Fall 2021 Public Affairs Course Highlights

Academic Programs
Humphrey School of Public Affairs

301 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

New Courses | Not Offered in 2022–2023 | New Course Numbers or New/Returning Instructors | Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Highlights

New Courses

PA 5022, sec. 2: Labor Market Consequences of Economic Policies (3 cr.)

Instructor: Morris Kleiner

Download flyer for PA 5022, sec. 2

The class will cover the labor market consequences of key economic policies. The topics will include issues such as minimum wages, noncompete agreements, and occupational licensing, These issues and other policies will be evaluated in the context of current macroeconomic approaches to the economy to include income inequality, economic growth, and labor market concentration.

PA 5290, sec. 2: Migration, Human Rights, and the Southern Border (1 cr.) 

Instructor: Eric Schwartz

This one-credit course will examine the range of policy issues surrounding forced migration from Central America to Mexico and the United States, human rights, and the southern border of the United States. The Biden administration has sought to develop policies that 1) begin to reverse the closure of asylum space that was accelerated in the prior presidential administration, 2) recognize the importance of a range of possible immigration pathways for individuals and families from Central America, 3) provide for expanded refugee processing from the Northern Triangle region, and 4) recognize and begin to address so-called root causes of violence, corruption, and disenfranchisement in Central America. In this short course, we will examine those strategies, consider the assumptions that underlie them, and assess early implementation efforts. Students with interests in migration, forced migration, refugee issues, Mexico and Central America, and human rights and development may be interested in this class. See ClassInfo for more detail.

PA 5290, sec. 3: Zoning for Equity (3 cr.) 

Instructor: Ed Goetz

Download flyer for PA 5290, sec. 3

Land use zoning in the U.S. has a long history of discriminatory intent and impact. From the overt racism of racial zoning in the early 20th century through the more covert methods of exclusionary zoning that persist today, this policy tool has frequently been used by local governments to establish and maintain patterns of racial, ethnic, and class segregation. This course is part of a joint effort by six universities across the U.S. (including University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, University of North Carolina, University of Utah, Florida State University, and University of California, Los Angeles). We will join with students and faculty at those universities to explore the exclusionary history of zoning and contemporary efforts to make zoning more equitable. The course will include pre-recorded materials that students at all five universities will see, additional material delivered at each site, and a course project local to each site focused on an issue of zoning equity. There will be periodic meetings across all of the Universities so that students can learn from the projects taking place at each site.

Not Offered in 2022–2023

PA 5511: Community Economic Development. (3 cr.) 

Instructor: Robert Streetar

This course provides the student with a practitioner’s understanding of local economic development practice. This course will review arguments for local economic development, economic development definitions and goals, theories, the planning process, strategies, implementation, and politics. Through course readings, class discussions, presentations by local economic development practitioners, and group projects, students will leave the course with a foundation for professional local government economic development practice.

New Course Numbers or New/Returning Instructors

PA 5413: Early Childhood and Public Policy (3 cr.)

Instructor: State Representative Dave Pinto

Download flyer for PA 5413

The course will examine state and federal policies relating to the first five years of life, the process by which such policies are developed, and the skills of policy advocacy on behalf of young children and their families. There will be a particular emphasis on the policy context in Minnesota. This course is part of the early childhood policy certificate

State Representative Dave Pinto is the chair of the Minnesota House Early Childhood Finance & Policy committee and the founder of the Prenatal to Three Policy Forums. He represents the southwest neighborhoods of St. Paul in the Minnesota House of Representatives, where he chairs the Early Childhood committee. Outside the Legislature, he serves as a prosecutor of gender violence with the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office. For several years, he was the Director of Statewide Training and Protocol Development for Safe Harbor, Minnesota's system for addressing the sex trafficking of young people. In that role, he trained thousands of people statewide in identifying and responding to this crime. He is a recipient of the Excellence in Diversity Award from the Ramsey County Bar Association, as well as awards and recognitions from the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women, Children’s Hospitals Minnesota, Innocence Project of Minnesota, and League of Minnesota Cities, among many others. He earned an undergraduate degree from Harvard College and a law degree and MBA from the University of Virginia, where he was a recipient of the Raven Award, that University’s highest student honor.

PA 5442: Education Law and Policy (3 cr.) 

Instructor: Steve Kelley

Should schools be prohibited from teaching critical race theory? Should transgender women be excluded from high school sports? Can schools police what students say online? This course explores these questions and the combined roles of law and policy in the design of America’s system of public preK-12 education and its institutions. In 2021, we will focus extra attention on issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion. We also will discuss the process of education law and policy change, including school integration, the inclusion of students with disabilities, educational standards, testing, and current calls for education reform.  As we recover from the pandemic, I hope we will also be able to identify lessons learned from school lockdowns and remote learning. Materials from other cultures, including indigenous cultures, and countries will help us think about education law and policy in a broader context. Course readings will include judicial decisions, statutes, policy analyses, scholarly articles, and journalistic accounts of education and human development issues. Classes will consist of active student discussion of legal and policy design issues, presentations by guest speakers who are active practitioners and advocates in education law and policy and presentation of group research projects.

Steve Kelley served in the Minnesota Legislature for 14 years, chaired the Minnesota Senate Education Committee, and served recently as Minnesota’s Commerce Commissioner.  He also serves on the boards of education non-profit organizations.

PA 5242: Environmental Planning, Policy, and Decision Making (3 cr.) 

Instructor: Fayola Jacobs

Normally offered in Spring Semester. Theory and practice. Ethical, legal, and institutional frameworks relative to a range of environmental issues.  Innovative environmental decision making informed by collaboration, conflict resolution, adaptive management, and resilience thinking.

PA 5301, sec. 1: Population Issues: The U.S. and the Global South (3 cr.)

Instructor: J. David Hacker

This course surveys population trends and issues in both developed and developing countries, and teaches basic demographic methods, including the calculation and use of demographic measures (i.e., mortality rates) and the use of life tables. Topics include fertility, mortality, and the demographic transition; population growth and the environment; infant mortality; sexuality and the control of fertility; US trends in family structure; population aging and its impact on economic growth; and international and internal migration.

Updated Course Description — PA 5233: Sustainable Transportation (3 cr.) 

Instructor: Jason Cao

This course emphasizes the theories and practices associated with a sustainable transportation system, especially pedestrian and bicycle transportation. It covers key concepts of sustainable transportation, climate mitigation and adaptation, and planning for pedestrian and bicycle transportation. The specific topics regarding pedestrian and bicycle transportation include benefits and advocacy, data collection and performance measures, demand forecasting, behavior and its connection with neighborhood design and zoning, safety, planning, design principles of facilities, equity, and innovations.

PA 5232: Transportation Policy, Planning, and Deployment (3 cr.)

Instructors: Hui Kong and Frank Douma

This course aims to provide an environment for students to learn essential facts and develop models and frameworks to understand the development of transportation policy, the making of transportation plans, and the deployment of transportation technologies. The course uses a mixture of traditional lectures and interactive learning through case studies, discussions, and in-class debates. Both the lectures and the cases allow the students to develop an inductive understanding of transportation. The course will be successful if at the end, the student has developed a worldview on transportation (not necessarily the same as mine) and has an appreciation for the merits and demerits of various points of view on transportation issues. The course seeks an integrative approach for transportation, and though the stories in lectures will primarily be told mode by mode, there are a number of opportunities to see the relationships between modes, in their structure in function, and in the learning as one mode adopts successful (and unsuccessful) attributes of others.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Highlights

PA 5206: City of White Supremacy (3 cr.)

Instructor: Ed Goetz

In this course we examine how planning relates to white supremacy (and vice versa), and how U.S. cities can be well understood as living and adapting expressions of the system of racial hierarchy and domination that has characterized the country throughout its historical development.

PA 5490, sec. 1: The Civil Rights and Black Power Movement, 1954–1984 (3 cr.) 

Instructor: Keith Mayes

The "second reconstruction." Failure of Reconstruction, abdication of black civil rights in 19th century. Post-1945 assault on white supremacy via courts/state, grass-roots southern movement in 1950s/1960s. Black struggle in north and west, emphasis on Black Power by new organizations/ideologies/leaders. Ascendancy of Reagan, conservative assault on movement.

PA 5243: Environmental Justice in Urban Planning & Public Policy (3 cr.) 

Instructor: Fayola Jacobs

Normally offered in Spring Semester. Environmental racism can be defined as policies and practices that result in communities of Black, Indigenous and other people of color (BIPOC communities) being overexposed to environmental harms and being denied access to environmental goods. The environmental justice (EJ) movement in the United States was birthed in the 1980s with the aim of ending environmental racism. Early EJ activism was led by Black rural communities protesting the disproportionate presence of toxic waste facilities in their neighborhoods and Latinx migrant farmworkers who were overexposed to harmful pesticides.

PA 5920, sec. 4: Tribal-State Relations Workshop (0.5 cr.) 

Instructors: Joseph Bauerkemper and Tadd Johnson

Minnesota is home to 11 sovereign Indian nations and about 120,000 American Indian people. Tribes are among the top 20 employers in the state, and tribal jurisdiction impacts thousands of acres of land in Minnesota both within and beyond reservation boundaries. While tribes share prominent nation-to-nation diplomatic relationships with the U.S. federal government, tribal relationships with state agencies are increasingly significant. Since the administration of Governor Jesse Ventura, each Minnesota governor has implemented an executive order focused on state relations with Indian nations. Under current Governor Tim Walz, Executive Order 19-24 provides a considerable mandate for state agencies to develop and implement tribal consultation policies and to build associated partnerships.

This half-credit workshop will introduce participants to the legal and policy contexts in which contemporary tribal-state relations occur. We will explore the shifting history of federal Indian policy, the often contentious past of tribal-state interactions, current emphases on building government-to-government relationships, and potential future trends. Participants will consider how their own civic and professional trajectories may connect to Indian nations, and we will collaboratively draw conceptual and practical links between tribal affairs and other areas of study in the Humphrey School. Will meet remotely on 9/11/2021 and 10/2/2021 from 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

See ClassInfo and the class schedule for full course details.