Barton Wechsler earned his doctorate in 1985 when the Glenn College was known as the School of Public Policy Management. He is dean emeritus and professor of Public Affairs at the Truman School of Public Affairs of the University of Missouri. Before founding the Truman School, he served as the founding dean of the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine, and as a faculty member at the University of Illinois and Florida State University.
While at Florida State, he received the University Teaching Award. Wechsler continues to teach several graduate courses in public management, including strategic management and organization dynamics and leadership. He has conducted leadership development programs for public officials, fire and police officers, and nonprofit executives and served as a consultant to more than forty government and nonprofit organizations.
His research on public management has been published in Public Administration Review, Administration and Society, Journal of the American Planning Association, Public Productivity and Management Review, Review of Public Personnel Administration, other academic and practitioner journals, and numerous edited books. He was elected to the National Academy of Public Administration in 2015.
My strongest memory of my time as a doctoral student grew out of the wonderful collegiality among students and faculty, the shared commitment to advance knowledge of public management and policy. For those of us who had the privilege of studying with Bob Backoff, there was a perpetual state of awe at the breadth of his reading. It seemed that none of us had ever encountered something with which he was not already familiar. I still remember how gleeful I felt at mentioning some obscure book that was new to him.
As the Glenn College celebrates its 50th anniversary, I hope it will continue the path of excellence envisioned by the founding generation as well as its namesake; engaged, interdisciplinary scholarship that advances the study and practice of governance, prepares the next generation of scholars and public service professionals, informs policymakers and promotes dialogue on critical public issues. I believe this vision has the power to carry the Glenn College forward for the next fifty years.