POLS 536 01: Public Personnel Administration

POLS 536 - Public Personnel Administration

2023 Fall Syllabus, Section 01, CRN 7802

Course Information

You are responsible for knowing this material, so please read carefully. Any changes will be announced in a Blackboard Announcement. You will be responsible for any changes. Your continued enrollment in this course is your implicit agreement to abide by the requirements of this class.

Times and Location

W 7pm-10pm in Nistler, Rm 334

Instructor Information

Steven Light

Email: steven.light@und.edu

Office: Nistler 324H

2023 Fall Office Hours:
Zoom office hours or individual meetings by appointment in Zoom

Course Description

This course is designed to help managers in all positions of an organization to understand the fundamental nature of public personnel administration, also known as human resource management. Topics to be covered include basic functions such as position classification, wage and salary administration, and performance appraisal. Attention will be given to contemporary issues such as sexual harassment, affirmative action, privacy, and unionization.

(No prerequisites for enrollment; prior coursework in MPA Program preferred.) People are the most important strategic resource in any organization. Successful administrative professionals and executives have a strong sense of personal, professional, and organizational mission, vision, values, and goals, and are able to strategically organize and optimize their time, attention, emotions, and resources to lead effectively and inspire others.

Aspiring and current professionals and leaders are welcomed to a course that explores and develops organizational leadership capacity in public personnel administration. Strategic public personnel administration, or human resource management in the public sector, involves the planning of finite resources; acquisition of the right personnel; development of employee knowledge, skills, and abilities; and sanctions to manage the relationship between employee and employer. These basic functions take place within complex and highly regulated structural, legal, political, and symbolic frameworks.

This course covers the basic problems and principles and the foundational theories and major functions of public personnel administration. Our purpose is to understand the ways in which administrators are required to balance the needs of the employee with those of the organization. We will examine the historical, political, and legal settings within which administrators must organize employees to accomplish organizational goals. Together, we will develop our understanding of the history of personnel management; its settings within government agencies and political systems; and its core functions, such as planning and budgeting; recruiting, hiring, and training new employees in ways that safeguard and promote equal employment opportunity; motivating and evaluating performance; development via coaching and mentoring; complying with legal and regulatory requirements in public employment; promoting and ensuring healthy and safe, welcoming, diverse and inclusive workplaces; and fairly, equitably, and justly correcting, sanctioning, or terminating unsatisfactory or unprofessional performance or behaviors.

This will be a participatory, active-learning course, informed by lively, informed, and engaged discussions, peer-to-peer activities, real-world case studies and examples of shared experiences, current events, and guest experts. By the end of the course, you will be conversant in the foundations of public personnel administration, and will have developed your own human resource management and strategic leadership toolkit, enhancing your ability to think analytically and creatively, work effectively and productively, and inspire agility, innovation, and success.

Learning Outcomes

We have three teaching and learning frameworks for our course: active learning; developing your academic, personal, and professional knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs); and self-reflection. After successfully completing the course, you will be able to:

  1. Identify and understand the foundational theories and functions of public personnel administration and human resource management
  2. Explain the key structural, human resource, political, and symbolic frameworks within which public administrators must organize employees to accomplish organizational goals
  3. Understand and apply the core functions of public personnel administration, including planning, acquisition, development, safety, and sanctions, to contemporary issues in organizational supervision, management, and leadership
  4. Identify and develop the kinds of professional knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) that will help you achieve your personal and professional goals.
  5. Communicate effectively your analysis, evaluation, and synthesis of issues related to public personnel administration, including the formulation of alternative solutions to contemporary organizational dilemmas

Course Materials

Required Readings: This course has one required text that you must get from whichever outlet and in whatever format you wish. It’s on order at the UND Bookstore and also available elsewhere online and in an ebook format for rental or purchase. Please see the important notes below.

Jared L. Llorens, Donald E. Klingner & John Nalbandian, Public Personnel Management: Contexts And Strategies, 7e (Routledge, 2017) (“LKN” in the syllabus) ISBN-13: 978-1138281202 (note: eBook & rental options available wherever you purchase your books, including the UND Bookstore (click here)

There is one optional recommended text that provides additional current context on course topics:

Richard C. Kearney & Jerrell D. Coggburn, Eds., Public Human Resource Management: Problems and Prospects, 6e (CQ Press, 2016) (“KC” in the syllabus) ISBN-13: 978-1483393452 (note: eBook & rental options available wherever you purchase your books)

Note: Please get current editions; this is a must for Llorens et al., otherwise you may not be able to do the reading or learn course topics that have changed dramatically since prior editions were published.

“Supplements TBD”: I will post supplementary readings, links, TED Talks, podcasts, or other free resources to contextualize a particular topic, suggest a problem for class discussion, or incorporate current events.

Technical Requirements/Assistance

Whether you’re taking courses in the classroom or online, it’s important to have the right technology and equipment.  Visit the UND Technical Requirements webpage for more information. Students are expected to use their official UND email in the course. For technical assistance, please contact UND Technical Support at 701.777.2222. Visit the University Information Technologies (UIT) website for their hours, help documents and other resources.

Minimum Technical Skills Needed

In order to succeed in this course, at a minimum, you should be able to:

  • Navigate in and use basic Blackboard functions
  • Navigate in and use Zoom functions to attend class meetings, speak or use the chat or polling function to participate, or view class recordings.
  • Navigate in and use YuJa functions in Blackboard to record your own short video presentations while displaying a PowerPoint or similar visual aid.
  • Download and open electronic documents
  • Create, save, and upload/attach electronic documents
  • Send, receive, and manage email

Course Logistics

Class Format & Weekly Timing

Our default is to meet synchronously as a full class cohort in real time at the scheduled time.  This includes meeting in the classroom and/or online in Zoom. We also may use an asynchronous format, in which I record and post an online presentation that you watch on your own and complete any accompanying activity during the designated week. We also may meet in designated groups or individually on a TBD basis. All class times or deadlines are in Central Standard Time (CST). I will provide you with sufficient notice on any changes to our format, with some flexibility to change things up and adapt to specific requests, needs, and schedules. Each class session will include a combination of directed and active learning, in which we work through core themes, ideas, and definitions in both a theoretical and a practical or applied setting. We will have plenty of opportunities to share peer-to-peer questions and insights. Throughout, we will work toward increasing your ability and comfort level in presenting online.

Weekly Timing

Wednesday and Thursday will be key to timing the release and completion in Blackboard of topics, materials and assignments or due dates. New topics and assignments will be introduced on Thursdays with release dates color-coded in green. You will complete assignments and submit them by uploading to Blackboard by the start of class at 7 p.m. CST on Wednesdays with due dates in red. Please take into account that since we meet just once per week, some weeks that include assignments or deadlines will seem “shorter” than others due to holidays.

Blackboard Course Webpage, Zoom Virtual Classroom, & YuJa Video Platform

Course materials will be available on Blackboard. You’re expected to check the course webpage regularly for announcements, assignments, supplements, and updates or changes to the course schedule. The page also hosts grading,  Zoom, our virtual classroom, and YuJa, to record and share asynchronous video presentations. You’ll need a stable Wi-Fi or other internet connection, mike and/or headset, camera, and laptop or other supported device. These are your responsibility, but if you’re facing specific tech challenges, please let me know.

To get started with our course in Blackboard, please go to: http://blackboard.UND.edu and log in with your NDUS.Identifier, Username and Password. If you do not know your NDUS Identifier or have forgotten your password, please visit Your NDUS Account Webpage on the UIT website.


I’ll always do my best to communicate with you clearly and on time. If you have a question or will be late for a class or assignment, email me. Within reason, expect to hear back from me within 24 hours. This is a two-way street; if I email you, I also expect to hear back within 24 hours.

Assessment Summary

Assessment of learning outcomes will take place throughout the course. Both formative and summative assessment techniques will be explained and utilized. All students will learn about the value of assessment and participate in it. 

Course Requirements & Grading Standards

Throughout the semester, you will complete assignments outside of class that will serve three purposes: guide you through the topic; help you learn and retain the material; and prepare you to participate in class. Your final course grade will be based on:

  • Course Participation, including consistent attendance, participation, engagement, and effort throughout the semester (30%)
  • PPA Applied Experience, Self-Reflection & Assessment Portfolio, weekly assignments and activities including diverse opportunities to demonstrate comprehension of the material, develop your practical toolkit, and reflect on you administrative style, skills, and experience (70%)

Total (100%)

My general standards for evaluating your work are: (1) content; (2) comprehension; (3) reasoning; (4) organization; and (5) conventions of communication. I will distribute a rubric that explains each. For any and all of these categories, I also take into account your apparent preparation, engagement, and effort. You will always get a score and individualized feedback from me in Blackboard, generally within a week and/or prior to the next assignment.

The overall grading scale is as expected: A (90-100%) B (80-89%) C (70-79%) D (60-69%) F (below). However, I reserve the right to curve based on the performance of the specific course cohort. (You can expect that “curves” always go in favor of students, not the other way around.)

Course Outline

Note: Wednesday and Thursday will be key to timing the release and completion in Blackboard of topics, materials and assignments or due dates. New topics and assignments will be introduced on Thursdays with release dates color-coded in green. You will complete assignments and submit them by uploading to Blackboard by the start of class at 7 p.m. CST on Wednesdays with due dates in red. Because our course only meets weekly, please take into account that some weeks are shorter due to holidays.

Part I. What is Public Personnel Administration?

Week 1 (August 23). Introduction to Public Personnel Administration

Topic Assigned Reading Activity

A. Prior-to-class assignment: starting your PPA journey

PPA Portfolio 1: read and complete assignment prior to class, upload to Blackboard, and be prepared to share your responses with the class

PPA Portfolio 1: Starting your PPA journey

Due this week before first class

B. Intro to the course & each other

1. What will we learn & achieve?

2. Our approaches: active learning; academic, personal & professional KSAs; self-reflection

Syllabus & course assessment rubric

Blackboard course webpage

Zoom & YuJa

Review syllabus, Blackboard, and course approach

Meet & greet

C. What do you want to learn about?

1. What are your interests?

2. What issues in school or your workplace present questions of PPA?


D. What is “public personnel administration” & why does it matter?

1. Management vs. leadership

2. PPA vs. human resource management: values

3. Public vs. private sectors (and not-for-profits): systems

4. KSAs, roles, paradigms

5. Preview of “PADS” framework

LKN Chapter 1

KC Chapter 1, Competing Perspectives on PPA (optional)

Supplement TBD

LKN Exercise & Case Study

Week 2 (August 30). The Past, Present, and Future of Public Personnel Administration

Topic Assigned Reading Activity

A. Historical development of civil service & personnel administration

LKN Chapter 2 (first part)

PPA Portfolio 2: Seeing yourself as an HR professional

Due this week

B. Seeing yourself as an HR professional

1. Stereotypes & expectations

2. Disciplines & career options

3. Roles & responsibilities

4. KSAs

5. Your HR department: friend or foe?

LKN Chapter 2 (second part)

KC Chapters 4, 5, 6, Federal; State; Local (optional)

Supplement TBD: Tribal Gov’t Administration


C. Contemporary issues & challenges

1. Technology & outsourcing

2. Public skepticism, scarce resources

3. COVID-19 & “the new normal(s),” including work-from-home (WFH)

Supplements TBD: COVID-19 & “working from home,” the “new normal” for workplaces, and other challenges & opportunities for personnel administration

LKN Exercise & Case Study


Part II. Planning

Week 3 (September 6). Strategy-Driven Public Personnel Administration I: Overview & SHRM

Topic Assigned Reading Activity
A. Civil service systems LKN Chapter 3

PPA Portfolio 3: Strategy-driven PPA

Due this week

B. Today’s HR environment

KC Chapters 4, 5, 6 (Federal, State, Local)


C. Strategy-driven PPA

1. What is organizational strategy?

2. How strategy & strategic planning affect PPA

3. Workforce planning

4. Organizational culture

Supplement TBD  

D. Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM)

1. Information systems

2. Metrics & measurement tools

3. Data analytics

Supplement TBD

LKN Exercise & Case Study

Week 4 (September 13). Strategy-Driven Public Personnel Administration II: Frames & Tools

Topic Assigned Reading Activity

A. What is a leadership “philosophy” and how does it apply to PPA?

1. Philosophy, style, traits, behaviors

2. Theories X & Y

Supplement TBD

Supplement: Northouse, Leadership Philosophy Explained, from Introduction to Leadership 

PPA Portfolio 4: Tools for success

Due this week

B. Linking PPA to policymaking, budgeting, performance management, program evaluation

LKN Chapter 4

KC Chapter 26, Public Sector Workplace Design

LKN Exercise & Case Study

C. PPA in-practice: SMART Goals & the importance of valid and reliable measurement

Supplement TBD


D. PPA in-practice: Four-Frame Model of Organizational Leadership

Bolman & Deal, Four-Frame Model of Organizational Leadership excerpt  

Week 5 (September 20). Workforce Planning: Job Analysis, Design, and Description

Topic Assigned Reading Activity

A. Workforce planning, productivity, and workflow analysis

LKN Chapter 5

KC Chapter 3, Death and Life of Productivity Management in Government

PPA Portfolio 5: Workforce planning

Due this week

B. Job analysis

LKN Chapter 5


C. Job design & description

LKN Chapter 5

LKN Exercise & Case Study

D. Forecasting & rightsizing

1. Labor surplus

2. Labor shortage

KC Chapter 8, Strategic Human Capital

Supplement TBD


Week 6 (September 27). Compensation: Pay & Benefits

Topic Assigned Reading Activity

A. Types of compensation

LKN Chapter 6

PPA Portfolio 6: Compensation planning & strategy

Due this week

B. Compensation planning

1. Budget

2. Political constraints

LKN Chapter 6

Supplement TBD

Activity: Setting SMART Goals

C. Compensation strategy

1. At, above, or below market?

2. Incentives & merit pay

3. Equity & compression

KC Chapter 11, Trends in Public Sector Compensation – Pay Administration

LKN Exercise & Case Study

D. Pay levels & pay structure

E. Benefits

1. Statutory

2. Voluntary

LKN Chapter 6

KC Chapters 12 & 13, Employee Benefits; Postemployment Benefits


Part III. Acquisition

Week 7 (October 4). Recruitment & Selection I: Process

Topic Assigned Reading Activity

A. Recruiting function & considerations

1. Organizational considerations

2. Internal or external

3. Budget

LKN Chapter 8

PPA Portfolio 7: Recruitment & selection

Due this week

B. Process, steps, and practices

LKN Chapter 8

LKN Exercise & Case Study

C. Selection

1. Screening

2. Testing

3. Interviews

4. Background checks

LKN Chapter 8


D. Intent to hire & making an offer

Supplement TBD


E. Onboarding

Supplement TBD


Week 8 (October 11). Recruitment & Selection II: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Topic Assigned Reading Activity

A. How to evaluate recruiting programs

1. Metrics

2. Impact on organization

Supplement TBD

PPA Portfolio 8: Diversity, equity, and inclusion management & leadership

Due this week

B. Equal employment opportunity & compliance

LKN Chapter 7

KC Chapters 18 & 19, Competing Discrimination; Gendered Organizations


C. Affirmative action and the law

LKN Chapter 7

LKN Exercise & Case Study Discussion or activity

D. Diversity management vs. leadership

1. Tone-setting

2. Inclusive & respectful language

3. Actions

Supplement TBD


E. Contemporary issues in inclusion

1. BLM, #MeToo, LGBTQIA, gender-nonbinary policies, and more

2. Global workforce

3. Millennials & Gen-Z

4. Your choice

Supplement TBD


Part IV. Development

Week 9 (October 18). Leadership & Employee Performance

Topic Assigned Reading Activity

A. The role of organizational leadership

Supplement TBD  

B. Employee motivation

1. Theory X and Theory Y, revisited

2. Equity & expectancy theories

3. Shaping behavior: positive & negative

LKN Chapter 9

KC Chapters 14 & 15, Motivating Public Service Employees; Emotional Labor

Supplement TBD

PPA Portfolio 9: Leadership & employee performance

Due this week

C. Performance & productivity variables

1. Individual

2. Structural: collective bargaining, labor unions, right-to-work states

Skim LKN Chapter 14

LKN Exercise & Case Study

D. Contemporary issues in leadership & performance: what employees want & need

1. Codes of ethics

2. CSR & community engagement

3. Sustainability

4. Work from home (WFH) & flextime post-COVID

KC Chapter 22, Ethics and HR Management

Supplement TBD

Discussion or activity

Week 10 (October 25). Training, Education, and Staff Development

Topic Assigned Reading Activity

A. Training as strategy

1. Mandatory

2. Voluntary

3. “Training” or Training: Buy-in

LKN Chapter 10 (first part)

PPA Portfolio 10: Training, education, and staff development

Due this week

B. Development components & approaches

1. New vs. current employees

2. In-house vs. imported

3. Online vs. in-person

4. The role of the HR professional

LKN Chapter 10 (second part)

Supplement TBD

LKN Exercise & Case Study

C. Coaching & mentoring

1. How to do it

2. How to set it up

Supplement TBD

Discussion or activity

Week 11 (November 1). Performance Management & Appraisal

Topic Assigned Reading Activity

A. Terminology & rationale: why evaluate?

LKN Chapter 11

KC Chapter 16, Measuring and Benchmarking

PPA Portfolio 11: Performance management & appraisal

Due this week

B. Who should evaluate, when, and how often?


C. How to evaluate?

1. Process

2. Methods, systems, and instruments

Supplement TBD

LKN Exercise & Case Study

D. Identifying & avoiding or mitigating potential problems

KC Chapter 10, Personnel Appraisal No Matter What

LKN Exercise & Case Study

E. What follows performance reviews?

1. PMPs & PIPs

2. SMART Goals

3. Check-ins

4. Sanctions (linkage preview)

Supplement TBD


Week 12 (November 8). Workplace Safety, Security, Health, and Wellness

Topic Assigned Reading Activity

A. Legal & ethical considerations


PPA Portfolio 12: Workplace safety, security, health, and wellness

Due this week

B. Contemporary issues: safety & security

1. Harassment & bullying

2. Violence

3. Disaster preparedness

4. ‘COVID-19 & disease / pandemic(s)

LKN Chapter 12 (first part)


C. Contemporary issues: health

1. Substance abuse

2. Employee assistance programs

3. Work-life balance

4. Stress & mental health

5. Employee wellness programs

LKN Chapter 12 (second part)

Supplement TBD

LKN Exercise & Case Study

D. Contemporary issues: what’s next

1. Cybersecurity, social media, viewers’ choice

Supplement TBD

KC Chapter 25, Social Media

Part V. Sanctions

Week 13 (November 15). The Legal Environment

Topic Assigned Reading Activity

A. The Constitution & employee rights

1. Public vs. private sector

2. Role of courts

LKN Chapter 13

KC Chapter 2, What Every Public Sector HR Manager Should Know About the Constitution

PPA Portfolio 13: The legal environment

Due this week

B. Major employment laws

1. Federal, state, local, tribal

Refer back to LKN Chapter 7 as appropriate

KC Chapters 20 & 21, Veterans’ Preference; ADA


C. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

Refer back to LKN Chapter 7 as appropriate

LKN Exercise & Case Study

D. The OUCH Test


E. Contemporary issues: dynamic areas

1. Sexual harassment & #MeToo

2. Racial harassment & BLM

3. Religious discrimination

4. Sexual orientation & gender identity

5. Technology & data privacy

Supplement TBD


Week 14 (November 22). NO CLASS: HOLIDAY BREAK

Topic Assigned Reading Activity

Learn or consider more about the histories & purposes of the Thanksgiving holiday and alternatives that honor indigenous peoples in relation to personnel management, compensation & benefits, diversity & inclusion

Handout TBD: how to honor indigenous peoples and their experiences of the Thanksgiving holiday

Be grateful, be kind toward others

Week 15 (November 29). Employee Rights, Discipline, and Organizational Justice

Topic Assigned Reading Activity

A. Defining the “sanction” function of PPA

1. Why it’s important

2. Why consistency is key

LKN Chapter 13

PPA Portfolio 14: Employee rights, discipline, and organizational justice

Due this week

B. Commonly accepted employee & management rights & the public sector


C. Disciplining

1. Rationale & communication

2. Progressive discipline & other models

Refer back to LKN Chapter 11 as appropriate

Supplement TBD

LKN Exercise & Case Study

D. Grievances & dispute resolution

KC Chapter 17, Managing Employee Problems


E. Due process, employee liability in the public sector


Part VI. Self-Reflection & Celebration

Week 16 (December 6). Course Reflection & Celebration: What we've Learned & Achieved Together

Topic Assigned Reading Activity

A. The future of the civil service, public values & motivations, and public sector workplace design

KC Chapters 26 & 27, Public Sector Workplace Design; Civil Service Under Siege

PPA Portfolio 15: Bringing it home  & what we’ve achieved together

Due in class this  week

B. Coaching, mentoring, and bringing positivity to your workplace

Supplement TBD


C. Setting career goals

1. So you want to be an HR professional?

2. So you definitely don’t want to be an HR professional, but you want to put what you’ve learned to work?

Supplement TBD  

D. Celebrating success: what we’ve accomplished together

1. Our course

2. The future of HRM

3. Your personal & professional development


In-class Discussion

F. Bringing it home

SELFI student course evaluations & feedback (please complete today, if possible)

SELFI student course evaluations & feedback

Please complete today, if possible

Course Policies

Assignment Policy & Late Work

Due dates for each assignment or activity will be posted in Blackboard. All assignments must be submitted by the due date and time posted in the course. All times are posted in the Central Time Zone. The acceptance of late assignments or “make-up work” is at the discretion of the instructor. If extenuating circumstances arise, it is your responsibility to you contact the instructor prior the due date if at all possible. Serious medical problems and/or family emergencies are excepted only with sufficient advance notification and documentation. Advance notification is defined as contacting me directly (by phone, email, or in person) at least one hour prior to the time the assignment is due. Students are responsible for scheduling a time to make up the missed assignments. Students who fail to complete assignments on time, or to provide advance notice, may be penalized on appropriate make-up materials by the equivalent of up to one letter grade for each day late, and may not be able to make up assignments after one week has passed. I reserve the right to require additional documentation of any medical problem or emergency before granting make-up assignments without penalty.

Please note: You do not need to disclose or perform trauma when asking for an extension; you just need to let us know (very broadly) that you need help, and we will do what we can to get you back on track in the course.

Class Participation

Attendance and participation in class activities are considered integral parts of a university education. Per University policy, attendance in classes is expected of all students. Getting the grade you want in this course starts with coming to class, being prepared, participating, showing effort, and getting your work done on time. Frequent absenteeism and a lack of preparation will affect your capacity to excel.


It is expected that students will complete all requirements for a course during the time frame of the course. For reasons beyond a student’s control, and upon request by the student or on behalf of the student, an incomplete grade may be assigned by the instructor when there is reasonable certainty the student will successfully complete the course without retaking it. The mark “I,” Incomplete, will be assigned only to the student who has been in attendance and has done satisfactory work up to a time within four weeks of the close of the semester, including the examination period, and whose work is incomplete for reasons satisfactory to his or her instructor. More information regarding UND’s Incomplete policy can be found on The Grading System Webpage.

Resolution of Problems

Should a problem occur, you should speak to your instructor first. If the problem continues to be unresolved, go to the department chair, and next to the college dean. Should the problem persist, you have the right to go to the provost next, and then to the president.


When participating in class (online or in person) it is important to interact with your peers in an appropriate manner. Netiquette is a set of rules for behaving properly online. Here are a few basic points to remember when communicating in this course:

Be scholarly. Use proper language, grammar, and spelling. Explain your thoughts, justify opinions, and credit the ideas of others by citing scholarly resources. Avoid misinforming others when you are unsure of the answer.  When discussing something and supplying a guess, clearly state that.

Be respectful. Respect the privacy of others. Do not share personal or professional information about others unless permission has been granted. Respect diversity and opinions that differ from their own. Be tactful when you communicate.

Be professional. Everyone should strive to give their best impression online. Truthfulness, accuracy, and running a final spell check are appropriate expectations for university students. Writing in a legible font and limiting the use of emoticons is considered professional behavior. Profanity and participation in hostile interactions, known as flaming, is unprofessional as well as disruptive.

Be polite. Students should address professors and instructors by the appropriate title or requested name. Students should interact online politely, just as they would be expected to do in a physical environment. Sarcasm, rudeness, and writing in all capital letters (shouting) should be avoided.


Everyone has the right to be addressed by the name and personal pronouns that correspond to their gender identity, including non-binary pronouns, for example: they/them/theirs, ze/zir/zirs, etc.

I recognize that preferred names and pronouns may change during the quarter, if at any point during the quarter you would like to be addressed differently, please let me know.

As part of our commitment to inclusion in this course, it is important that all students in this class respect the preferred names and pronouns of their peers. Mistakes in addressing one another may happen. If you make a mistake or are corrected, please briefly apologize and correct yourself.

Technology Statement

In this class we will have a technology policy that is designed to support your attention to one another and to the course material.  We will spend the majority of our time engaged in activities that depend upon you being present and attentive to one another, and course content we will study. We are all challenged these days by the ways in which our digital devices—including laptops, tablets, phones, and watches—can steal our attention away from our immediate surroundings. Technology should be used for educational purposes only during scheduled class times.

Collaboration and Recording (For Online, Hybrid, Hyflex courses)

Sharing personal experiences and opinions is an important part of the learning process. In the (hybrid, hyflex, synchronous, etc.) environment of this course, all of our interactions are recorded (via Zoom, Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, Yuja, etc) and made available to students in the course. The purpose of these recordings is to enhance learning for all students. If your peers make personal statements in this course, consider those comments in the context of our learning goals and do not share them with people outside the course. If you have questions or concerns about any recordings, please contact me.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: I will miss an exam or assignment because of a family emergency, I was ill, or I forgot. What do I do?

A: Email me right away to explain the circumstances and offer a solution to make up the work. Missed assignments may be subject to penalties. I reserve the right to require additional documentation of any problem or emergency.  See “Attendance & Make-up Policies,” above.

Q: I will or did miss class today.  What do I do?

A: Email me right away to explain the circumstances and offer a solution to make up the work. Check Blackboard for any assignments and check in with a fellow student to obtain notes. See “Attendance & Make-up Policies,” above.

Q: Will there be a curve for grades?

A: You can expect the course to adhere to the basic grading scale articulated here. Hence you should assume there will not be a curve, but a final decision is subject to instructor discretion based on factors specific to this course cohort. Any curve would be to the benefit of students.  See “Course Requirements, Grading Standards & Expectations,” above.

College/Department Policies

While this syllabus outlines many of the most important academic policies and procedures, a complete catalogue of those applicable to all courses at UND can be found here, and Nistler College of Business and Public Administration policies here.

University of North Dakota Policies & Resources

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a serious matter, and any deviations from appropriate behavior will be dealt with strongly. At the discretion of the professor, situations of concern may be dealt with as a scholastic matter or a disciplinary matter.

As a scholastic matter, the professor has the discretion to determine appropriate penalties for the student’s workload or grade, but the situation may be resolved without involving many individuals. An alternative is to treat the situation as a disciplinary matter, which can result in suspension from the University, or have lesser penalties. Be aware that I view this as a very serious matter and will have little tolerance and/or sympathy for questionable practices. A student who attempts to obtain credit for work that is not their own (whether that be on a paper, quiz, homework assignment, exam, etc.) will likely receive a failing grade for that item of work, and at the professor’s discretion, may also receive a failing grade in the course. For more information read the Code of Student Life.

Access and Opportunity, Disability Support, & Medical Services

The University of North Dakota is committed to providing equal access to students with documented disabilities. To ensure access to this class and your program, please contact Disability Services for Students (DSS) to engage in a confidential discussion about accommodations for the classroom and clinical settings. Accommodations are not provided retroactively. Students are encouraged to register with DSS at the start of their program. More information can be obtained by email UND.dss@UND.edu or by phone at 701.777.2664.


UND is committed to maintaining a safe learning environment while providing quality learning experiences for our students. COVID-19’s continued presence within our UND community may necessitate changes in classroom management as the academic year progresses. As such, UND asks students and instructors to be flexible when necessary to promote a safe environment for learning. Please do not attend an in-person class or lab if you are feeling ill, particularly if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or if you have been directed by health professionals to quarantine or isolate. If you are not able to attend class or lab, please notify your instructor as soon as possible and discuss options for making up any missed work in order to ensure your ability to succeed in the course. If you will have an extended absence due to serious illness or other uncontrollable circumstances, you may request an absence notification through the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities. Similarly, if your instructor is ill they may need to cancel class or temporarily move your course to online delivery to ensure that you are able to complete the course successfully.  Instructors may require students to wear masks in the classroom or in the laboratory as a preventative measure designed to facilitate uninterrupted classroom engagement and to facilitate health and safety in the classroom.   If your instructor does require masks in class or in a laboratory, you are expected to comply with that request.

UND also strongly encourages all members of the University community, including students, to get vaccinated, seek out testing when needed, and model positive behavior both on- and off-campus to foster a healthy and safe learning environment for all students. Individuals who would like to discuss disability accommodations regarding masks should contact the Disability Services for Students (DSS) office at 701.777.2664 or UND.dss@UND.edu. Individuals who are unable to wear a mask due to a sincerely held religious belief should contact the UND Equal Opportunity and Title IX Office at 701.777.4171 or UND.EO.TitleIX@UND.edu.

Religious Accommodations

UND offers religious accommodations, which are reasonable changes in the academic environment that enable a student to practice or observe a sincerely held religious belief without undue hardship on the University. Examples include time for prayer or the ability to attend religious events or observe a religious holiday. To request an accommodation, complete the student religious accommodation request form. If you have any questions, you may contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Office.

Pregnancy Accommodations

Students who need assistance with academic adjustments related to pregnancy or childbirth may contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Office or Academic Affairs to learn about your options. Additional information and services may be found at Pregnancy Resources.

Notice of Nondiscrimination

It is the policy of the University of North Dakota that no person shall be discriminated against because of race, religion, age, color, gender, disability, national origin, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, veteran’s status, or political belief or affiliation and the equal opportunity and access to facilities shall be available to all. Concerns regarding Title IX, Title VI, Title VII, ADA, and Section 504 may be addressed to Donna Smith, Assistant Vice President for Equal Opportunity & Title IX and Title IX/ADA Coordinator, 102 Twamley Hall, 701.777.4171, UND.EO.TitleIX@UND.edu or the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Dept. of Education, 230 S. Dearborn St., 37th Floor, Chicago, IL 60604 or any other federal agency.

Reporting of Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Misconduct

If you or a friend has experienced sexual misconduct, such as sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, please contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Office or UND’s Title IX Coordinator, Donna Smith, for assistance: 701.777.4171; donna.smith@UND.edu; or visit the Title IX webpage. You may also contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX office if you or a friend has experienced discrimination or harassment based on a protected class, such as race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, pregnancy, marital or parental status, veteran's status, or political belief or affiliation.

Faculty Reporting Obligations Regarding Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Misconduct

It is important for students to understand that faculty are required to share with UND’s Title IX Coordinator any incidents of sexual misconduct or of discrimination or harassment based on a protected class that they become aware of, even if those incidents occurred in the past or are disclosed as part of a class assignment. This does not mean an investigation will occur if the student does not want that, but it does allow UND to provide resources to help the student continue to be successful at UND. If you have been impacted by discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct, you can find information about confidential support services on the Equal Opportunity & Title IX webpage..

UND Cares Program

How to Seek Help When in Distress

We know that while college is a wonderful time for most students, however, some students may struggle or have issues that arise. You may experience students in distress on campus, in your classroom, in your home, and within residence halls. Distressed students may initially seek assistance from faculty, staff members, their parents, and other students. In addition to the support we can provide to each other, there are also professional support services available to students through the Dean of Students and University Counseling Center. Both staffs are available to consult with you about getting help or providing a friend with the help that he or she may need. For more additional information, please visit the UND Cares Program Webpage.

How to Recognize When a Student is in Distress

The term “distressed” can mean any of the following:

  • Student has significant changes in eating, sleeping, grooming, spending, or other daily activities.
  • Student has cut off or minimized contact with family or friends.
  • Student has significant changes in performance or involvement in academics, sports, extracurricular, or social activities.
  • Student describes problems (missing class, not remembering, destructive behavior) that result from experiences with drinking or drugs.
  • Student is acting withdrawn, volatile, tearful, etc.
  • Student is acting out of character or different than usual.
  • Student is talking explicitly about hopelessness or suicide.
  • Student has difficulty concentrating or difficulty carrying on a normal conversation.
  • Student has excessive dependence on others for company or support.
  • Student reports feeling out of control of one’s emotions, thoughts, or behaviors.

Land Acknowledgement Statement

Today, the University of North Dakota rests on the ancestral lands of the Pembina and Red Lake Bands of Ojibwe and the Dakota Oyate - presently existing as composite parts of the Red Lake, Turtle Mountain, White Earth Bands, and the Dakota Tribes of Minnesota and North Dakota. We acknowledge the people who resided here for generations and recognize that the spirit of the Ojibwe and Oyate people permeate this land. As a university community, we will continue to build upon our relations with the First Nations of the State of North Dakota - the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation, Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Nation, Spirit Lake Nation, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians.

Additional Resources

It is my goal to foster an environment of mutual respect in which everyone feels comfortable voicing their opinions, sharing their stories, and learning about potentially heavy or personally relevant material. If, at any point, you feel like the information covered in this class elicits thoughts, feelings, or concerns that you would like to discuss further, don’t hesitate to reach out to me, or the UND Counseling Center (701-777-2127).

Further, if you experience extenuating circumstances, sexual violence, identity-based harm, or any other personal crisis during the semester, don’t hesitate to reach out to me so we can provide academic assistance and help you in this course, and put you in contact with the appropriate resources and services (if needed).