The University of Texas-Pan American's Master of Public Administration Graduate Program (MPA) has broadened its reach and scope this year to include professional administrators as part-time teaching staff. MPA has a 13 year history as one of 42 graduate degrees offered at UTPA, but until this year faculty was comprised mainly of educators not professional administrators.
"It (MPA) has been and will continue to train public officials both appointed and elected. It is the only Public Administration Program in the Valley,"said Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Science Dr. Homer Garcia. "It enjoys extensive participation by community leaders on both sides of the podium."
The current Interim Director Dr. Jose R. Hinojosa, has served as the director of the MPA program since its inception in 1989. Hinojosa teaches "Formulation of Public Policy" and this semester he plans to invite past and present members of the Valley's legislative delegation to address his class including former U.S. Representative Elijio (Kika) De La Garza, Congressman Ruben Hinojosa, State Senators Juan (Chuy) Hinojosa and Eddie Lucio to speak to his class. State Representatives Aaron Pena, Roberto Guitierrez, Miguel Wise and Kino Flores will also be asked to discuss the last legislative session and its consequences.
"We are getting a lot of support from the community," Hinojosa said. "The Rio Grande Valley City Managers Association has provided the MPA program with two $1,000 scholarships for students in the program interested in city management. The program was also awarded two $500 scholarships by the Rio Grande Valley Association of City Planners, for students in the MPA program interested in going into urban and regional planning as a career."
This semester's visiting part-time lecturer, John Milford, has over 30 years of city management experience and he will be teaching Problems in State and Local Government¡¦with emphasis on urban management. "Introduction to Planning" will be taught by Richard Montesdeoca, former chief planner for Hidalgo County and the Rio Grande Valley Development Council and director of Community Development for the City of McAllen.
For more information visit the MPA Program office at the College of Social and Behavioral Science room 215 or call 956/381-2386.