Dennis C. Smith

Dennis C. Smith
Associate Professor of Public Policy

Dennis C. Smith, Associate Professor of Public Policy, Professor Smith earned his Ph.D. in political science from Indiana University. In January, 2006, he was also appointed Professor in Residence in the New York State Assembly Internship Program. He teaches policy formation and program evaluation, Performance Management,. Comparative Federalism, and the International Capstone. Professor Smith has conducted research on the performance management of public and nonprofit agencies, and has written on the problems of measuring the success of reforms in public sector organizations. He has also studied the non-emergency use of New York City's ambulance service (EMS) and has written on strategies for managing the demand for emergency services. Professor Smith's work has been published in several journals, including Public Administration Review, Urban Affairs Quarterly, Public Administration and Development, and City Journal. His analysis of Compstat, written with former NYPD Commissioner William Bratton, appeared in Forsythe, ed., Quicker, Better, Cheaper? Managing Performance in American Government (2001). His "Managing CIVPOL:The Potential of Performance Management in International Public Service" is a chapter in Dijkzeul and Beigbeder, ed., Rethinking International Organizations: Pathology and Promise (2003).

He directed the Program in Public Administration for nine years and served two years as Associate Dean. From 1997-2002 he led the Wagner School's International Initiative where he designed the new Executive MPA of International Public Service and led the School's State Department funded partnerships with the Ukrainian Academy of Public Administration and Eduardo Mondlane University in Mozambique.

Since 1985, Professor Smith has worked with the public management faculty of Escuela Superior de Administracion y Direccion de Empresas (ESADE) on management development projects in Spain. He has directed Policy Analysis in Europe, co-sponsored by Ecol� National�des travaux Publics de l'Etat and Universite Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). He worked with the Graduate School of International Studies at Korea University and Seoul National University's Graduate School of Public Administration.

He is a member of the editorial board of two public policy journals and of the board of the nonprofit, children's musical theater company, TADA!.

Semester Course
Fall 2013 CORE-GP.1022.004 Introduction to Public Policy

Introduction to Public Policy covers a wide range of topics, from the norms and values informing democratic policymaking to the basics of cost-benefit and other tools of policy analysis. Though emphases will differ based on instructor strengths, all sections will address the institutional arrangements for making public policy decisions, the role of various actors-including nonprofit and private-sector professionals-in shaping policy outcomes, and the fundamentals (and limits) of analytic approaches to public policy.

Note: Students who have not taken an American Government course in many years, and need to brush up on knowledge of the basic design and functions of the governmental units in the United States, are strongly encouraged to take Introduction to Governance (NONCR-0989) module prior to taking Introduction to Public Policy.


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Fall 2012 CAP-GP.3175.001 Capstone: Advanced Project in Public and Nonprofit Policy and Management

Couples with CAP-GP.3176.

As part of the core curriculum of the NYU Wagner Masters program, Capstone teams spend an academic year addressing challenges and identifying opportunities for a client organization or conducting research on a pressing social question. Capstone, in architecture, is the crowning piece of an arch, the center stone that holds the arch together, giving it shape and strength. Wagner's Capstone program plays a similar role, by providing students with a centerpiece of their graduate experience whereby they are able to experience first-hand turning the theory of their studies into practice under the guidance of an experienced faculty member. Projects require students to get up-to-speed quickly on a specific content or issue area; enhance key process skills including project management and teamwork; and develop competency in gathering, analyzing, and reporting out on data. Capstone requires students to interweave their learning in all these areas, and to do so in real time, in an unpredictable, complex, real-world environment.


Download Syllabus
Fall 2012 CORE-GP.1022.004 Introduction to Public Policy

Introduction to Public Policy covers a wide range of topics, from the norms and values informing democratic policymaking to the basics of cost-benefit and other tools of policy analysis. Though emphases will differ based on instructor strengths, all sections will address the institutional arrangements for making public policy decisions, the role of various actors-including nonprofit and private-sector professionals-in shaping policy outcomes, and the fundamentals (and limits) of analytic approaches to public policy.

Note: Students who have not taken an American Government course in many years, and need to brush up on knowledge of the basic design and functions of the governmental units in the United States, are strongly encouraged to take Introduction to Governance (NONCR-0989) module prior to taking Introduction to Public Policy.


Download Syllabus
Fall 2010 PADM-GP.2170.001 Performance Measurement and Management for Public, Nonprofit, and Health Care Organizations

All public and not-for-profit organizations must assemble and report information on their performance. The need for performance measures goes beyond legal and regulatory requirements. To provide services effectively and efficiently, managers need information to make decisions. This course focuses on what performance measures are needed, how they should be created and what forms of communication are most effective.


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Spring 2010 CAP-GP.3176.001 Capstone: Advanced Project in Public and Nonprofit Policy and Management

Continuation of CAP-GP.3175.

As part of the core curriculum of the NYU Wagner Masters program, Capstone teams spend an academic year addressing challenges and identifying opportunities for a client organization or conducting research on a pressing social question. Capstone, in architecture, is the crowning piece of an arch, the center stone that holds the arch together, giving it shape and strength. Wagner's Capstone program plays a similar role, by providing students with a centerpiece of their graduate experience whereby they are able to experience first-hand turning the theory of their studies into practice under the guidance of an experienced faculty member. Projects require students to get up-to-speed quickly on a specific content or issue area; enhance key process skills including project management and teamwork; and develop competency in gathering, analyzing, and reporting out on data. Capstone requires students to interweave their learning in all these areas, and to do so in real time, in an unpredictable, complex, real-world environment.


Download Syllabus
Fall 2009 PADM-GP.2170.001 Performance Measurement and Management for Public, Nonprofit, and Health Care Organizations

All public and not-for-profit organizations must assemble and report information on their performance. The need for performance measures goes beyond legal and regulatory requirements. To provide services effectively and efficiently, managers need information to make decisions. This course focuses on what performance measures are needed, how they should be created and what forms of communication are most effective.


Download Syllabus
Fall 2009 CAP-GP.3175.001 Capstone: Advanced Project in Public and Nonprofit Policy and Management

Couples with CAP-GP.3176.

As part of the core curriculum of the NYU Wagner Masters program, Capstone teams spend an academic year addressing challenges and identifying opportunities for a client organization or conducting research on a pressing social question. Capstone, in architecture, is the crowning piece of an arch, the center stone that holds the arch together, giving it shape and strength. Wagner's Capstone program plays a similar role, by providing students with a centerpiece of their graduate experience whereby they are able to experience first-hand turning the theory of their studies into practice under the guidance of an experienced faculty member. Projects require students to get up-to-speed quickly on a specific content or issue area; enhance key process skills including project management and teamwork; and develop competency in gathering, analyzing, and reporting out on data. Capstone requires students to interweave their learning in all these areas, and to do so in real time, in an unpredictable, complex, real-world environment.


Download Syllabus
Fall 2008 PADM-GP.2170.001 Performance Measurement and Management for Public, Nonprofit, and Health Care Organizations

All public and not-for-profit organizations must assemble and report information on their performance. The need for performance measures goes beyond legal and regulatory requirements. To provide services effectively and efficiently, managers need information to make decisions. This course focuses on what performance measures are needed, how they should be created and what forms of communication are most effective.


Download Syllabus
Date Publication/Paper
2007

Smith, D.C. & Purtell, R. 2007. An Empirical Assessment of NYPD’s "Operation Impact": A Targeted Zone Crime Reduction Strategy June
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Abstract

Clearly in a time of shrinking resources, Operation Impact has earned its place as an empirically-validated crime-reduction tool worthy of continued adaptation in New York, and emulation in other cities facing resurgent crime, if they have the capacity to replicate the kind of careful analysis on which the implementation of Operation Impact was launched and its implementation has been tracked and managed.

2005

Smith, D.C. 2005. Practice, Practice, Practice: The Education and Training of Policy Analysts at NYU Wagner in Geva-May, Iris (ed.), A Clinical Approach to Policy Analysis.
Abstract

The world of policy represents the confluence of a number of intellectual strands in which the clinician brings science together with intuition, and uses his or her experience to interpret the evidence and make recommendations for treatment. This important volume brings together leading scholars to explore the "how" of thinking about policy--the questions, values, judgments and experience the analyst brings to bear.

2003

Smith, D.C. 2003. Managing UNCIVPOL: The Potential of Performance Management in International Public Services in Dijkzeul, D. and Beigbeder, Y (eds.), Rethinking International Organizations: Pathologies and Promise. Oxford/New York: Berghahn Books,
Abstract

The management of international organizations is attracting growing attention. Most of this attention is highly critical of both the UN system and International NGOs. Sometimes, this criticism lacks depth or reflects insufficient understanding of these organizations, or is based on narrow, and sometimes biased, internal political concerns of a particular country. International relations theory has insufficiently studied the type of linkages that these organizations provide between international decision-making and Northern fundraising on the one hand, and practical action in the South on the other. As a result, current theory too rarely focuses on the inner functioning of these organizations and is unable to explain the deficiencies and negative outcomes of their work. While the authors identify and describe the pathologies of international organizations in, for example, international diplomacy, fundraising, and implementation, they also stress positive elements, such as their intermediary role. The latter form the basis for more efficient and effective policies and action that, in addition to some recent political trends also described in this volume, hold hope for a stronger functioning of these organizations in the future.

2001

Smith, D.C. 2001. Old Wine, New Bottles? The Distinctive Challenges of Managing International Public Service Organizations a paper presented at the 23rd Annual Research Conference of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) in Washington DC, November 1-3,
Abstract

Smith, D.C. 2001. Electronic Government, Transparency, and Performance Management in the Governance of Cities a paper presented at the United Nations/Metropolitan Seoul Conference on EGovernance, Seoul, Korea, August,
Abstract

Bratton, W. & Smith, D.C. 2001. Performance Management in New York City: COMPSTAT and the Revolution in Police Management in Quicker, Better, Cheaper? Managing Performance in American Government, ed. Dall Forsythe. Albany: Suny Press,
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Abstract

Scholars may argue about the effectiveness of the "reinvention movement" at the state and federal level. At the local level, the managers of urban police forces have in fact reinvented American police administration, and in doing so have contributed to dramatic reductions in crime all across the nation. The story of this reinvention is complex, but central to it is a radical shift in the way police organizations strategically use information about performance to achieve greater managerial accountability. Because these new performance management techniques were pioneered in New York City in the mid-1990s, the development and implementation of Compstat by the New York City Police Department (NYPD) is a valuable case study of this new approach to policing.