Dr. Nicholas Giannatasio, assistant professor in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, has been appointed interim director of UNCP's Master's program in Public Management (MPM).
Dr. Giannatasio will succeed Dr. Daniel Barbee, founding director of the program, who has decided to step down after 13 years of distinguished service as program director.
Dr. Roger Brown, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, praised Dr. Barbee while expressing confidence in the future of the MPM program in Dr. Giannatasio's hands.
"Dr. Barbee founded and built the Masters of Public Management into one of the largest and most important professional programs at UNCP," Dr. Brown said. "Under his leadership, we have trained managers for local government, education, social services, and nonprofit agencies throughout our region and state.
"Dr. Nick Giannatasio will continue this strong tradition and position us to achieve new successes in the future," he said.
The MPM, a professional master's degree program for practicing and aspiring administrators in public and non-profit sector organizations, currently has 55 students enrolled.
Citing personal reasons for his decision, Dr. Barbee noted it was a "privilege be involved in the creation and growth of this important graduate program. I look forward to working with him and the department in the exciting period ahead."
As its founding director, Dr. Barbee has guided it from its beginnings as a generic administrative degree program into its current configuration as a full-fledged public management program, said Dr. Robert Schneider, chair of the Department of Political Science and Public Administration.
"Dr. Barbee's efforts have led to the creation of a strong program that serves the region in the important task of training public and non-profit managers," Dr. Schneider, said. "The department has great confidence in Dr. Giannatasio and will work with him to build on the very strong foundation Dr. Barbee has established."
Dr. Giannatasio, a Ph.D. in public administration from Rutgers University, is entering his fourth year at UNCP.
"I am enthusiastic about the program and excited about the opportunity to build on the good work Dr. Barbee has done."
The period ahead will be one of growth and expansion for the MPM program, and Giannatasio has identified goals for both the immediate and long-term future.
Chief among the immediate objectives, according to Dr. Giannatasio, is the ongoing promotion of the program as a premier public administration program for Southeastern North Carolina.
Other immediate goals include the planning and implementation of curriculum for UNCP's delivery of the MPM on Mainland China at the China University of Mining and Technology beginning in the fall of 2002. The university is also exploring other Asian markets for the MPM program.
Other goals identified by Dr. Giannatasio for consideration include:
- the establishment of a certificate program for public managers,
- the creation of a seminar for city and county managers,
- the promotion of new degree concentrations in Health Care Administration and Criminal Justice, and
- the possible creation of an executive MPM program.
Dr. Giannatasio received a Master's of Public Administration degree from Rutgers and a Bachelor of Arts degree from City University of New York and The College of Staten Island.
He has a diverse professional background that includes administration of health care agencies and work as a Registered Professional Nurse. Dr. Giannatasio also served in the U.S. Navy. He lives on Oak Island, N.C. and serves on the town Board of Adjustments.
He is a member of the American Society of Public Administration, the Southern Political Science Association and Pi Alpha Alpha (Public Administration Honor Society).
The MPM Program may be reached at 910.521.6634.