Professor of Governmental Affairs
(Updated: as of April 27, 2014)
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
161 West Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee WI 53203-2602
Academic and Professional Positions
Professor of Governmental Affairs, School of Continuing Education, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (2006-present); Associate Professor (2002-06); Assistant Professor (1997-2002). Research interests in government and nonprofits: public relations, history, and pop culture images.
Executive Director of Milwaukee’s Jewish Community Relations Council (1990-97), a faith-based nonprofit involved in public policy and human rights advocacy.
Appointed to the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage Commission (1988-89), chair of the Finance and Personnel Committee.
Elected to the Wisconsin Legislature’s State Assembly (1976, 1978, 1980) and State Senate (1982, 1986).
Legislative Assistant, Congressman Henry Reuss (WI-5), Washington, DC (1975-76).
Guest Scholar, Brookings Institution, Washington, DC (1972-74).
Ph.D. in Public Administration, Syracuse University, 1975.
Master of Public Administration (MPA), Syracuse University, 1972.
Bachelor of Arts, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1970, Phi Beta Kappa.
The Philosopher-Lobbyist: John Dewey and the People's Lobby, 1928-1940 (Albany: State University of New York Press, forthcoming April 2015).
Promoting the War Effort: Robert Horton and Federal Propaganda, 1938-1946 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2012). Series on Media and Public Affairs.
Co-editor, with Grant Neeley and Kendra Stewart, The Practice of Government Public Relations (Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2012). Public Administration and Public Policy Series of the American Society for Public Administration.
Congress vs. the Bureaucracy: Muzzling Agency Public Relations (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2011). Winner of the Press’s annual Rothbaum Prize for “exceptional scholarship and writing on American politics and history.”
Nixon’s Super-Secretaries: The Last Grand Presidential Reorganization Effort (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2010).
Bureaus of Efficiency: Reforming Local Government in the Progressive Era (Milwaukee, WI: Marquette University Press, 2008).
Editor, Government Public Relations: A Reader (Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2008).
Institutionalizing Congress and the Presidency: The U.S. Bureau of Efficiency, 1916-1933 (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2006).
The First Presidential Communications Agency: FDR’s Office of Government Reports (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2005).
“Colluding to Create the American Society for Public Administration and the Consequent Collateral Damage,” Public Voices 14:1 (forthcoming).
“A Progressive Era Idea for Reforming Government that Didn’t Make It: Recall of Judicial Decisions,” Public Voices 13:1 (2013) 58-78.
“Glimpsing an Alternate Construction of American Public Administration: The Later Life of William Allen, Co-Founder of the New York Bureau of Municipal Research,” Administration & Society 45:5 (July 2013) 522-562.
“Defending a Controversial Agency: Edward C. Banfield as Farm Security Agency Public Relations Officer, 1941–1946,” co-authored with Kevin R. Kosar, Federal History 5 (January 2013) 121-138.
“Pop Culture as Civics Lesson: Exploring the Dearth of State Legislatures in Hollywood’s Public Sector,” Public Voices 12:2 (2012) 49-67.
“Do’s and Don’ts of Public Relations for Government Health Care Administration,” Journal of Health and Human Services Administration 35:3 (Winter 2012) 258-273.
“Toward Generalizing about Congressional Control over Agency PR: The Failure of Spending Limits on Pentagon PR, 1951-1959,” Public Administration Quarterly 36:3 (Fall 2012) 341-379.“Creating the First Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations (1941-1949) and Subsequent Developments: A Case Study of Thickening in the Federal Bureaucracy,” Public Voices 12:1 (2011) 27-45.
“Historical Milestones in the Emergence of Nonprofit Public Relations in the US, 1900-1956,” Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 40:2 (April 2011) 318-35.
“History of US Public Administration in the Progressive Era: Efficient Government by and for Whom?” Journal of Management History 17:1 (2011) 88-101.
“Herman Beyle and James McCamy: Founders of the Study of Public Relations in Public Administration, 1928-1939,” Public Voices 11:2 (2010) 26-46.
“The Role of the YMCA in the Origins of U.S. Nonprofit Management Education,” Nonprofit Management & Leadership 20:3 (Spring 2010) 277-93.
“Government Public Relations During Herbert Hoover’s Presidency” (Research in Brief), Public Relations Review 36:1 (March 2010) 56-58.
“How a Bill Becomes a Law, Hollywood Style” and introduction to Symposium on Public Service in the Mind’s Eye, Public Voices 11:1 (2009) 66-88, 1-7.
“Too Much Bureaucracy or Too Little? Congressional Treatment of Defense Department Legislative Liaison, 1950s-1990s,” Public Administration & Management 14:2 (2009) 323-61.
“Origins of the Epithet ‘Government by Public Relations’: Revisiting Bruce Catton’s War Lords of Washington, 1948,” Public Relations Review 35:4 (November 2009) 388-94.“The Return of Public Relations to the Public Administration Curriculum?” Journal of Public Affairs Education 15:4 (Fall 2009) 515-33.
“A Case Study of Congressional Hostility to Agency Public Relations: The Federal Reserve and Senator Heflin, 1922” (Research in Brief), Public Relations Review 35:3 (September 2009) 291-93.
“Flicks of Government Flacks: The Sequel” (Research in Brief), Public Relations Review 35:2 (June 2009) 159-61. A more detailed version than the published one (including references) is also available.
“The Short Life of the Government Public Relations Association in the US, 1949-1958” (Research in Brief), Public Relations Review 34:3 (September 2008) 279-81. A more detailed version than the published one is also available.
“Congressional Controversy Over the Federal Prohibition Bureau’s Public Relations, 1922” (Research in Brief), Public Relations Review 34:3 (September 2008) 276-78.
“Public Affairs Enters the US President’s Subcabinet: Creating the First Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs (1944-1953) and Subsequent Developments,” Journal of Public Affairs 8:3 (August 2008) 185-94.
“Déjà Vu All Over Again: Contemporary Traces of the ‘Budget Exhibit’,” co-authored with Daniel W. Williams, American Review of Public Administration 38:2 (June 2008) 203-24.
“Clara M. Edmunds and the Library of the United States Information Service, 1934-1948,” Libraries & the Cultural Record 42:3 (2007) 213-30.
“Revisiting the Dartmouth Court Decision: Why the US has Private Nonprofit Agencies Instead of Public Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs),” Public Organization Review 7:2 (June 2007) 113-42. A more detailed version than the published one is also available.
“Political-Administrative Relations in State Government: A Legislative Perspective,” International Journal of Public Administration 29:12 (2006) 1021-47.
“The Rise and Fall of the Institute for Government Public Information Research, 1978-1981,” Public Relations Review 32:2 (June 2006) 118-24.
“The History of Municipal Public Reporting,” International Journal of Public Administration 29:4-6 (2006) 453-76.
“Empirical Experiments in Public Reporting: Reconstructing the Results of Survey Research in 1941-42,” Public Administration Review 66:2 (March/April 2006) 252-62.
“The US Bureau of Efficiency: Not RIP in 1933?” and introduction to Symposium on Rewriting the History of Public Administration: What If..., Public Voices 8:1 (2005) 44-60, 3-7.
“When Government Used Publicity Against Itself: Toledo’s Commission of Publicity and Efficiency, 1916-1975,” Public Relations Review 31:1 (March 2005) 55-61. A more detailed version than the published one is also available.
“Is There Life Before the CPM [Certified Public Manager]? Pre-CPM and Related Noncredit Certificates in Public Administration,” Public Administration Quarterly 28:3 (Fall 2004) 308-34.
“What Does Hollywood Think Nonprofit CEOs Do All Day? Screen Depictions of NGO Management,” Public Organization Review 4:2 (June 2004) 157-76.
“A Public Relations Program Even Congress Could Love: Federal Information Centers,” Public Relations Review 30:1 (March 2004) 61-73.
“The First Federal Public Information Service, 1920-1933: At the US Bureau of Efficiency!” Public Relations Review 29:4 (November 2003) 415-25.
“Is There Anything New Under the Sun? Herbert Simon’s Contributions in the 1930s to Performance Measurement and Public Reporting of Performance Results,” Public Voices 6:2-3 (2003) 73-82.
“Management History as Told by Popular Culture: The Screen Image of the Efficiency Expert,” Management Decision 40:9 (2002) 881-94.
“Noncredit Certificates in Nonprofit Management: An Exploratory Study,” Public Administration & Management 7:3 (2002) 188-210.
“Intersectoral Differences in Public Affairs: The Duty of Public Reporting in Public Administration,” Journal of Public Affairs 2:2 (May 2002) 33-43.
“The Federal Public Relations Administration: History’s Near Miss,” Public Relations Review 28:1 (February 2002) 87-98.
“Bureaucracy in the Hebrew Bible: A Neglected Source of Public Administration History,” Public Voices 5:1-2 (2002) 79-88.
“Strange But True Tales From Hollywood: The Bureaucrat as Movie Hero,” co-authored with Susan C Paddock, Public Administration & Management 6:4 (2001) 166-94.
“The Image of the Government Flack: Movie Depictions of Public Relations in Public Administration,” Public Relations Review 27:3 (Fall 2001) 297-315.
“Looking at the Politics-Administration Dichotomy from the Other Direction: Participant Observation by a State Senator,” International Journal of Public Administration 24:4 (April 2001) 363-84.
“The Agency Spokesperson: Connecting Public Administration and the Media,” Public Administration Quarterly 25:1 (Spring 2001) 101-30.
“Public Information in Government Organizations: A Review and Curriculum Outline of External Relations in Public Administration,” Public Administration & Management 5:4 (2000) 183-214.
“Bureaucrat Bashing in the Galactic Senate: George Lucas and Public Administration,” Public Voices 4:2 (2000) 23-30.
“Governing the Holy Land: Public Administration in Ottoman Palestine, 1516-1918,” Digest of Middle East Studies 9:1 (Summer 2000) 1-25.
“When Congress Tried to Cut Pentagon Public Relations: A Lesson from History,” Public Relations Review 26:2 (Summer 2000) 131-54.
“A Jewish ‘March of Dimes’? Organization Theory and the Future of Jewish Community Relations Councils,” Jewish Political Studies Review 12:1-2 (Spring 2000) 3-19.
“Reporters and Bureaucrats: Public Relations Counter-Strategies by Public Administrators in an Era of Media Disinterest in Government,” Public Relations Review 25:4 (Winter 1999) 451-63.
“Public Relations Is Public Administration,” The Public Manager 27:4 (Winter 1998-99) 49-52.
“Public Relations in Public Administration: A Disappearing Act in Public Administration Education,” Public Relations Review 24:4 (Winter 1998) 509-20.
“President Nixon Sees a ‘Cover Up’: Public Relations in Federal Agencies,” Public Relations Review 23:4 (Winter 1997) 301-25.
“Tradition be Damned! The Army Corps of Engineers is Changing,” co-authored with Daniel Mazmanian, Public Administration Review 35:2 (March-April 1975) 166-72.
Selected Other Writings
“E-Government and Public Relations: It’s the Message, Not the Medium,” in Aroon Manoharan (ed.), E-Government and Websites: A Public Solutions Handbook (Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, forthcoming October 2014), chapter 1.
“Government is Different: A History of Public Relations in American Public Administration,” in Burton St. John III, Margot Opdycke Lamme and Jacquie L'Etang (eds.), Pathways to Public Relations: Histories of Practice and Profession (London: Routledge, 2014), chapter 7.
“Propaganda for War,” in Nancy Snow (ed.), Propaganda and American Democracy (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2014), chapter 4.
“Credential or Practical Training: The Search for Usable Knowledge,” PA Times (publication of the American Society for Public Administration) 36:4 (October 2013) 12S.
“Hollywood Takes on Public Service,” PA Times 36:2 (April/May/June 2013) 6S.
“Public Reporting Builds Agency Accountability,” PA Times 36:1 (January/February/March 2013) 2-3. Winner of the George Frederickson Award from the American Society for Public Administration for best article in PA Times in 2013.
“US Administrative History: Golem Government,” in B. Guy Peters and Jon Pierre (eds.), SAGE Handbook of Public Administration, 2nd ed. (London: Sage, 2012), chapter 13.
“Advice for an Academic Career,” PA Times 33:5 (October 2010) 33.
“The Nine Commandments of Social Media in Public Administration: A Dual-Generation Perspective,” co-authored with Ethan Lee Elser, PA Times 33:3 (Summer 2010) 3.
Book review: Johann N. Neem, Creating a Nation of Joiners: Democracy and Civil Society in Early National Massachusetts (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2008). In Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 38:4 (August 2009) 721-24.
review essay: “Looking
for Meaning in the
“At the Intersection of Bureaucracy, Democracy and the Media: The Effective Agency Spokesperson,” in Ali Farazmand (ed.), Bureaucracy and Administration (Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2009), chapter 21.
“Media Relations and External Communications during a Disaster,” in Jack Pinkowski (ed.), Disaster Management Handbook (Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2008), chapter 19.
State Legislature,” in Thomas Holbrook (ed.), Wisconsin
Government and Politics, 9th ed. (
Entries on “Media and Bureaucracy in the United States,” “Public Reporting,” and “External Relations in Nonprofit Organizations,” in Encyclopedia of Public Administration and Public Policy, 2nd ed. (New York: Taylor & Francis, 2008).
“E-Reporting: Using Managing-for-Results Data to Strengthen Democratic Accountability,” in John M. Kamensky and Albert Morales (eds.), Managing for Results, 2005 (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2005), chapter 4. Also published as a monograph E-Reporting: Strengthening Democratic Accountability (Washington, DC: IBM Center for the Business of Government, 2004).
Congress vs. the Bureaucracy was selected by the University of Oklahoma Press from its 2011 list for its annual Rothbaum Prize for “exceptional scholarship and writing on American politics and history,” $3,000
Faculty Distinguished Public Service Award, UW-Milwaukee, 2009, $1,500
IBM Center for the Business of Government, research grant, 2003, $15,000
Herbert Hoover Presidential Library Association, grant for travel expenses to conduct research at the Hoover Presidential Library (West Branch, IA), 2003
Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute, grant for travel expenses to conduct research at the Roosevelt Presidential Library (Hyde Park, NY), 2002
33rd annual Fromkin Lectureship, Golda Meir Library, UW-Milwaukee, 2002, $10,000
October 17, 2002: Receiving from Peter Watson-Boone, UWM Director
of Libraries, a framed poster after presenting the 33rd annual
Fromkin Lecture, on FDR's Office of Government Reports
A Tribute to James L. McCamy
James L. McCamy (1906-1995) was a professor of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and my undergraduate adviser when I was a senior (1969-1970). Jim introduced me both to the field of public administration and the topic of government public relations, the latter the subject of his dissertation and first book. The more I heard, the more interested I became. Thanks to his excellent advice, I applied to do graduate work at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School. I earned a Ph.D. in Public Administration and wrote my dissertation on government PR (and Congressional efforts to control it). Jim was the best mentor a person could wish for. He showed me two scholarly paths that I otherwise would never had known about. For me, both subjects became lifelong interests. I am eternally indebted to him.
For those interested in government public relations, I have compiled a bibliography of his writings on that subject (in chronological order):
Perhaps my own writings on government public relations might be viewed as a continuation of his oeuvre, albeit in a minor key.