Lent Upson Lecture

The Lent Upson Lecture is held annually to honor the contribution of Lent D. Upson to public administration in the United States. Dr. Upson founded the graduate program in public administration at Wayne State University in 1935 and served as dean of the School of Public Affairs and Social Work until his death in 1949. He also served as the first director of the Detroit Bureau of Municipal Research, the organization now known as the Citizens Research Council (CRC) of Michigan. He served in this role from 1916 to 1944.

Lent Upson was a pioneer in the field of public administration. The municipal research bureaus Upson and the other leaders of the field created in Detroit and several other cities provided the foundation for the study and practice of public administration in the United States. In 2000, the graduate program in public administration instituted the annual Lent Upson Lecture in his honor. Each spring a distinguished person from the field of public administration is selected to deliver a lecture at a program that also honors students and alumni of the M.P.A. program at Wayne State University.

Year Title Speaker Organization
2022 Race and Social Equity: A Nervous Area of Government Dean Susan Gooden, professor L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs, Virginia Commonwealth University
2021 Conducting Elections in Uncertain Times Christopher Thomas, former Michigan state director of elections, fellow Bipartisan Policy Center
2019 Facilitating Regional Collaboration: New Approaches to an Enduring Problem Dr. Hal Wolman, professor emeritus George Washington University
2018 Building Smart and Inclusive Communities: Detroit and Beyond Dr. Karen Mossberger, professor in the School of Public Affairs Arizona State University
2017 The Affordable Health Care Act: Intent. Reality. Implications Joan Budden, chief executive officer Priority Health
2016 Nonpartisanship in the Age of Polarization Robert Henken Public Policy Forum, Governmental Research Association
2015 Renewal and Reconciliation in Urban Contexts Honorable Judge Gerald Rosen and Attorney Eugene Driker, Detroit federal bankruptcy mediators U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District
2014 Five Challenges to Detroit's Recovery

Peter Eisinger, professor emeritus, Urban Policy Program. Heidi Alcock, Stephen Henderson (panelists)

The New School
2013 The Politics of Regional Transit: Lessons from St. Louis and Beyond Todd Swanstrom, Des Lee professor of Community Collaboration and Public Administration University of Missouri, St. Louis
2012 Michigan Future Inc. Lou Glazer, president and co-founder Michigan Future Inc.
2010 What is Happening in Cities in Other States? Fiscal Conditions and Governmental Responses in U.S. Cities Christopher Hoene, director Center for Research & Innovation National League of Cities
2009 So You Might Want to Do Public Policy Research? Lessons from Following in Lent Upson's Large Footprints Earl Ryan, president Citizens Research Council of Michigan
2008 Working in Public Networks: A New Collaborative Challenge Robert Agranoff, professor Emeritus, School of Public and Environmental Affairs Indiana University
2007 Reflections on 40 Years of Work in Government Finance Thomas Clay, director of State Affairs (retired) Citizens Research Council of Michigan
2006 The Role of Management and Representation in Improving Performance of Disadvantaged Students: An Application of Bum Phillips' Don Shula Rule Kenneth Meier, Charles H. Gregory, chair in liberal arts, Department of Political Science Texas A&M University
2005 The Pursuit of Success and Satisfaction in Public Administration: A Matter of Grasping Opportunities Charles F. Sturtz, special assistant to the president and vice president for administrative affairs (retired) University of Maryland, College Park
2004 Are We Losing the Public in Public Service? Carolyn Ban, dean and professor of public and urban affairs, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs University of Pittsburgh
2003 Department of Defense Crisis Response to Mass Casualties Mary Falk, director, Office of Family Policy Department of Defense, United States Government
2002 Public Administration Revolutions in the American States: Then (1950) and Now (2000) Deil Wright, alumni distinguished professor, Department of Political Science University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
2001 Bullies and Nerds: The Schoolyard Politics of Public/Private Part David Egner, president and chief executive officer Hudson-Webber Foundation
2000 Public Management and Ethnic Diversity Matthew Holden, Henry L. and Grace M. Dougherty, professor emeritus of politics, Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics University of Virginia