Dean, School of Public Affairs
Department of Public Administration and Policy
Dean of the School of Public Affairs at American University, Dr. Barbara Romzek is recognized for her expertise in the area of public management and accountability with emphases on government reform, contracting, and network service delivery. Her research has encompassed complex work settings, including NASA, Congress, and the Air Force, as well as state agencies, local governments, and nonprofit agencies. Building upon her research on formal accountability, her recent work focuses on informal accountability in collaborative network settings.
Dr. Romzek, a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, has received research awards from the American Society for Public Administration and the American Political Science Association. She has served on the governing boards for the Academy of Management, American Political Science Association, Midwest Political Science Association, and the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration; she currently serves on the Board of the Public Management Research Association.
Prior to joining American University she held various academic leadership positions at the University of Kansas, including department chairperson, associate dean for social and behavioral sciences, interim dean of arts and sciences, and interim senior vice provost.
DegreesPhD, University of Texas at Austin
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Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities
Honors, Awards, and Fellowships
- Arnold Faculty Research Award, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, for best research proposal, University of Kansas, 2010.
- Kaufman Award, American Political Science Association, for best public administration paper presented at 2001 annual conference (with Jocelyn Johnston). 2002
- Fellow (elected), National Academy of Public Administration. 1999
- Listed in Marquis Who's Who in America, 2004. Who’s Who in the Media and Communications, 1998. Who's Who of American Women, 1992.
- Mosher Award, American Society for Public Administration, for the best article in 1987 Public Administration Review (with Melvin Dubnick). 1988
- Dissertation fellowship, The American Association of University Women. 1978
- “A Preliminary Theory of Informal Accountability among Network Organizational Actors,” Barbara S. Romzek, Kelly LeRoux, and Jeannette M. Blackmar, Public Administration Review, 2012.
- “Social Welfare Contracts as Networks: The Impact of Network Stability on Management and Performance,” Jocelyn M. Johnston and Barbara S. Romzek, Administration and Society, v.40 (2):115-146 April 2008.
- “State Social Services Contracting: Exploring Determinants of Effective Contract Accountability,” Barbara S. Romzek and Jocelyn M. Johnston, Public Administration Review, v. 65(4):436-449, July/August, 2005.
- “The Challenges of Contracting and Accountability Across the Federal System: From Ambulances to Space Shuttles,” Jocelyn M. Johnston, Barbara S. Romzek, and Curtis Wood, Publius: The Journal of Federalism, v. 34(3):155-182, Summer, 2004.
- “Contract Implementation and Management Effectiveness: A Preliminary Model” Barbara S. Romzek and Jocelyn M. Johnston, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, v. 12 (3):423-453, July, 2002. Above article also published in a 20 year retrospective collection of 30 exemplary articles representing the range of high quality research published in the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory: Origins and Early Development, H. George Frederickson, editor, 2010, http://www.oxfordjournals.org/our_journals/jopart/collectionspage.html
- “Politics, Administration and Markets: Conflicting Expectations and Accountability” Donald Klingner, John Nalbandian, and Barbara S. Romzek, American Review of Public Administration, v. 32 (2):117-144, June, 2002. Above article also published by the Latin American Center for Development Administration, entitled “La Política, la Administración y el Mercado: Expectativas de ámbitos de responsabilidad en conflicto,” in Reforme y Democracia, no. 24:71-113, Octubre, 2002. This journal is published in English, Spanish and Portuguese.
- “Cross Pressures of Accountability: Initiative, Command and Failure in the Ron Brown Plane Crash,” Barbara S. Romzek and Patricia W. Ingraham, Public Administration Review, v. 60(3):240-253, May/June 2000.
- "Accountability of Congressional Staff," Barbara S. Romzek, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 10 (3):413-446, April 2000.
- “Dynamics of Public Sector Accountability in an Era of Reform,” Barbara S. Romzek, International Review of Administrative Sciences, 66:19-42, March 2000 (published in Arabic, French and English). Above article identified as the second most frequently cited article in the IRAS (as of April 2009).
- "Contracting and Accountability Issues in a State Medicaid Reform: Rhetoric, Theories, and Reality," Jocelyn M. Johnston and Barbara S. Romzek, Public Administration Review, 59 (5):383-399, September/October 1999.
- “Reforming Medicaid through Contracting: The Nexus of Implementation and Organizational Culture,” Barbara S. Romzek and Jocelyn M. Johnston, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 9(1999): 1:107-139.
- "Congressional Legislative Staff: Political Professionals or Clerks?" Barbara S. Romzek and Jennifer Utter, American Journal of Political Science, 41(4): 1251-1279, October 1997.
- "Career Dynamics of Congressional Legislative Staff: Preliminary Profile and Research Questions," Barbara S. Romzek and Jennifer Utter, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Vol. 6(3): 415-442, July 1996.
- "Accountability Expectations in an Intergovernmental Arena: The National Rural Development Partnership," Beryl Radin and Barbara S. Romzek, Publius: The Journal of Federalism, 26(2): 59-81, Spring 1996.
- "Employee Investment and Commitment: The Ties That Bind," Barbara S. Romzek, Public Administration Review, 50: 374:382, May/June 1990.
- "The Personal Consequences of Employee Commitment," Barbara S. Romzek, Academy of Management Journal, 32: 649-661, September 1989.
- "Accountability in the Public Sector: Lessons from the Challenger Tragedy" Barbara S. Romzek and Melvin Dubnick, Public Administration Review, 47:227-238, May/June 1987. Received the William E. and Frederick C. Mosher Award for the best academic article of the year. Above article reprinted in Frederick S. Lane, ed., Current Issues in Public Administration, 3rd, 4th and 5th editions, 1989, 1991, 1994; in David H. Rosenbloom, Deborah D. Goldman, and Patricia W. Ingraham, eds., Contemporary Public Administration, McGraw-Hill, Inc., 1994; in Camilla Stivers, ed., Democracy, Bureaucracy, and Administration. Boulder, Westview Press, 2001; in J Steven Ott and E.W. Russell, eds., Introduction to Public Administration: A Book of Readings, Longman, 2001.
- "Perceptions of Agency Effectiveness as the Basis for Differences in Organizational Involvement," Barbara S. Romzek, Review of Public Personnel Administration, 6:76-85, Fall, 1985.
- "Work and Nonwork Psychological Involvements: The Search For Linkage," Barbara S. Romzek, Administration and Society, 17:257-281, November, 1985.
- "The Effects of Public Service Recognition, Job Security and Staff Reductions on Organizational Involvement," Barbara S. Romzek, Public Administration Review, 45:282-291, March/April, 1985. Above article reprinted in John L. Bryam, (ed.) Personnel Management for the Fire Service, Lexington, MA: Ginn Press, 1986; in Mark Holzer, ed., Public Service: Callings, Commitments, and Constraints, Westview Press, 2000.
- "The Human Factor in the Federal Workforce: Work Experiences, Self-Esteem and Organizational Involvement," Barbara S. Romzek, Review of Public Personnel Administration, 5:43-56, Fall, 1984.
- "Organizational Involvement and Representative Bureaucracy: Can We Have It Both Ways?" Barbara S. Romzek and J. Stephen Hendricks, American Political Science Review, 76:75-82, March 1982. Above article reprinted in Gary L. Jones and Jerry L. Simich (eds.), America the Beautiful: Readings in American Politics, 2nd ed., Burgess Publishing Company, 1987.
University of Kansas
- Associate Dean for Social and Behavioral Sciences
- Associate Dean for Edwards Campus
- Department Chair, Public Administration
- New Governance for Rural America: Creating Intergovernmental Partnerships, Beryl Radin, Robert Agranoff, Ann Bowman, C. Gregory Buntz, J. Steven Ott, and Robert H. Wilson, Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1996.
- New Paradigms for Government: Issues for the Changing Public Service, Patricia W. Ingraham and Barbara S. Romzek, eds., Jossey-Bass Publishers, Inc., 1994.
- American Public Administration: Politics and the Management of Expectations, Melvin Dubnick and Barbara S. Romzek, Macmillan Publishing Co., 1991.
Chapters in Books
- “The Tangled Web of Accountability in Contracting Networks” Barbara S. Romzek in Accountable Governance: Problems and Promises, Melvin Dubnick and H. George Frederickson, editors, Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 2011.
- “The Promises, Performance, and Pitfalls of Government Contracting,” Jocelyn M. Johnston and Barbara S. Romzek, in Oxford Handbook of American Bureaucracy, Robert Durant, editor, New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.
- “Business and Government,” Barbara S. Romzek, ch. 9 in Revisiting Waldo’s The Administrative State, edited by David Rosenbloom and Howard McCurdy, Georgetown University Press, 2006.
- “Traditional Contracts as Partnerships: Effective Accountability in Social Services Contracts in the American States,” Jocelyn M. Johnston and Barbara S. Romzek, ch. 7 in The Challenge of Public-Private Partnerships- Learning from International Experience, edited by Graeme Hodge and Carsten Greve, Northhampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing, pp. 117-143, 2005.
- “Contracting and accountability: A model of effective contracting drawn from the U.S. experience,” Jocelyn M. Johnston and Barbara S. Romzek, in Unbundled Government: A Critical Analysis of the Global Trend to Agencies, Quangos and Contractualisation, edited by Christopher Pollitt and Colin Talbot, New York: Routledge, 2004.
- “Implementing State Contracts for Social Services: An Assessment of the Kansas Experience,” Jocelyn M. Johnston and Barbara S. Romzek, ch. 5 in New Ways of Doing Business, edited by Mark A. Abramson and Ann M. Kieffaber, New York: Rowan and Littlefield, 2003.
- “Reforming State Social Services Through Contracting: Linking Implementation and Organizational Culture,” Barbara S. Romzek and Jocelyn M. Johnston, ch. 10 in Advancing Public Management: New Developments in Theory, Methods, and Practice, Jeffrey Brudney, Laurence O’Toole, Jr., and Hal G. Rainey, eds., Washington, Georgetown University Press, 2000.
- “Accountability Implications of Civil Service Reform,” Barbara S. Romzek, ch. 7 in The Future of Merit, edited by James Pfiffner and Douglas Brook, Washington, D.C.: Woodrow Wilson Press and Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000.
- “From Turbulence to Tragedy: The Crash of Ron Brown’s Flight in Croatia,” A Case Study of Leadership and Accountability, CS 0398-07, Patricia W. Ingraham and Barbara S. Romzek, National Security Studies Program, Syracuse University, 1998. Above case study reprinted in Security in a Changing World: Case Studies in U.S. National Security Management, Volker Franke, ed., Westport, CN: Praeger, 2002.
- "Where the Buck Stops: Accountability in Reformed Public Organizations” Barbara S. Romzek, in Transforming Government: Lessons from the Reinvention Laboratories, Patricia W. Ingraham, James R. Thompson and Ronald P. Sanders, editors, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1998.
- "Accountability Challenges in an Era of Deregulation," Barbara S. Romzek, in Public Personnel Management: Current Concerns -- Future Challenges, 2nd., Carolyn Ban and Norma Riccucci, eds., Longman Publishing, 1997.
- "Enhancing Accountability," Barbara S. Romzek, in the Handbook in Public Administration, 2nd ed., James L. Perry, editor, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1996.
- "Issues of Accountability in Flexible Personnel Systems" Barbara S. Romzek and Melvin Dubnick, in New Paradigms for Government: Issues for the Changing Public Service, Patricia W. Ingraham and Barbara S. Romzek eds., San Francisco: Jossey Bass Publishers, Inc., 1994.
- "Accountability and the Centrality of Expectations for Public Administration" Melvin Dubnick and Barbara S. Romzek, in Research in Public Administration, Vol. 2:37-78, James Perry, ed. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press, 1993.
- "Dynamics of Employee Commitment" Barbara S. Romzek, in Agenda for Excellence: Public Service in America, Patricia Ingraham and Donald Kettl, eds., Chatam House, 1992.
- "Balancing Work and Nonwork Obligations," Barbara S. Romzek, in Public Personnel Management, Carolyn Ban and Norma Riccucci eds., Longman Publishing, 1991