NIU professor named Nathan Fellow by The Rockefeller Institute of Government

Christopher Goodman, assistant professor of Public Administration, has been named one of six dynamic researchers and practitioners as 2020 Richard P. Nathan Public Policy Fellows by The Rockefeller Institute of Government. He is the first Nathan Fellow from NIU’s nationally-ranked master’s program in public administration.

Assistant Professor of Public Administration Chris Goodman was recently named a Nathan Fellow by The Rockefeller Institute of Government.

Over the next year, Goodman and the other fellows will partner with Rockefeller Institute researchers to research timely public policy issues in primary and postsecondary education, sustainability, substance abuse, and local government finance and management.

Goodman’s research primarily focuses on why local areas make the governance decisions they do. As with most research in this realm, these decisions are inextricably linked to issues of public spending, taxation and state policy. He tends to focus on specific questions dealing with the special district form of local government as these governments are under-researched in the relevant literature.

His research has appeared in several outlets, including The American Review of Public Administration, Journal of Urban Affairs, Public Finance Review, Public Budgeting and Finance, Publius: The Journal of Federalism, and Urban Affairs Review. As part of his fellowship, Goodman will examine the growth of New York town special districts and their relationship to traditional municipal forms of government.

“Chris is a leading scholar in financing and behaviors of special districts, the fastest growing type of local governments,” said Kurt Thumaier, chair of the Department of Public Administration. “We are very pleased that our students can benefit from his expertise. It is another reason why our MPA is ranked as one of the top programs in the world for local government management.”

The prestigious fellowship program is named after longtime Rockefeller Institute Director Richard P. Nathan. The fellowship seeks to connect cutting-edge policy expertise to public problems and the policy community that tries to address these problems. Candidates with expertise in healthcare, local government, fiscal policy, education, law and social policy were encouraged to apply.

“The Rockefeller Institute of Government is one of the leading policy think tanks in the nation,” said Robert Brinkmann, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “It speaks volumes to the quality of our program and to Dr. Goodman’s scholarship that he was selected for this prestigious award.”

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