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  • Michelmore quoted in LA Times article on Biden's COVID relief proposal

    One part of President-elect Joe Biden's plan would in effect create a national family allowance for the first time in the United States. The proposal would temporarily expand the existing federal child tax credit and make it fully refundable, meaning that families that don’t owe taxes would get the money in the form of a government payment. That "would greatly benefit the poorest kids in the United States," reaching about 27 million children who aren’t helped now because their families are too poor to make use of a tax credit, says Katherine Michelmore. "Over half the kids who would benefit are Black and brown children," she says. Read more in the Los Angeles Times article, "Biden proposes $1.9-trillion plan for pandemic and economic crisis."


    Banks quoted in USA Today article on use of the Insurrection Act

    The Insurrection Act allows the president to dispatch the military or federalize the National Guard in states that are unable to put down an insurrection or are defying federal law. If Trump were plotting to invoke the act in some effort to prevent the transition of power to Biden, he'd have to declare it, as part of the provision in the act requiring essentially a public cease and desist order for the insurrectionists, says Professor Emeritus William C. Banks. "He couldn't do this surreptitiously. He would have to make a public proclamation and that would expose his objectives and partisan rationale," he says. Read more in the USA Today article, "What is the Insurrection Act and how could Trump use it? Here's what to know."


    Williams contributes piece on the future of NATO to Atlantic Council

    "Christen a carrier strike group," written by Associate Professor of Public Administration and International Affairs Michael John Williams, was included in the Atlantic Council's "NATO 20/2020: Twenty bold ideas to reimagine the Alliance after the 2020 US election." "Now is the perfect time for European militaries to work together and no better opportunity exists than to use HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales as hubs for a NATO carrier strike group (CSG)," writes Williams. "A NATO CSG would be a powerful symbol of Alliance unity and would bolster the Alliance’s force posture and interoperability."


    Banks discusses the National Guard monitoring protests with NBC News

    The use of National Guard units in June during the nationwide demonstrations following George Floyd’s death was "fundamentally exceptional and different from the way civilians and the military have ordinarily worked together," says Professor Emeritus William Banks. He fears that the new use of military surveillance technology for domestic protesters presents deeply troubling implications. "The civilian-military relationship, which is critical to the success of our society, has broken down." Read more in the NBC News article, "Who decides when there are helicopters? Experts weigh in on National Guard monitoring protests."


    Radcliffe piece on Sen. Cruz, electoral process published in The Hill

    In his article, "The one question Sen. Cruz must answer," Dana Radcliffe, adjunct professor of public administration and international affairs, says Cruz and the refractory senators who object to counting the votes in certain states need to answer this question in detail: "How does your forcing votes in which you know Congress will defeat your objections and dismiss your proposal in any way serve your express goals of 'supporting election integrity' and 'restoring faith in our democracy,' which you grant are necessary to protect the legitimacy of future administrations?"


    Maxwell faculty speak to the media about violence at the US Capitol

    Several Maxwell faculty members spoke with various media outlets about yesterday's violence at the U.S. Capitol. Professor Emeritus William C. Banks said the fiasco was a "lawless threat" to the country's democratic institutions. "I hope and believe that this pointless and damaging spectacle will further diminish Trump and Trumpism going forward," he told China Daily. Margaret Susan Thompson, associate professor of history and political science, told WAER, "People are disappointed when their candidates lose. There's no question about that, and believe me, I've been on the losing side of many elections. But this has gone beyond that. This has gone beyond to what can only be called fanaticism."


    O'Keefe discusses Defense Secretary nominee Lloyd Austin in The Hill

    On December 8, President-elect Biden nominated recently retired four-star Army Gen. Lloyd Austin to be his secretary of Defense, despite the law requiring nominees to have been out of the military for at least seven years. University Professor Sean O'Keefe says that while the nomination of may have surprised more than a few people, Austin "may well prove to be exactly the right person for this tough job at this time in our nation’s history." Read O'Keefe's full commentary, "Lloyd Austin can lead — as a civilian," published in The Hill.


    Banks sums up 2020 in China Daily article

    Professor Emeritus William C. Banks sums up 2020 in three phrases: COVID-19, racial justice and democracy threatened. The pandemic will mark 2020 as equivalent to 1918, when a similar pandemic killed huge numbers of people, Banks says. "The lessons learned hopefully are preparedness, planning and leadership," he says. "The US lacked all three this year." Read more in the China Daily article, "Hope jostles with fear in US."


    Radcliffe quoted in Deseret News article on COVID-19 double standards

    For people struggling to stay motivated to continue social distancing and wearing masks, cases where public officials ignore the very rules they are imposing on others can be frustrating. Officials should be held to a higher standard, says Dana Radcliffe, adjunct professor of public administration and international affairs, especially when public health is on the line. "People who have considerable power or ability to influence others have a greater obligation to make sure that their actions match their words—because their words and actions can affect the behavior and welfare of others," says Radcliffe. Read more in the Deseret News article, "7 times public officials had double standards on COVID-19."


    Schwartz discusses challenges of post-COVID school mobility in The 74

    "The literature says, 'These [mobile] kids do worse,'" says Amy Ellen Schwartz, Daniel Patrick Moynihan Chair in Public Affairs. "But really, on the whole, we’re unable to fully disentangle the effects of moving from the underlying factors that led to it. And from a policy point of view, I’m not sure it matters: You show me a kid who’s moved three times in the last eight months, I’ll show you a kid who needs special attention," she says. Read more in The 74 article, "Research Shows Changing Schools Can Make or Break a Student, But the Wave of Post-COVID Mobility May Challenge the Systems in Ways We’ve Never Seen."


    Wiemers examines vulnerability to COVID-19 complications in new study

    "Disparities in vulnerability to complications from COVID-19 arising from disparities in preexisting conditions in the United States," co-authored by Associate Professor of Public Administration and International Affairs Emily Wiemers, was published in Research in Social Stratification and Mobility. Using a model validated on COVID-19 hospitalizations, the authors show large disparities across education and income in the prevalence of conditions associated with adverse outcomes, and in the overall risk of severe complications. These disparities emerge early in life, prior to age 65.


    Heflin discusses impact of COVID-19 on food security in Daily Gazette

    Nationwide, more people are going without food than at any time during the pandemic. "The level is rising to Great Depression levels," says Colleen Heflin, professor of public administration and international affairs. Heflin also expresses concerns over a cascading effect once winter sets in and low-income residents are forced to choose between food, heating, medicine and rent. Often, food is the first expense to be slashed, a decision that can result in adverse health effects for high-risk people. "This could put a further strain on the non-COVID health care system," she says. Read more in the Daily Gazette article, "Hunger a constant as region braces for dark winter."


    Maxwell MPA alumna Mallie Prytherch named a Schwarzman Scholar

    Mallie Prytherch G’19, an alumna of the Master of Public Administration Program in the Maxwell School, was named as a Schwarzman Scholar. Prytherch is one of 154 scholars selected from more than 3,600 applicants from around the world. The Schwarzman Scholars Program was created in 2016 to respond to the geopolitical landscape of the 21st century. The program provides scholars the opportunity to develop their leadership skills and professional networks through a one-year master’s degree at Tsinghua University in Beijing.


    Banks quoted in Military Times article on martial law, new election

    Earlier this week, retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn promoted the idea that the U.S. military should oversee a new nationwide presidential election, ordered under martial law by President Donald Trump. The idea is "preposterous," says William C. Banks. "Apart from the fact that state and now federal investigators have found no evidence of election fraud that would change the election outcome, martial law has no place in the United States absent a complete breakdown of civil governing mechanisms," he says. Banks was quoted in the Military Times article, "Calls for martial law and US military oversight of new presidential election draws criticism."


    Banks examines impact of delayed transfer of power on Legal Talk

    Professor Emeritus William C. Banks was recently a guest on Legal Talk Network's "Lawyer 2 Lawyer" podcast. He explored the practical impacts of a delayed transfer of power from an uncooperative incumbent administration, both for the incoming administration and the American people. Banks also discussed what lessons we can learn from the past, and what options the Biden administration may have going forward.


    Banks discusses Biden's transition with WAER

    Professor Emeritus William C. Banks thinks the delay by the Trump Administration to share information to Biden will be "negligible to none." However, he feels it comes with other costs. "I feel a great deal has been lost symbolically and I believe our democratic institutions have been severely beat up by the bruising battles that have been fought for no good reason," Banks says. He was interviewed by WAER for the segment, "SU Law Professor Optimistic About Successful Transition for Biden Despite Delays."


    O'Keefe writes about the presidential transition in Breaking Defense

    "Each day we tolerate President Trump’s behavior we aren’t just humoring an incumbent who refuses to accept the election results. We are putting American citizens at risk," says University Professor Sean O'Keefe, who served in two Republican administrations. "The consequence of Trump’s anchor dragging will be to diminish the standing of the United States as a mature, stable and principled democracy with the resilience to responsibly govern the republic regardless of who occupies the office of the president." O'Keefe's article, "Biden Transition: We Can’t Afford Time To Humor Trump," was published in Breaking Defense.


    Murrett talks to GovExec about presidential transition activities

    Professor Robert Murrett says he "would be more concerned" if the president-elect was someone other than Biden since he "is so familiar with the national security arena" from his tenure as vice president and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. However, Murrett says he is very concerned about the "exodus" of top officials at the Pentagon along with "the number of non-Senate confirmed acting officials we have across government" during this notably vulnerable time period. Read more in the Government Executive article, "Pressure Continues to Mount for GSA to Ascertain Biden as Presidential Election Winner."


    O'Keefe talks to SpaceNews about civil space traffic management

    University Professor Sean O'Keefe recently participated in a study by the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) on which agency was best to handle civil space traffic management. "It became very apparent, from the earliest meetings and discussions that we had, that this is a looming challenge that is becoming more and more difficult, almost exponentially," says O’Keefe. "You then begin to inventory up the range of federal agencies that are participating at present for their own interests, and for the individual public services they provide." Read more in the SpaceNews article, "Space traffic management idling in first gear."


    Banks comments on election results in China Daily

    Professor Emeritus William Banks says it is highly unlikely that Trump can do anything to change the outcome of the election. "It remains to be seen how his supporters react," Banks says. "It is too soon to tell." Read more in the China Daily article, "Biden urges unity after presidential election win."


    Heflin, Lopoo study on collaboration across social programs published

    "When States Align Social Welfare Programs: Considering the Child Support Income Exclusion for SNAP," co-authored by Professor Colleen Heflin, Professor Len Lopoo and PhD candidate Mattie Mackenzie‐Liu, was published in Social Science Quarterly. The authors investigated the state‐level conditions associated with the adoption of policies that benefit participants in multiple social welfare programs, focusing on the case of the child support income exclusion for SNAP benefit eligibility calculations. They found that collaboration across social programs is more likely as state income tax revenues increase and when administrative costs are lower.


    Banks discusses election scenarios in AP, Medium, Military Times

    According to Professor Emeritus William Banks, sending uniformed troops to the polls, including the [National] Guard, would be unwise. "The overriding point is that we don’t want the military involved in our civilian affairs. It just cuts against the grain of our history, our conditions, our values, our laws," he told the Associated Press. Banks also spoke to MediumMilitary Times and the National Interest about possible election scenarios.


    New threats, familiar challenges: Maxwell responds to COVID-19

    Last summer, amid the peak spread of the pandemic in the United States, a team of Syracuse University professors led by Professor Colleen Heflin conceived of a new MAX100 course: Interdisciplinary Perspectives of COVID-19, a cross-disciplinary introductory course for undergraduate students considering a major in the social sciences. The class pairs a different Syracuse University professor and Maxwell alumnus each week to examine an urgent challenge—from food insecurity, to education disruption, to health disparities, to the equitable distribution of resources, to relationships between nations.


    Peace Corps, Fulbright evacuees find community, opportunity at Maxwell

    Back in March, when Maxwell’s enrollment staff learned of the 7,300 Peace Corps volunteers’ and 2,500 Fulbright grantees’ imminent evacuation due to COVID-19, they saw an opportunity for the school to help. The Department of Public Administration and International Affairs waived application fees and GRE testing requirements for its highly regarded professional degree programs, and offered all admitted evacuees a 50% tuition scholarship. Jeremy Gonzalez and Kelli Sunabe, both Peace Corps evacuees, discuss their experience.


    Hamersma uses a statistical lens to explore uncertainty in Comment

    "The work of statistical analysis in the world of policy is actually to help us do what can be hard to do on our own: identify trade-offs, recognize the uncertainty, and use (formal) inference to help make a prudent judgment," writes Sarah Hamersma. "I delight to think what we can learn if instead of idolizing certainty, we apply a bit more patience and self-control to our use of data. Proper use of statistical analysis does just that—acknowledging future unknowns and conveying even what we learn within careful bounds of uncertainty," she writes. Her article, "Uncertainty: The Beauty and Bedrock of Statistics," was published in the latest issue of Comment.


    Heflin article on the effect of material hardship on health published

    "Material Hardship, Perceived Stress, and Health in Early Adulthood," co-authored by Professor Colleen Heflin, was published in the Annals of Epidemiology. The authors found the adjusted odds of fair or poor health status, depression, sleep problems, and suicidal thoughts were higher among individuals with material hardship than counterparts without. A considerable proportion of the association between material hardship and health outcomes was attributable to perceived stress.


    O'Keefe discusses executive-legislative relations on CSIS podcast

    University Professor Sean O’Keefe served in senior positions in both Congress and the executive branch. He has a unique perspective on how these two branches of government work together for a greater common good. Host Dr. John Hamre and O’Keefe discuss the tension between these two branches and the imperative for collaboration on a recent episode of CSIS's The Engine Room of Democracy, "Executive-Legislative Relations: The Tension and Collaboration Essential for Effective Government."


    Banks featured in WAER piece on COVID-19 in the WH, national security

    "Attention on the domestic political situation and the President’s dominance of the news and his well-being is obscuring what else might be going on in the world that should be drawing some of our attention," says Professor Emeritus William Banks. He was interviewed for the WAER segment, "Syracuse National Security Expert Shares Concerns with White House, Military Officials in Quarantine."


    O'Keefe quoted in Houston Chronicle articles on NASA, politics

    For University Professor Sean O’Keefe, advancements during these past three administrations are proof that a NASA strategy can withstand nearly two decades of leadership transitions and annual appropriations. "Did it take a different route? Yup," says O’Keefe. "… But it’s still very much on exactly the same path." O'Keefe was quoted in the Houston Chronicle articles, "NASA treads carefully in politics that determine its fate," and "Should NASA get multiyear funding to give it stability?"


    Jacobson comments on US defense secretary's travel in Politico

    "The further away, the less likelihood of being fired," says Assistant Dean Mark Jacobson of US Defense Secretary Mark Esper's frequent travel amid persistent rumors that he will either quit or be fired after the election. "That’s my take – you stay out of the line of drive-by fire." Jacobson was quoted in the Politico article "Esper plans more official travel as calls grow for him to stay put."


    Banks expresses concern about election aftermath in Spectrum article

    "On a scale of one to 10, I’d say my worry is about a nine," says Professor Emeritus William Banks. "There are several plausible scenarios that could cause this election to go off the rails." Banks explains that if neither candidate gets to 270 electoral votes, the election would be decided by the House of Representatives. "On January 6, they’re supposed to count the votes. If neither candidate has 270 votes because of the circumstances you just described, there will be 1 vote per state, so 50 potential votes," he says. Each state would determine which candidate had won their electoral votes and they would pass that information along to the House. Read more in the Spectrum News article, "Trump, The Blue Shift, and The Legal Aftermath."


    X Lab article on improving SNAP recertification published in JBPA

    "Testing behavioral interventions designed to improve on-time SNAP recertification," co-authored by Len Lopoo, Colleen Heflin and Joe Boskovski, was published in the Journal of Behavioral Public Administration. Given the different levels of governance and the abundance of qualifying rules and processes that low-income households must negotiate to obtain and retain Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food assistance benefits, many households fail to recertify for SNAP. The authors found that behaviorally-informed text message reminders are more effective than recorded phone messages in reducing learning costs for SNAP applicants.


    Burman named to advisory committee within the Commerce Department

    Leonard Burman, Paul Volcker Chair in Behavioral Economics, has been appointed by the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis to its Advisory Committee on Data for Evidence Building within the U.S., a newly formed committee promoting expanded access to federal data. The committee consists of representatives from federal, state, and local governments, and experts in data policy, privacy, technology, transparency, and evaluation and research methodology.


    Popp quoted in Bloomberg article on Biden's climate plan

    Measures to fight climate change tend to destroy some jobs while creating others, says David Popp, professor of public administration and international affairs. "The literature that looks at employment effects says it’s mainly about reallocating jobs from one sector to another," he adds. Fewer coal miners, more solar installers. Popp was quoted in the Bloomberg article "Biden Succeeds in Uniting Climate People and Labor People—For Now."


    Li study on receipt of home health care among older adults published

    "Assessment of Receipt of the First Home Health Care Visit After Hospital Discharge Among Older Adults," co-authored by Jun Li, assistant professor of public administration and international affairs, was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study shows that in the period from October 2015 to September 2016 before the Affordable Care Act, a substantial portion of Medicare patients referred to home health care after hospitalization did not receive that care. "Recent health care reform efforts increasingly rely on home health care as a substitute for institutional care. With this knowledge, policymakers should implement a system that ensures all patients receive the home health care that has been recommended by their physicians," says Li.


    Burman quoted in Albany Times Union article on federal aid for NYS

    Without federal intervention, states will have to lay people off or raise taxes, which is counterproductive during a deep recession, says Len Burman, Paul Volcker Chair in Behavioral Economics. "This is a huge crisis," he says. "Even if we have an effective vaccine that comes online in the next few months, it’s going to take us a long time to recover and it’s going to be a lot worse if the federal government doesn’t take action." Read more in the Albany Times Union article "Cuomo pleads for federal aid, some experts say New York should fix itself."


    Van Slyke keynotes Oxford conference on social impact

    Dean David Van Slyke delivered the keynote address at Oxford University where the Blavatnik School of Government’s Government Outcomes Lab (GO Lab) held their 2020 Social Outcomes Conference. Van Slyke discussed the benefits of a relational contracting approach to public-private partnerships and the benefits to social impact. Watch the full address and hear what the respondents had to say.


    Scholars join faculty for 2020-21; new chairs announced

    Five tenure-track faculty members have joined the Maxwell School for the 2020-21 academic year. In addition, three current faculty members have been named chairs of their academic departments.


    Schwartz discusses NYC school bus service in Gotham Gazette

    "Should New York City Cut School Bus Service?," co-authored by Amy Ellen Schwartz, Daniel Patrick Moynihan Chair in Public Affairs, was published in Gotham Gazette. The authors explore different options for districts to allocate scarce busing resources to best support students. Christopher Rick, PhD candidate in public administration and international affairs, is also a co-author.


    O'Keefe piece on space traffic management published in GovExec

    A National Academy for Public Administration (NAPA) report co-authored by University Professor Sean O'Keefe examines how the federal government can best meet its responsibility for improving space situational awareness and coordinating space traffic management activities. A summary of the report is provided in the Government Executive article "Managing Space Traffic in an Increasingly Congested Orbit."


    Maxwell welcomes four Robertson Fellows as part of new MPA/IR class

    Among students who began pursuit of professional master’s degrees earlier this month, four did so as Robertson Foundation for Government Fellows. They are Ricky Cieri, Katherine Maxwell, Elizabeth Marin, and Kelli Sunabe. Robertson awards are among the most generous and prestigious available to professional graduate students at the Maxwell School.


    Baker comments on call for Trump to use Defense Production Act in NYT

    "What the federal government — the president or secretaries possessing delegated authority — have not done yet is use the D.P.A. [Defense Production Act] to create a permanent, sustainable, redundant, domestic supply chain for all things pandemic: testing, swabs, N95 masks, etc.," says Jamie Baker, director of the Institute for Security Policy and Law and professor of practice of public administration and international affairs. He was quoted in the New York Times article "Virus Surge Brings Calls for Trump to Invoke Defense Production Act."


    Catherine Gerard concludes 15 years of leadership at PARCC

    After serving as its director or co-director since 2005, Catherine Gerard has stepped down from her leadership role at the Maxwell School’s renowned Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration (PARCC), effective July 1, 2020. Gerard will continue as an adjunct professor of public administration and associate director for the Executive Education Programs at Maxwell, and also continue her work as co-director of the Collaborative Governance Initiative at PARCC. Succeeding Gerard as PARCC’s new director is Tina Nabatchi, a long-time PARCC associate who also co-directs PARCC’s Collaborative Governance Initiative.


    Popp comments on green stimulus, economic crisis in MIT Tech Review

    "What’s really important right now is getting money out quickly, and Congress can’t even do that," says David Popp, professor of public administration and international affairs. "I worry about tacking on green stimulus, or anything else that slows down the process. We can worry about financing the green transition six months from now." Popp was quoted in the MIT Technology Review article "The US needs a green stimulus—but not right now."


    Radcliffe article on face mask mandates published in The Hill

    "Government officials have a primary duty to protect the lives, health and rights of citizens," writes Dana Radcliffe. "Since the pandemic poses a dire threat to public health and the economy, and since mask mandates are morally justified in these circumstances, the conclusion is that our leaders have an urgent duty to require people to wear masks in public places where there is a serious risk of transmitting the virus." His article "If government's first duty is to protect us, how can masks in public be optional?," co-authored with Martin Dobelle '19 EMPA, was published in The Hill.


    Dickey weighs in on USDA union disagreement in Bloomberg Law article

    "Prior to 2018 when the Department of Education made such a move, I had never seen a federal agency attempt to unilaterally implement an entire collective bargaining agreement outside of the normal process of negotiation and impasse resolution," says Todd Dickey, assistant professor of public administration and international affairs, about the disagreement between a U.S Department of Agriculture lawyers’ union and the agency’s general counsel. Read more about the dispute in the Bloomberg Law article "USDA, Staff Union Dispute Is Latest Among Federal Agencies."


    Hamersma discusses credible counterfactuals in Convivium article

    "If the problem is an unknowable counterfactual – and it always is! – then a study can provide solid, trustworthy results if it has developed a credible substitute," writes Sarah Hamersma. "If we want to know the effects of stay-at-home orders on COVID-19 case growth, the challenge is to use all of the available information to estimate what case growth would have been in the absence of stay-at-home orders." Read Hamersma's full article, "Countering Counter-Factual COVID Confusion," that was published in Convivium.


    Radcliffe discusses the rationality of voting in The Hill

    "In voting as a citizen, you vote for president because it is your duty as a citizen, basing your vote on your honest judgment about what is in the best interests of the country," writes Dana Radcliffe, adjunct professor of public administration and international affairs. "While your individual vote will not causally determine who wins, your voting is rational and even obligatory as a civic duty to take part in the collective act of citizens’ choosing whom to entrust with the nation’s highest office." Radcliffe's op-ed, "Voting can seem irrational — but you should do it anyway," co-authored with Martin Dobelle '19 EMPA, was published in The Hill.


    Lewis discusses taxpayer return on investment in WalletHub article

    "There are over 89,000 separate cities, towns, villages, school districts, and other special service units," says Minchin Lewis. "They all collect taxes and provide services in one form or another. They all have different structures and external support from state and federal tax transfers. So high taxes do not guarantee good services. Low taxes do not mean unsatisfactory services." Lewis was featured in the WalletHub article "2020’s States with the Best & Worst Taxpayer ROI."


    Banks comments on Hong Kong's new national security law in SCMP

    "[National security] definitions are a game that all governments play. Pay attention instead to how governments treat their citizens," says Professor Emeritus William C. Banks. "The striking feature of the new law is that it criminalizes expressive behavior that is not in any way violent. The sections on secession and subversion are the key provisions," he says. Banks was interviewed for the South China Morning Post article "How Hong Kong national security law compares to legislation in other countries."

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