CPMRA booth

About the CPMRA

The Center for Public Management and Regional Affairs at Miami University engages in applied research, technical assistance services, training and education, and data base development in the areas of public management and capacity building, local government economic development and planning, and public program evaluation and policy research.

graduationThe Center’s activities have been funded by external grants and contracts from a number of funding sources including the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration; the Ohio Public Works Commission; and the Ohio Township Association. The Center’s primary efforts are directed towards student-centered research and assistance to small/non-metropolitan cities, villages, townships, and counties. Center projects are initiated upon request from local governments or by Center staff as an ongoing program for various local governments in the region and statewide. The Center operates with the director, professional staff, and also draws upon Miami University faculty, graduate students and undergraduate students in public administration, policy analysis, political science, environmental sciences, and geography.

Miami University maintains a solid commitment to public service. The activities initiated by the Center for Public Management and Regional Affairs stand as a centerpiece of Miami University’s public service mission. Numerous local governments (cities, villages, townships, and counties) and non-profit organizations across Ohio have benefited from direct applied research projects. For example, the Center conducted a citizen attitudes and public opinion survey for Hanover Township in Butler County, and the Center assisted with the development of the Scioto Foundation's University/College Access Network (UCAN). In addition, the Center for Public Management and Regional Affairs had been designated as a University Center by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration. 

The Center signed and has maintained a cooperative agreement with the Ohio Township Association since 1995. In conjunction with OTA, the Center produces the Ohio Township Trustee Sourcebook, the Ohio Township Fiscal Officer Sourcebook, the Ohio Township Personnel Management Sourcebook, and the Ohio Township Zoning Sourcebook. This four-volume set (Township Sourcebook Series) has been designated by the Ohio Township Association as the recommended resource publication for township officials in Ohio.

Project Assistance may be available in the following areas:

  • Community Surveys
  • Computer and Information Management
  • Economic and Community Development
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Goal-Setting, Team-Building, and Strategic Planning
  • Local Government Management and Human Resources
  • Training for Elected and Appointed Officials

Recent CPMRA and Applied Project Activities:


OTA logoOhio Township Association (OTA) – the Center is coordinating and participating in the delivery of the OTA Leadership Academy (designed to provide elected township officials with continuing education). Center staff lead several OTALA workshop sessions at every OTA Winter Conference. CPMRA is now working with the OTA to develop and implement a Leadership Academy II (designed to provide elected township officials with continuing education beyond the scope of the original OTALA). CPMRA continues to produce the Township Trustee Sourcebook, the Township Fiscal Officer Sourcebook, and the Township Personnel Management Sourcebook, which comprise a multi-volume series on township government and management.The Township Zoning Sourcebook was published in 2009 as the fourth volume in the sourcebook series. The Ohio Township Association has designated the four-volume Township Sourcebook Series as the recommended resource publication for township officials in Ohio.

Ohio Commission on Local Government Reform and Collaboration  – Research Monograph: “Does Collaboration Beget Collaboration?: From Cooperation to Co-production in Township Government”. This CPMRA study was one of four research projects supported by a competitive grant from the Ohio Commission. Faculty and student authors included Philip Russo, Director, CPMRA and Professor of Political Science; Andrew Dudas, Senior Project Manager, CPMRA; Patrick Haney, Professor of Political Science; Mark Morris, Senior Project Manager, CPMRA; and Heath Ingram, junior Public Administration major. Bethany Bowyer, senior Public Administration major, and Deanna Watts, Political Science Graduate Assistant, provided additional assistance. The state Commission is to report its findings and recommendations to the Governor, State Senate president and Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives by July 1, 2010. 

Scioto FoundationScioto Foundation (Adams, Pike, Jackson, and Scioto Counties) – the Center developed a comprehensive online scholarship locator database for high school students and their parents in Scioto County, Ohio as part of the Foundation’s University College Access Network (UCAN) project. The Center also worked with the Foundation to assess the costs and benefits of implementing an online scholarship application system.