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Public Administration

MPA Faculty Spotlight: Jerrell Coggburn

The 1911 building on the Court of North Carolina.

Jerrell Coggburn has been with the Department of Public Administration since 2007. Coggburn sat down with us to answer a few questions about his time with the department.

Jerrell Coggburn.

I am a professor of public administration and director of the MPA program.

I teach classes in both the MPA and Ph.D. program. For the MPA program, I regularly teach PA institutions and values (PA 510) and management systems (PA 514), and I have taught the MPA capstone (PA 517). I enjoy being in the classroom with our MPA students because they have such varied backgrounds and interests.

For the Ph.D. program, I teach doctoral supervised teaching (PA 885), which is a teaching development course for our second year doctoral students.

My main area of research is public human resource management (HRM). I am interested in questions about factors that explain the adoption of various HRM reforms and, more importantly, what effects such reforms have on the public service and its ability to deliver public value.

My path to academia was atypical. Back in 1994, I was finishing my MPA degree at the University of South Carolina and about to accept a HRM analyst position with the State of South Carolina. My program’s MPA director, Saundra Schneider, met with me to talk about that opportunity and to present me with another, getting my Ph.D. As a first-generation college and graduate student, I had never really considered that path. But Sandy saw something in me that I did not. The rest, as they say, is history…

Most people don’t know that my academic journey started at NC State. As I was finishing my dissertation, I was hired to teach as a part-time instructor in SPIA’s precursor, the Department of Political Science and Public Administration. After I finished my degree, I took a full-time faculty position at the University of Texas at San Antonio, where I served from 1999-2007. In January 2007, I interviewed for the position of public administration department chair in NC State’s newly established SPIA. Somehow, I was lucky enough to be selected and have been here ever since.

I have won several awards, including:


  • 2022 Jonathan West Outstanding Scholar Award, given by the American Society for Public Administration’s (ASPA) Section on Personnel Administration and Labor Relations (SPALR)
  • 2018 Jesse Burkhead Award for the best article published in Public Budgeting & Finance (Diebold & Coggburn, 2018)
  • 2010 Best Article Award from the American Review of Public Administration (Coggburn et al., 2010)
  • 1997 William E. and Frederick C. Mosher Award for the best Public Administration Review article written by an academic (Jacoby, Schneider & Coggburn, 1997)


  • 2019 President’s Service Award, for distinguished service to the Triangle Chapter of American Society for Public Administration.


  • I recently learned that I have been selected for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences’ 2022-233 Faculty Colleague Mentoring Award.

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