Monte Kurs

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Public Administration

Monte Kurs

Monte Kurs has an abiding interest in helping public service organizations deliver their services as effectively, efficiently and fairly as possible. He is currently a management consultant working on strategic management challenges, with government agencies and non-profit organizations. Until recently he served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of BTQ Financial, an outsourcing provider that specializes in providing comprehensive financial services to non-profit organizations. BTQ meets a serious need in the non-profit world for high quality financial services, permitting client organizations to effectively maximize focus on their core mission. 

Before joining BTQ, Monte held several leadership and management positions in the public and private sector, including as a lawyer for the Legal Aid Society, Counsel to the Deputy Mayor in NYC and as Deputy Commissioner of the Department of General Services during the Koch administration, and  later as Chief of Staff to the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. In the private sector, Monte served as the President of the Lending Division of a national bank and the Chief Operating Officer of a national real estate development company.

Throughout his career, he has focused on improving organizational cultures, delivering extraordinary service and high impact management which includes strategic planning, implementing best practices and career mentoring. 

Management and Leadership is designed to empower you with the skills you will need to make change in the world; whether you care about bike lanes, criminal justice, prenatal care, community development, urban planning, social investment or something else.   Whatever your passion, you can only have an impact by leading and managing organizational processes.  Organizations are the way work gets coordinated and accomplished so knowing how they work -- and how to work within them – are perhaps the most powerful set of tools you can have.

In this course, you will enhance the technical, interpersonal, conceptual, and political skills needed to run effective and efficient organizations embedded in diverse communities, policy arenas, sectors, and industries.  In class, we will engage in a collective analysis of specific problems that leaders and managers face—first, diagnosing them and then, identifying solutions—to explore how organizations can meet and exceed their performance objectives.  As part of that process, you’ll encounter a variety of practical and essential topics and tools – from goals, structure, strategy and teams to diversity and inclusion, motivation, and negotiation.

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Management and Leadership is designed to empower you with the skills you will need to make change in the world; whether you care about bike lanes, criminal justice, prenatal care, community development, urban planning, social investment or something else.   Whatever your passion, you can only have an impact by leading and managing organizational processes.  Organizations are the way work gets coordinated and accomplished so knowing how they work -- and how to work within them – are perhaps the most powerful set of tools you can have.

In this course, you will enhance the technical, interpersonal, conceptual, and political skills needed to run effective and efficient organizations embedded in diverse communities, policy arenas, sectors, and industries.  In class, we will engage in a collective analysis of specific problems that leaders and managers face—first, diagnosing them and then, identifying solutions—to explore how organizations can meet and exceed their performance objectives.  As part of that process, you’ll encounter a variety of practical and essential topics and tools – from goals, structure, strategy and teams to diversity and inclusion, motivation, and negotiation.

Download Syllabus

The goal of this course is to introduce you to management skills for potential service in the public and non-profit sectors. The course provides you with tools to diagnose and solve organizational problems, to influence the actions of individuals, groups, and organizations, and to lead impactful public service organizations.

You presumably choose this course because you want to have a positive impact in the world. Your interest could be affordable housing, more bicycle lanes, arts programs for disadvantaged kids or access to quality pre-natal care. It could be making sure public policies are based on the best possible evidence, or that nonprofits are financially solvent, or that staff are treated fairly and respectfully. Whatever your passion, you can only realize that impact by mastering organizational processes. Organizations are the way work gets organized, coordinated, and accomplished. Knowing how organizations work – how to work within them – are perhaps the most powerful tools you can have.

A key management task is to assemble the skills, talents, and resources of individuals and groups into those combinations that best solve the organizational problems at hand. You must manage people, information, and processes to accomplish organizational goals; you must make things happen, and often not under conditions or timeframes of your own choosing; and you must learn from the challenges you experience. The successful execution of these tasks requires leaders to understand what skills and abilities they bring to and need from their teams and organizations, to formulate a mission and strategy, to make effective and ethical decisions, to recruit, influence and motivate diverse individuals, to optimize the structure of their organization, to measure and improve performance, and to drive organizational change.

The course prepares you to achieve these objectives by providing you with fundamental frameworks and tools developed from the behavioral and social sciences and tested by leaders in organizations representing all sectors of the economy. In addition to lectures, the course includes readings and analyzing case studies, engaging in role-playing exercises and a semester long team project to design and create the components of a virtual nonprofit organization. Student teams will be 3-5 students, and will require team time in addition to scheduled course hours.

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