How to Apply
Applicants must be nearly completed in coursework toward a Master of Public Administration Degree, Masters of Public Policy, Masters of Political Science, Masters of Business Administration, Juris Doctorate (J.D.), degree or other relevant degree and/or experience.
Complete and submit the electronic application. Please remember to follow the directions and attach the following supplementary materials:
- A cover letter stating interest and intent;
- A writing sample in response to the case study prompt provided;
- A current resume including education, universities attended, degree awarded and completion dates;
- Scanned or an electronic copy of your unofficial undergraduate and graduate transcripts;
- Three references with daytime phone numbers and email addresses.
All applications must be received by January 29, 2021.
Complete and submit the electronic application
The Management Fellowship selection is completed in three rounds.
First, applications will be due
January 29, 2021. A pool of semifinalists will be selected based upon the individual's application and supplemental materials.
The semifinalists will then be invited to participate in a video conference interview. The selection committee will then choose four to six finalists who will be invited to in-person interviews in Wichita.
City staff members will contact finalists to arrange interviews and provide additional information regarding travel arrangements and accomodations. The final round of interviews is tentatively scheduled for late March, 2021 at City Hall with the expectation that the new Management Fellows will begin on
June 1, 2021.
Writing Sample Instructions and Prompt
In no more than 900 words (about three (3) double-spaced pages), develop an approach to the scenario below that is analytical and inclusive, and recognizes the explosive political climate. Include potential next steps or questions you might want answered in order to strengthen your response.
The prompt to be responded to:
Transit was a long-time responsibility of the local government. The jurisdiction of some 100,000 residents was free-standing and full-service and was located about an hour from a metro area. The jurisdiction owned and operated the bare bones transit system. Financially, it was losing money consistently. Recently, a newly elected member of the governing body had taken office, pledging to the voters that she would run a tight ship and that all "sacred cows" would be scrutinized in an effort to save tax dollars. She replaced a member of the governing body who had supported transit, and now a bare majority, including the chair, was known as fiscally conservative even though the chair could go either way (the chair is a voting member of the governing body).
At budget time, the new member requested detailed information about the transit operation. The staff gave her a lot of information, but she clearly was most interested in whether the transit operation was making or losing money. It was losing money. No doubt. She asked whether it was appropriate for the county to be running transit when there were potential private providers. "We could be using this money to fund a fleet of taxis at half the cost," she claimed during a study session. There were nods of approval from a group attending the study session as observers.
The issue began to attract a lot of attention, including letters to the editor and the threat of a packed house during the budget hearing. People were split on the issue, but the most active citizens were those who favored the status quo.
The challenge was that too many of the transit users could not afford the true cost of their transportation. Under the present arrangement, the jurisdiction had no choice but to subsidize the financial losses. Further, slowly but surely there was a steady influx of new residents, taking service industry jobs, who were dependent on public transit. There was no foreseeable end to the financial loses given the economic profile of the transit users.
The chief administrative officer presented a staff report that examined two options. The first would seek a contract with a private provider. He did not include the taxi option believing that a majority of the governing body was not in favor of it. The second option would sell the transit operation outright.
Critics of the proposals contended that it was unfair to show this kind of "callous disregard" for those least able to come to their own defense. "What will happen to these people?" "They will not be able to afford the cost of transit." But the financial facts could not be denied, and voters were not in a sympathetic mood, according to the majority of the commission.
A further concern was with what would happen to the transit employees-which included many minority workers. Considered public employees, they had benefits that would not be matched if transit was privatized in some fashion. Their spokesperson, a respected member of the clergy, pointed out that "some are long-time, dedicated public employees." "Don't these employees deserve to be treated better?"
An editorial in the newspaper criticized the local government for failing to protect tax dollars. "The voters have spoken!" was the headline to the editorial. A few days later, a racially diverse coalition of respected clergy, responded with a strong letter raising an equity issue and arguing that the governing body's decision would speak loudly to the minority community.
When the transit budget came up for review and public comment, the room was packed. There were placards in the back of the room blasting the governing body. There also was a grim faced group of citizens who had previously accused the jurisdiction of wasting money. Everyone knew it was going to be a tough evening.
At the end of the meeting it was clear that no decision would be made. The council was divided, citizens were divided, and the staff was exasperated. A majority of the governing body agreed that a "cooling off period" was needed. They would revisit the issue in two months, which still would give plenty of time to approve the budget. There were groans from all parties except several members of the governing body who were glad for the breathing room. To his credit, the chair announced "We are going to use this period to revisit the issue. We will try to develop a proposal during this time that is the result of an analytical and yet inclusive approach. And, if we need more than the six weeks, so be it. This issue is not going to go away."