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Elisabeth Andrews
IU Media Relations

Craig Hartzer
School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Last modified: Monday, January 29, 2007

Gulf Arab states draw on SPEA for education of public officials

Zayed University partners with IU to provide masters degree for senior public administrators

Jan. 29. 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Around two dozen senior government administrators from the United Arab Emirates and neighboring countries recently attended the first class in a new a graduate program designed to professionalize public administration in the region. The Executive Masters in Public Administration, offered through Zayed University in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, is the first of its kind in the UAE. Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs helped develop the program and will continue as an academic partner along with the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Utah.

The two-year program utilizes both on-site instruction and distance-learning tools to provide courses in global governance, legal and ethical issues in public administration, human resources management, budgeting and finance, and program evaluation. IU SPEA professors will travel to Abu Dhabi to teach week-long seminars in addition to ongoing e-mail consultation with students and Zayed faculty throughout the semester.

Zayed University chose IU as a partner because of SPEA's consistent top ranking among MPA programs and its extensive experience in delivering graduate degrees with organizations around the world, according to Zayed administrators. SPEA faculty partners were instrumental in both developing the curriculum and working with the federal Ministry of Education in the UAE to accredit the program. The first class began on Saturday (Jan. 27).

SPEA Dean Astrid Merget said, "We are exhilarated by the partnership with Zayed University in mounting the Executive Masters in Public Administration. SPEA has consistently cultivated partnerships around the world in order to exchange scholarly knowledge, practical expertise and cultural understanding. This partnership, in such a strategic venue of the globe, promises greater professionalism in public service and more enlightened public diplomacy for students and faculty as well as policymakers and practitioners."

This spring, SPEA Professor Matt Auer will present a course on comparative public administration examining both Western models and traditional and emerging systems of governance in the Arab context. Professor Kurt Zorn, who specializes in economics and public finance, is scheduled to teach the following year.

More information about the program is available on Zayed University's Web site at

For assistance with this story, contact Craig Hartzer, SPEA, 317-274-2843 and, or Elisabeth Andrews, IU Media Relations, 812-855-2153 and