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Public Management Center tapped by national transportation organization to lead trainings

Friday, October 09, 2020

LAWRENCE — The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) has chosen the University of Kansas Public Management Center (KU PMC) to provide its annual professional development series for its membership beginning in 2021. 

Currently AASHTO works with two different organizations to provide the National Transportation Management Conference, the National Transportation Leadership Institute and the Transportation Advanced Leadership Institute. The PMC bid on the competitive proposal by rebranding the programs as three similarly named institutes under the AASHTO brand. Participants can progress through the three programs as their careers advance or take part in any one institute as a stand-alone development opportunity. 

Starting in 2021, the PMC will oversee the AASHTO Management Institute, a four-day program hosted in various locations around the country; the AASHTO Leadership Institute, a nine-day leadership program held on the KU Lawrence campus, and the AASHTO Executive Institute, a four-day program held in Washington, DC.  

Working in the PMC’s favor was its promise to honor AASHTO’s training legacy while modernizing the sessions with up-to-date training techniques and current best practices.  

“We are excited to be partnering with the University of Kansas team to bring the next era of leadership development training to the DOT community,” said Brandye Hendrickson, AASHTO’s deputy director. “Their approach honors the great tradition of AASHTO leadership development while demonstrating a deep understanding of state DOT challenges and opportunities with an eye to the future.”

Deb Miller, director of the Public Management Center, said she was pleased to have received the nod from AASHTO. She believed from the beginning that combining a team of transportation leaders, members of the AASHTO community and meeting planners with the PMC’s expertise in public sector service and adult education made for a strong proposal.

Miller had a 30-year career in transportation before coming to the PMC last May. 

“I thought being familiar with AASHTO’s training needs, the quality of professional development curriculum it expects and the commitment to public service professionals on behalf of the PMC made ours a competitive proposal. It is wonderful to be granted the opportunity,” Miller said.  “Our team has the background and skills necessary to deliver an impactful, transformative experience to AASHTO member departments, affiliates and DOT participants.”

While individual programs vary in topics and depth, all three institutes promise to help participants learn to better manage their work and employees, highlight the value of leadership, provide the opportunity for self-reflection and development, and better understand the transportation issues of the day.

More details regarding the courses and registration and application processes will be released in early 2021.