Heinz College for Information Systems and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University seeks an adjunct instructor for a course on state and local economic development in the United States for its Master of Science in Public Policy and Management Program.
Ideally, the instructor will deliver the course in spring 2020. This would be a full-semester (14 week course). Course times can either be afternoons (two 80 minute class sessions a week) or evenings (170 min, 6-8:50pm, inclusive of a break, once a week), as preferred.
The instructor should be a practitioner or academic with direct experience or research work in experience in the field of economic and community development in the U.S. Recent experience in teaching graduate or professional courses is preferred. A relevant master’s degree is required.
The course is intended for students interested in learning about the many issues linked to urban and regional development in the U.S., and who may work at EDOs (government agencies, authorities, or non-profits missioned in economic or community development), consultancies, university research centers or other institutions, or who may take other roles in the private or public sectors that that engage in domestic development work.
Economic development is a complex, fragmented domain that would be difficult to cover adequately in a full semester course, much less a mini course. The following scope assumes a full semester timeline, although a smaller scope for a mini (7 week course) is negotiable. For a full semester format, the course should do the following.
Provide a brief historical survey of the subject, including an overview of the alternative definitions of and ostensible goals for economic development; the problems and opportunities economic development seeks to address, the primary forces, trends, and events that have given (or are giving) rise to them; and an introduction to the major types of policies and strategies that federal, state, and local government have deployed in response.
Provide an update of “where we are now” with regards to trends in metropolitan, industrial, and urban vs. rural growth and decline, as well as national trends in employment and labor force participation levels, occupational employment, wages and compensation, poverty and economic inequality, and changes in work arrangements, union membership and homeownership since the onset of the Great Recession.
Next, the course should teach students a selection of theories and skills relevant to urban and regional development planning.
Students should be introduced to key theories of growth and development such as economic base theory, location theory, product cycle theory, or flexible production theory. Students should also be made aware of strengths and weaknesses of these theories, including key critiques.
Students should then be tasked with developing a quantitative and qualitative profile of a metropolitan area as a precursor to developing a development strategy.
Students should be shown how to find and use regional aggregate economic indicators, and relevant public datasets on population size and demographic, industrial, and occupational composition to characterize a given region.
In addition to using tables, charts, and simple statistics to illustrate patterns and trends in these phenomena, students should also be trained to use one or more analytical techniques for making sense of regional economies and industries, such as location quotients, shift share analysis, cluster analysis, or input output analysis.
Students should be also be shown how to compare other factors related to regional competitiveness, such as quality of life, business environment, infrastructure assets, university/research assets, etc.
Students should interpret their findings in terms of regional strengths and weaknesses, and problems and opportunities.
While students are building their regional profiles, the course should turn to an overview of conceptual frameworks for the development state and local development strategies such as attraction based models (firms, entrepreneurs, talent), agglomeration/cluster theory, New Markets (Porter), and the Creative Class (Florida). Again, students should be made aware of the strengths and weaknesses of these concepts, and their critics.
Finally, the students should be introduced to three major areas of policy and practice in economic development: business development (attraction, retention, and expansion of firms), workforce development, and entrepreneurship (traditional). Students should be introduced to the institutions that operate in these areas of practices, the tools and processes they use, the roles involved in the work, and the skills required. They should also be introduced to at least one empirical study related to the efficacy of these policies.
Students should then be tasked with proposing and defending (or selling) a strategy, or elements of a strategy, that addresses a key problem or opportunity facing their region, and that draws upon the ideas they were exposed to with theory, models, and/or practice.
Time permitting, the instructor may also choose to introduce other areas of practice or strategy to students, such as TBED, anchor based strategies, neighborhood development, rural development, land use, infrastructure driven development (transportation, energy), and so on. The instructor might also choose to take a deeper dive into economic development finance tools. Alternatively, the instructor may give students the option to investigate and apply these alternatives on their own as part of developing their strategy deliverable.
In addition to lectures, and regional profile and strategy projects, the instructor is encouraged to achieve the learning objectives of the course by other means, including: required readings, class discussions, quizzes or tests on readings, oral summaries of readings, homework exercises, guest speakers, and requiring that projects by completed by teams. The College is also willing to work with the instructor to provide a TA or staff led lab for the course to assist students with their project work, and/or teach selected technical skills (i.e. in regional analysis or finance). A limited budget for software (ex: IMPLAN) and data purchase will be available if needed.
A textbook is strongly recommended. Useful texts include:
Local Economic Development: Second Edition, Blair and Carrol
Planning Local Development: Sixth Edition, Blakely and Leigh
Local and Regional Development: Second Edition, Pike, Rodriguez-Pose, John Tomaney
Useful for theory
Understanding Local Economic Development, Malizia and Feser
Useful for development finance
Economic Development Finance, Seidman
The College is willing to consider alternative approaches to educating students about economic development, as long as they cover the essentials, retain a data analysis component, and include rigorously assessed assignments. Interested candidates should provide a cover letter and resume.
About Heinz College
The Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy is home to two internationally recognized graduate-level institutions at Carnegie Mellon University: the School of Information Systems and Management and the School of Public Policy and Management. This unique colocation combined with its expertise in analytics set Heinz College apart in the areas of cybersecurity, health care, the future of work, smart cities, and arts & entertainment. In 2016, INFORMS named Heinz College the #1 academic program for Analytics Education. For more information, please visit www.heinz.cmu.edu.
About Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon (www.cmu.edu) is a private, internationally ranked research university with programs in areas ranging from science, technology and business, to public policy, the humanities and the arts. More than 12,000 students in the university’s seven schools and colleges benefit from a small student-to-faculty ratio and an education characterized by its focus on creating and implementing solutions for real problems, interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation. A global university, Carnegie Mellon’s main campus in the United States is in Pittsburgh, Pa. It has campuses in California’s Silicon Valley and Qatar, and programs in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and Mexico.