant Professor, Public and Nonprofit Leadership Area

Phone: 612-625-2025
Office: 235 Humphrey School

Areas of Expertise

Inclusive public management, designing civic engagement and public participation processes, integrative leadership, collaborative governance, urban planning, local government, environmental planning, theories of practice, ethnographic methods


Kathy's work focuses on how managers in public and nonprofit organizations create opportunities for communities to address public issues together. She engages in three related streams of qualitative research. First, she does long-term, ethnographic research in communities where such managers have been particularly successful in building platforms for ongoing civic engagement and leadership. Through participant observation, interviews, and analysis of texts, she analyzes their practices and their consequences for the inclusiveness and ongoing capacity of communities, the quality of policy outcomes, and the generation and management of resources. Second, Kathy is interviewing community facilitation practitioners across Minnesota to analyze how skilled practitioners make design choices about how to organize civic engagement across a diverse range of settings and public policy issues. Third, she is studying methods for effectively engaging stakeholders with substantially different ways of knowing issues, technical knowledge, perceptions of risk, and preferences for management intervention, through case studies of transportation planning and the emerging emerald ash borer threat. She studies these practices across diverse issue areas, including city budgeting and resource management, environmental stewardship, urban master planning and zoning, neighborhood conflicts, transportation, and arts and culture development. 

Kathy's research, teaching, and service commitments grow out of her professional practice. She previously worked as an environmental advocate and policy analyst in Indonesia for 8 years and as a community development program manager in 2 Californian cities over 6 years. She holds a Ph.D. in Planning, Policy, and Design from the University of California, Irvine, a master’s degree in city and regional planning from the University of California, Berkeley, and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Swarthmore College.

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Courses Taught

Kathy teaches Management of Organizations, the Integrative Leadership Seminar, and Managing Civic Engagement and mentors students working on public and nonprofit management and leadership practices for civic engagement. 

Go to the University of Minnesota One Stop website to apply for these and other public affairs courses.

For syllabi for the current or upcoming semester, please visit the University of Minnesota's Course Guide and look for the syllabus icon. If the syllabus is not there, contact the instructor directly. Syllabi are available in alternative formats upon request. Please contact Jeremy Gordon at or 612-624-7095 for assistance.

Summer 2014
Fall 2014
Spring 2015
  • LAW 6623 — Integrative Leadership
  • MGMT 6402 — Integrative Leadership
  • OLPD 6402 — Integrative Leadership Seminar
  • PA 5105 — Integrative Leadership Seminar
  • PA 5145 — Civic Participation

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