Call for Proposals

SECoPA 2016 Annual Conference



 October 13–16 (Thursday-Sunday), 2016

Sheraton Raleigh Hotel, Raleigh, NC


About the Conference

Since 1969, the Southeastern Conference for Public Administration (SECoPA) has been the gathering place of ideas for public service practitioners, researchers, and students in our ten-state region.  The conference offers attendees the opportunity to engage in scholarly discourse, discover the latest innovations in the field, and network with other public service administrators.

New Track Added

The recent passage of measures like North Carolina’s HB2 and Mississippi’s HB1523 raise important questions for public administration. These laws have touched off debate about equity, discrimination, privacy, public safety, intergovernmental relations, and public administrators’ ethical responsibilities.

In light of these developments and in hopes of advancing informed dialog, the SECoPA 2016 conference planning team has updated its Call for Proposals to include a new track, “Diversity, Inclusion, and LGBT Rights.”

Extended Deadline

To accommodate additional submissions to this and all other tracks, the call for proposals deadline has been extended to June 15th.

Host Institutions and Location

A partnership of universities from the Research Triangle area of central North Carolina will serve as your conference hosts including North Carolina State University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina Central University, and Duke University.  The meeting will convene in Raleigh, NC at the downtown Sheraton Raleigh Hotel. Attendees will be within walking distance of many historical, culinary, and entertainment offerings in the capital city.  For more information about Raleigh, please visit:

Conference Theme and Tracks

Relationships are a central feature of public administration.  They take on a myriad of forms such as public-private, town-gown, elected official-administrator, supervisor-subordinate, federal-state, state-local, policy-management, and street-level bureaucrat-citizen among others.  These key relationships may be changing, and this is a critical time to reexamine them from both a research and practice perspective.  Rarely do we have time to thoughtfully reflect on these sometimes collegial, sometimes contentious relationships that dominate the administrative landscape. We seek proposals investigating ways to develop, maintain, manage, and evaluate relationships in governmental and nonprofit settings.  Complementing the conference theme, we welcome submissions addressing cutting-edge issues in public administration within the following tracks:

  • Local Government
  • State Government and Federalism
  • Nonprofit Leadership and Management
  • Disasters/Hazards/Emergency Management
  • Environmental Policy and Management
  • Ethics
  • Finance and Budgeting
  • Health Policy and Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • International and Comparative Administration
  • Performance Management and Innovation
  • Policy, Planning, and Program Evaluation
  • Organizational Theory and Behavior
  • Social Welfare Policy
  • Criminal Justice Administration
  • Diversity, Inclusion, and LGBT Rights (NEW TRACK)
  • Other (as specified by the proposer)

Proposal Submissions

All submissions will be made through the SECoPA 2016 conference’s online portal. Go to and select “Proposals.” After creating an account, you will be asked to select from the following proposal types:

  • Individual academic paper
  • Full academic paper panel (at least three papers plus a discussant)
  • Individual practitioner professional presentation (without a formal paper)
  • Full practitioner panel (four presentations with or without papers)
  • Individual research poster (academic or practitioner)

Academic Papers and Panels. For those interested in submitting an academic paper, you will be asked to provide the paper title and an abstract (250-500 words) that includes the research question, a summary of theory, data, method, preliminary findings, and the importance or implications of the work. ). You will also be asked to select the appropriate track for the paper from the above bullet list.

For those interested in submitting a proposal for an academic paper panel, you will be asked to submit: the proposed panel title; names, affiliations, and contact information of participants (and an indication of who is the panel convener); a summary of the research that will be presented (please note that each participant’s paper should be summarized in the panel submission); and the program track you believe best fits your panel. The program chairs encourage panels that include both academics and practitioners.

Practitioner Presentations and Panels. For practitioners submitting a professional presentation or panel—with or without a formal paper(s)—you will be asked to provide: a presentation/panel title; the program track you believe best fits your presentation/panel; your/the panelists’ institutional affiliation; a brief (250-500 words) description of the proposed presentation/panel that includes a statement of the intended learning outcomes for attendees, and an estimated presentation length (typical presentations are 10-20 minutes, typical panels consist of multiple presentations over 60-90 minutes).

Research Posters. Individuals wishing to present a summary of their research or professional practice in a poster session format will be asked to submit the same general information as those presenting academic papers or professional presentations. (Note: the conference program chairs may offer poster session opportunities to those submitting paper or panel proposals that do not easily fit with other accepted conference papers or panels.)

Student Best Paper Awards

The prestigious Robert L. Kline Award (for masters students) and the Morris W. H. Collins Award (for doctoral students) for best papers will be presented to students presenting original research at the conference. To be considered for an award, should submit abstracts for their proposed papers through the conference’s on-line submission system and to the chair of the appropriate award committee:

For more information regarding Awards Criteria and Descriptions, please see the “Awards” section of the SECoPA website:


  • For questions about the submission process and proposal topics, please contact program co-chairs Jim Brunet ( and/or Jim Svara (
  • For questions about conference sponsorship opportunities, please contact conference treasurer Bruce McDonald (
  • For general questions about the conference, please contact conference chair Jerrell Coggburn (

Registration and Proposal Submission Deadlines

  • Deadline for submission of proposals:  May 15, 2016
  • Approval notification:  June 15, 2016
  • Registration system opens:  February 15, 2016