In a room full of prominent scholars and rising stars, Bob Agranoff stood out. He was the one with two books just completed, a raft of articles just published, a major study of a school district just completed. And, oh by the way, Agranoff was the one in the room who had just turned 80.
To mark Agranoff’s 50 years of scholarship and public service, SPEA brought together his current and former colleagues, his former students, and just a few of the many practitioners he’s influenced. For two days in Bloomington, they reviewed Agranoff’s legendary contributions to the field of collaborative public management. They also told a few stories and shared a few memories. Among the presenters:
- Beryl Radin from the Georgetown Public Policy Institute at Georgetown University whose work, influenced by Agranoff, focuses on policy analysis, intergovernmental relationships and federal management change.
- Arthur Dykstra, a former state administrator and author of three books on management, who has been a frequent collaborator on projects with Agranoff.
- Aleksey Kolpakov from the University of Nevada–Reno. He’s a 2014 SPEA Ph.D. and Agranoff directed his doctoral work in mixed methods.
- Julie Mahler from George Mason University and one of the pioneers in the field of organizational learning. She and Agranoff were involved in a major state health and human services department study.
- Greg Raisman, who leads engineering and community engagement for the City of Portland, Oregon, Bureau of Transportation. Agranoff was Raisman’s advisor through two SPEA degrees.
- Manuel Villoria, director of the Instituto Universitario Ortega y Gasset in Madrid, Spain. Agranoff is a professor emeritus at the Institute and he’s worked with Manuel on many projects in Spain.
- Charles Wise, a longtime member of the SPEA faculty and, more recently, dean of the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at the Ohio State University. Wise and Agranoff worked together to establish the doctoral program in public affairs at SPEA, among many projects.
Michael McGuire, SPEA’s executive associate dean and holder of two SPEA degrees, helped put the conference together. During his remarks, he spoke humorously about working with Agranoff on projects during his student days. But the highlight came at the end of the conference and concerns future students at SPEA. Michael announced that Agranoff’s family and friends have established a Ph.D. Fellowship in Agranoff’s honor. That first Fellow better be ready to go to work, producing meaningful scholarship and public service. Because that’s what Agranoff did. And does.