Master of Public Administration Program Celebrates 30 Years

  MPA 30 years
    Pace University’s Master of Public Administration continues to thrive under the leadership of Farrokh Hormozi, PhD.

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) Program, the brainchild of Westchester County visionary Sal Prezioso, began in January of 1979 with a small number of part-time students in order to provide graduate education for the County’s public employees. In September 1979 enrollment jumped to more than 200 due to a contract with the Westchester County Department of Social Services which required all management employees to take MPA classes. At that time the program focused on two concentrations: Government and Social Services.

“Classes were held at 55 Church Street in White Plains with classes literally being built around us,” said Anthony Cupaiuolo, one of the first professors and the former chair of the department. The program later moved to its current location at the Graduate Center at One Martine Avenue in 1987.

An affiliation with New York State City/County Management Association (formerly the New York State Municipal Management Association), which began with the inception of the program, has led to internships and jobs for program alumni/ae at the local, national and international level. Many of the program graduates have become municipal managers including Jose Alvarado, Legislator; Anthony Cerreto, Village Attorney; Patricia Dwyer, Village Administrator; Lucille Geraci-Mirranda, Director of Development; John Mastronardi, Assistant Commissioner; and Michael Genito, Commissioner of Finance, just to name a few.

Over time the Department of Social Services program shrank in numbers, but it served as a model for special collaboration with Rockland County Department of Social Services, New York State, Westchester County Michaelian Scholars, United Way, Health Care Organizations and many others.

By the mid 1980s the Social Services concentration was dropped and Health Care was added. Concentrations in Nonprofit Management were added in the late 1980s, followed by Long-term Care Management, Environmental Policy and, most recently, a concentration in Social Entrepreneurship.

“We are in an opportune time and location to provide quality education in the field of not-for-profit management,” said Farrokh Hormozi, present chair of the department, “If I may quote a recent New York Times article, ‘Today, the financial crisis and the economic downturn are likely to alter drastically the career paths of future years.’ Even though the contours of the job market are still in flux, attention to public sector managerial education is on the rise. We are here to respond to these market dynamics.”