Futures of the Past: Collected Papers in Celebration of Its More Than Eighty Years: University of Southern California's School of Policy, Planning, and Development


The key roles that the University of Southern California's professional schools have played in promoting public affairs are brought into sharp focus in this detailed history, edited by a group of academic experts intimately involved in the development of the school.

Through its School of Policy, Planning and Development, USC has taken a distinctive approach in pushing forward community enterprise on a local and global basis. The school was forged through a merger of its School ...

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The key roles that the University of Southern California's professional schools have played in promoting public affairs are brought into sharp focus in this detailed history, edited by a group of academic experts intimately involved in the development of the school.

Through its School of Policy, Planning and Development, USC has taken a distinctive approach in pushing forward community enterprise on a local and global basis. The school was forged through a merger of its School of Public Administration and School of Urban Planning and Development, both of which were pioneers in their fields.

This compilation was created as part of the 2009 celebration of SPPD's eighty years of widely shared academic inquiry, facilitation of learning, and advancement of civic and professional public practice. New generations seeking to sustain the school's tradition of leadership now have a detailed history that tells how amazing developments in technologies and systems enabled the university to successfully promote its ideals.

USC Emeritus Dean of Gerontology, James Birren, sums it up well when he states, "You can't know where you are going until you understand where you have been." Recall the university's history of core values, vital practices, and great contributions in Futures of the Past.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781450257237
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/29/2010
  • Pages: 532
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.31 (d)

Table of Contents


Chronology—Historical Milestones....................1
Chapter 1 - Introduction to Book by Kim Nelson....................9
Section One The School of Public Administration: The Early Years (1929-1955)....................25
Introduction to "Stalwarts" Biographies by Frank Sherwood....................27
Chapter 2 - Biography of Emery Olson by Frank Sherwood....................29
Chapter 3 - Challenge and Response: The History of the School of Public Administration by Emery Evans Olson (February 25, 1955)....................35
John M Pfiffner Introductory Note by Kim Nelson....................55
Chapter 4 - Biography of John Pfiffner by Frank Sherwood....................61
Chapter 5 - The Metamorphosis of a Mind by John Pfiffner....................73
Chapter 6 - Biography of Henry Reining, Jr. by Frank Sherwood....................79
Chapter 7 - The School of Public Administration Today by Henry Reining, Jr. (February 1955)....................91
Section Two Transformative Figures in the School of Public Administration....................99
Introduction to "Transformative Figures"-by Kim Nelson....................101
Chapter 8 - Biography of Neely Gardner by Frank Sherwood....................103
Chapter 9 - Biography of Alberto Guereirro Ramos by Frank Sherwood....................119
Chapter 10 - Memories of a Unique Scholar: Alberto Guerreiro Ramos by Wesley E. Bjur....................127
Section Three Additional Biographies of Six Other Early Stalwarts....................137
Chapter 11 - Biography of John Gerletti by Frank Sherwood....................139
Chapter 12 - Biography of Bruce Storm by Frank Sherwood....................145
Chapter 13 - Biography of Bruce Storm by Jong S. Jun....................153
Chapter 14 - Biography of Robert Berkov by Frank Sherwood....................159
Chapter 15 - Biography of David Shirley by Frank Sherwood....................165
Chapter 16 - Biography of Richard Gable by Frank Sherwood....................171
Chapter 17 - Biography of Arthur Naparstek by Chet Haskell....................177
Section Four The Later Years of the School of Public Administration 1968-1999....................183
Introduction by Ross Clayton....................185
Chapter 18 - Frank Sherwood,1967-1968....................187
Chapter 19 - David Mars, Director 1968-1971....................217
Chapter 20 - Kim Nelson, Director and Dean 1971-1975....................223
Chapter 21 - John Kirlin, Acting and Interim Dean 1974-1976....................237
Chapter 22 - The Leadership of Robert P Biller, Dean 1976-1982....................247
Chapter 23 - Ross Clayton, Dean 1982-1991....................255
Chapter 24 - Jane Pisano, Dean 1991-1998....................281
Section Five School of Urban Planning and Development....................289
Chapter 25 - The Emergence and Evolution of the Planning School by Tridib Banerjee and William Baer....................291
Chapter 26 - Tribute to John William Dyckman by Wook Chang....................301
Section Six Away from the Campus Programs....................309
Introduction to the Off Campus Centers by Cristy Jensen....................311
Chapter 27 - Civic Center Campus by Carl Bellone....................317
Chapter 28 - USC's Capital Center in Sacramento by Cristy Jensen....................327
Chapter 29 - Reflections On The Three Decades Of the Washington Public Affairs Center by Jim Wolf....................349
Section Seven International Programs....................367
International Roots of the School of Public Administration Introduction by Ross Clayton....................369
Chapter 30 - The School of Public Administration's Involvement in International Education and Institution Building programs by Gilbert Siegel....................371
Section Eight The Early Years of the School of Policy, Planning, and Development....................401
Chapter 31 - SPPD as a School in Transition: 2000-2005 Dan Mazmanian....................403
Chapter 32 - A School for the 21st Century by Jack H Knott....................421
Section Nine Thinking in Time....................435
Chapter 33 - The Politics of Endowment at USC by Ross Clayton....................437
Chapter 34 - Changes, Challenges, Choices: The 1960s and 1970s in US Public Administration by John Kirlin....................455
Chapter 35 - Summary and Conclusion by Ross Clayton....................473
Postscript: USC in Contexts of Community Enterprise: Practice and Theory by Chester A Newland....................483
Appendix I USC National Academy of Public Administration Fellows 2010....................509
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First Chapter


Collected Papers in Celebration of Its More Than Eighty Years: University of Southern California's School of Policy, Planning, and Development

iUniverse, Inc.

Copyright © 2010 Ross Clayton
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4502-5721-3

Chapter One

Introduction to Book by Kim Nelson

Elmer "Kim" Nelson is a USC emeritus professor, having served the University as Director of its Youth Study Center, and as Director and Dean of the School of Public Administration and as Dean of the Center for Public Affairs. Previously he was an Instructor in Psychology at the University of Wyoming, and Professor of Criminology at the University of British Columbia where he founded Canada's first university program in criminology. He took leaves from his academic posts for assignments in the administrations of California governors Pat and Jerry Brown, served as an associate director of Lyndon Johnson's Presidential Crime Commission, and was the first warden of the Haney Correctional Institution in British Columbia. He holds graduate degrees in Law and Psychology from the University of Wyoming and a doctorate in Public Administration from USC. He was elected to the National Academy of Public Administration in 1974. He is the recipient of the University of Wyoming's Distinguished Alumni Award, and was recognized as an Exemplary Alumnus of the College of Arts and Sciences in 1993.

Dean Emery Evans Olson loved to speak of "the futures of the past" and we have included his words in the title of this book. I first heard him use the term when I was a USC doctoral student in public administration and he was speaking at the 25th anniversary of the school he had founded. He used it again many decades later and not long before his death when, frail and shaky, he brought to life the origins of the school for young students in a seminar I was teaching.

On both occasions, he held up a picture of an airplane in which, accompanied by notable public administrators of his day, he had hop-scotched from city to city in California to dramatize the launching at the University of Southern California (USC) of a new educational enterprise, one truly different from any then in existence on the historic campus, or for that matter anywhere else in the nation. How better to publicize a bold new venture than through association with the most glamorous happening of its time, travel by air.

Those of us who worked together in assembling and editing the papers which make up this book grew fond of Olson's idea that the moving present always has both a remembered past and an anticipated future. That perspective encouraged a panoramic view as different time periods fell into place and both their continuities and disjunctions appeared in high relief. Initially, our focus is on the School of Public Administration (SPA); later we focus upon the School of Urban Planning and Development (SUPD) and then the early years of the School of Policy, Planning and Development (SPPD). My distinguished co-editors, Ross Clayton and Chester Newland, continue to use a version of Olson's lens in the final, summing-up section of the book, naming this section "Thinking in Time".


On a miserably smoggy day in 1952 I found myself struggling through endless red lights on a street leading from Chino to Los Angeles, squinting at a map on the seat beside me, trying to locate USC. A freeway was under construction; further congesting traffic at many intersections, but its opening was just something to dream about. A friend where I worked at the nearby state prison had told me about a doctoral program at USC in a field called Public Administration, and it had caught my interest.

I had newly arrived in Southern California, transferring from San Quentin where I worked as a psychologist, to a new "open prison" in Chino that was experimenting with bold and innovative ideas under the leadership of its superintendent, Kenyon Scudder. His book, Prisoners are People, was attracting international attention and appeared to offer the hope of new beginnings in a long and historically bleak field.

I had degrees in Law and Psychology and was looking for a doctoral program that would pull those disciplines together and focus them on tasks of real significance. Searching for something truly worth doing, I was skeptical of traditional academic programs. I was twenty-nine years old, had a wife I adored and the miracle of a five-year-old son. I had experienced the great depression as a kid and made it back in one piece from four years of World War II army service. I had benefited from the healing uplift of the G.I. Bill and observed the revival of hope engendered by the Marshall Plan in war-devastated Europe. It was a heady time, following the darkness and danger of the war years; a time when all things seemed possible.

Edging into a parking space on Figueroa Street, I inquired my way to Bovard Hall, marveling at the lovely old campus which seemed like an oasis in the vast urban sprawl, and then climbed many stairs to the inauspicious location of the School of Public Administration. It didn't seem like much compared to the elegant offices on the lower floor which housed the University president and vice-presidents. In fact, as if relishing its very plainness, the School setting conveyed to me an air of purposefulness, of serious work underway, of being rather than seeming.

Told to wait for a professor, I could see that faculty worked in cubicles, two desks in each one. It was very close quarters. There was a secretary-receptionist, an array of pigeon-holed mail boxes and at the back three small, glassed-in offices. Within the middle one I could hear a resonant voice rising and falling, which I would recognize much later as belonging to Henry Reining, Jr. who within a year would become but the second dean of the twenty-three year old School. The offices on either side belonged to founding Dean Emery Olson and the School's even then widely noted scholar John M. Pfiffner. I did not meet any of them on that day in 1952, but I would come to know each one as a mentor, colleague and ultimately a valued friend in the decades that followed.

Soon after that initial visit I met with a young professor named Bruce Storm, to go over the requirements for the doctoral degree. It didn't feel like a professor-student conversation. Storm combined obvious intellectual heft with a sly kind of humor and was nimble in areas I knew little about: How can we understand and explain the way life is carried on in large, complex organizations? What drives behavior, causes conflict, encourages or blocks change? I thought of the intricate society of inmates and staff where I worked at Chino, and realized these were the very questions on my mind, not as abstract concepts but as urgent, compelling concerns that needed to be addressed if our efforts were to succeed.

Most enticing of all, Storm seemed genuinely curious about the work world in which I was deeply immersed. Later I would come to see that his interest in the culture of an experimental prison reflected a value central to the character of the School of Public Administration and the faculty-student community that grew up around it. An attitude of reciprocity between teaching and doing, the expectation that each must help the other if both were to advance, seemed to animate the young, still formative USC School of Public Administration from my first encounter with it.

Walking toward my car on that first day at the USC campus, I felt amazement that this activity was happening in the cloistered heart of an old, prestigious university. A private university wrestling seriously with public problems! But it was also happening in the vortex of a huge mosaic of adjoining jurisdictions, spilling over with urgent needs demanding response from all levels of government: smog and crime; public works and fire-fighting; politics and administration. Some time would pass before I would begin a doctoral program at USC, but looking back I can see that the decision to do so was made on my first visit to the campus. And forever after, whenever I entered the quiet coolness of Bovard Hall, I never failed to think back to that day.

As I write these lines in 2010, 58 years have passed since my first visit to the USC campus and my first contact with the School of Public Administration. The School, though operating under different names and in different campus locations, has celebrated its 80th anniversary. I have experienced the roles of student, professor, dean, and now occupy that odd limbo known as emeritus status, within which one tends to reminisce with colleagues of similar vintage about the days that used to be.

Somewhat awed by the magnitude of an 80-year history, joined in the camaraderie of shared memories, a few of us started to discuss ways of preserving the history of an academic enterprise to which we all felt a deep attachment. Sharing stories of past times with colleagues Ross Clayton, Chester Newland, and John Kirlin, there was much to remember with laughter but also an underlying awareness of voices no longer heard. This mood was reinforced by the passing from life of Bruce Storm who had arrived at USC in 1949, just three years before I walked into his office as a prospective student, and who never found a persuasive reason to leave.

Other names you will encounter in the writings that follow, whose personal lives became intertwined with the life of the School, have long since left the scene. The trio already mentioned became nationally known figures in an emerging field in which they were leaders and pioneers: Emery E. Olson, the wise and prescient founding dean of the School of Public Administration; Henry Reining, Jr., who followed him in that role and became deservedly prominent as the School arguably became not only the first but the premier institution of its kind in the nation; John M. Pfiffner, who wrote book after book in the developing field and helped to make USC a center of conceptual discovery and refinement in the emerging literature on organization and management.

Informal conversations among those initially interested in preserving memories of the School led to the conclusion that it would be impractical to attempt a comprehensive history of the 80-year-old enterprise. One reason was that all involved had been participant observers rather than objective outsiders with the more detached perspective of the historian. Our special strength seemed to lie in the insights afforded by intimate involvement in the events described. Putting aside the idea of a conventional history, we began to see merit in creating a collection of papers addressing notable persons, events, relationships and locations of activity in the life of the school.

Major collateral relationships and programs were quickly apparent, beginning with urban and regional planning which had been conjoined with public administration at USC from the beginning, the school's early commitment to city managers as well as police and fire administrators, and the varied international ventures that carried USC to distant countries and brought many hundreds of students to the Los Angeles campus from differing political and administrative backgrounds, their presence immeasurably enriching the classrooms and the informal life of the school and the university.

Outreach of teaching and research loomed large in the history of the School, carrying its activities to sites distant from the main campus: The Civic Center Campus in vibrant downtown Los Angeles which was integral to the personality of the school from its earliest days, to be followed in later years by the Washington and Sacramento Public Affairs Centers and other off-campus teaching programs of smaller scale.

My involvement in school activities, while often intense and demanding was also intermittent and at times peripheral. When Professor Alberto Guerreiro Ramos coined the term, "parenthetical man", it made me think of my relationship to the School of Public Administration, for initially I was beneath looking up to those who would be judging my performance as a doctoral student, then looking in from the side during the six years when I headed the USC Youth Studies Center while also performing a teaching and faculty role in the school. During leaves in which I worked in administrative positions in Sacramento and Washington, D.C., I had a sense of looking back at my academic home from the world of action, and reflecting on how useful the literature and the classroom truly were when faced with the uncompromising trials of implementation.

Engaging memories of long-ago days is a task not to be undertaken lightly, for it can bring a sense of sadness as well as delight. It brings to mind persons who, quite miraculously it seemed, entered and shaped one's life but now are irretrievably gone. The founding figures of the USC School of Public Administration, Emery Olson, Henry Reining and John Pfiffner evoke such feelings for me, and I will include a few memories of them in this book.

An 80-Year History: Themes and Challenges

Those of us who initiated and became editors of this book spoke from the beginning about the desirability of identifying themes that ran through the life of our USC schools, threads that connected successive eras with those that had preceded them, and values that shaped the personalities of the School of Public Administration, the School of Urban and Regional Planning (SURP) and later the School of Urban Planning and Development and the School of Policy Planning, and Development. These threads have endured across the decades of their existence. But as papers arrived from colleagues who had served in and headed the School of Public Administration during different periods, we could not fail to note as well the impact of persistent challenges, obstacles not only to the School's ability to thrive but to its very survival.

Hoping the reader will indulge an admittedly fanciful reference, I can acknowledge being reminded of the classical collection of lyrical poetry published by William Blake in 1794 which he called, "Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience." The former captures the hope and optimism of the young, the latter the sobering demands of life beyond youth with change a constant companion. The School Public Administration seemed very youthful when I first encountered it in 1952, embracing opportunities with the eagerness that innocence allows. In reading the accounts of those who led the School in later years, one senses the recurring struggles and dilemmas that experience brings, both to individuals and organizations.

The attributes that shaped the School from the outset and continued on to form its distinctive character emerge clearly in the essays that make up this book. The openness to engagement with students and the reciprocity of teaching and learning are illustrated repeatedly. Students were seen as having much to teach, and teachers much to learn. The intensive class format which became dominant in graduate courses beginning in the 1960's through the advocacy of Professor Neely Gardner reflected these values and at their best transformed classrooms into learning communities. A related focus on integrating theory with action ran through the life of the School. Theories were to be questioned and tested in the crucible of action, not kept sacrosanct in books and lectures. And the world of action was to be examined, challenged and illuminated as seen through varying theoretical lenses.

An attitude of eclecticism in drawing from an almost infinite range of fields and disciplines was a part of the School from its start, and became embedded in course curricula, thesis research designs and outreach programs for training administrators. The pioneering Delinquency Control Institute furnishes an excellent early example. There was borrowing and sharing with kindred developments in Business Administration, sought out connections with Medicine and Pharmacy, high interest in Anthropology as well as Sociology and Psychology. Whatever conceptual tools aided an understanding of organizations and their participants were sought and used by faculty and students.

The endemic challenges that confronted the School as the decades went by also come into high relief in the papers submitted by contributors to this book, particularly the narratives of those who served as deans and directors. Much of the action that dominated their days centered on efforts to generate essential funding, to reach budget targets insistently demanded by the university administration while continuing to preserve and add to a faculty with the stature required to maintain the national prominence achieved in earlier years.


Excerpted from FUTURES OF THE PAST Copyright © 2010 by Ross Clayton. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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