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Heather G. Getha-Taylor

Associate Professor
Primary office:
Wescoe Hall
Room 4060S
University of Kansas


Summary

Heather Getha-Taylor is an Associate Professor in the KU School of Public Affairs and Administration. She is the author or coauthor of over 50 articles, book chapters, and scholarly reports on public and nonprofit management topics, including “Identifying Collaborative Competencies,” which received the Best Article Award from Review of Public Personnel Administration. Her collaborative engaged scholarship project on leadership training evaluation was recognized by the Kansas City chapter of the American Society for Training and Development (with Jonathan Morris of the KU Public Management Center and Michele Biddison of the City of Olathe) and also the KU Steeples Service to Kansans Award.

 

She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses and is the recipient of several teaching awards, including the 2018 Honorable Mention Award from Syracuse University’s Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration for “Epidemic: A Community Health Collaborative Simulation.” In 2017, she was selected as a Hubert Project Fellow by the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs and created the online teaching resource, “Ripe for Change: Just Food’s Recovery from Executive Misconduct” (with KU MPA graduate Heather Odell).

 

Heather has served the University of Kansas and external groups in leadership roles including as the Faculty Fellow for the KU Center for Civic and Social Responsibility (2015-2017) and Book Review Editor for Public Integrity (2015-2017). She also serves on the editorial boards of Public Integrity, Public Personnel Management, and Review of Public Personnel Administration. She was recently selected as the incoming Editor-in-Chief of Public Personnel Management.

 

She is a regular presenter at academic conferences and professional meetings and also serves those associations in various roles. In 2017, she was elected to the board of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA)’s Section on Personnel Administration and Labor Relations (SPALR). She was also appointed to the Government Finance Officers Association’s Research Advisory Council for human capital research. In 2018, she was appointed to serve as Director of the Public Management Research Association’s (PMRA) Secretariat.

 

Heather works to connect theory and practice across her research, teaching, and service efforts. She was recently selected to respond to former Vice President Joe Biden’s call for solutions to revitalize the middle class. Her presentation at the University of Delaware’s Biden Challenge focused on the connection between the health of public employment and the health of the middle class, a connection which has received comparatively little attention in discussions on this important contemporary issue. 

Education

PhD, Public Administration, Syracuse University, 2007

MPA, University of Georgia, 2002

BA, Communications, Augusta State University, 2000

 

Teaching

I teach classes at both the undergraduate and graduate level on multiple campuses (Lawrence, Edwards, and Topeka). My primary course offerings include: human resource management, collaboration, and public service leadership. I believe in engaged scholarship and the premise that teaching and research should inform and reinforce one another. I strive to help students become evidence-based managers who can effectively use theory and empirical research to address practical challenges. Further, I work to design course components that connect with contemporary themes and audiences outside the classroom. I seek to engage students with different learning styles in meaningful ways by utilizing a variety of teaching approaches. Finally, I value reflective practice and encourage students to thoughtfully apply course lessons to their own professional development during their academic journey and beyond.

Teaching Interests

  • Public and nonprofit management
  • Collaboration
  • Human resource management
  • Public service leadership

Research

My research focuses on the public sector workforce, with special emphasis on the changing dimensions of public work, including enhanced expectations for boundary-spanning collaboration. I explore, for instance, the ways in which collaborators work to develop trust, illustrate collaborative competencies, and adapt leadership styles and practices. Connected to this, I also work on leadership training and development projects, including those that consider the design, evaluation, and impact of these programs. Exploring the connection between theory and practice is important to me and I seek to understand ways in which established frameworks and assumptions influence, or are influenced by, contemporary realities. My current work, for instance, reflects a tension between enduring values and emerging priorities, which is a unifying theme across projects.

Research Interests

  • Public and nonprofit management
  • Collaboration
  • Human resource management
  • Public service leadership

Service

I serve the KU School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA), the University of Kansas, and the broader academic and practitioner communities in a number of ways. Within SPAA, I’ve served on a variety of departmental committees and also in leadership roles, including chairing the nonprofit curriculum task force, coordinating SPAA learner outcomes assessments, and serving as undergraduate program coordinator. At the university level, I have served as a faculty fellow for the Center for Civic and Social Responsibility and as a faculty ambassador for the Center for Teaching Excellence. For the academic community, I serve as a reviewer for a variety of scholarly journals and am a member of the editorial boards of Public Integrity, Review of Public Personnel Administration, and Public Personnel Management. I engage with the broader public administration community through engaged scholarship projects, consultation, and association presentations.