USC Price School of Public Policy

Denhardt earns academic excellence awards in public administration from ASPA

July 20, 2016

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Professor Robert Denhardt receives ASPA’s Harry Scoville Award in Los Angeles in July. (Photo courtesy of ASPA)

By Matthew Kredell

In recognition of his outstanding scholarly contributions, USC Price School of Public Policy Professor Robert Denhardt has received academic excellence awards from the American Society for Public Administration’s Los Angeles and Sacramento chapters this summer.

Having served as the director of leadership programs at USC Price since 2013, Denhardt was honored with the Chester Newland Award from the Sacramento chapter in early June, and then the Harry Scoville Award from the Los Angeles chapter in July.

“It’s great to have that recognition and to be acknowledged by ASPA, especially to have both the Northern and Southern California chapters make that recognition in the same year,” Denhardt said.

The Chester Newland award is named after the USC emeritus professor who taught public administration at the Price School for 35 years.

Denhardt served as president of ASPA from 1987 to 1988. He was the founder and first chair of ASPA’s National Campaign for Public Service, an effort to assert the value of public service. He also received the Dwight Waldo Award for lifetime achievement in scholarship from ASPA in 2004.

Representing ‘the best of public service’

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Denhardt and Paul Danczyk, left, at the ASPA Los Angeles awards event. (Photo courtesy of ASPA)

Denhardt has authored a dozen books and more than 100 journal articles. Many of these entries were co-authored with his wife and research partner, Janet Denhardt, who is director of the USC Price School in Sacramento.

“Bob represents the best of public service,” said Paul Danczyk, director of executive education at USC Price in Sacramento. “An internationally recognized presenter and author, Bob leads by example every day and exemplifies characteristics reflective of strong leadership practices, including intense passion – for his work, the arts and life – and skills such as empathy and caring.”

Danczyk, a former National Council representative for ASPA, presented Denhardt with the award from the Los Angeles chapter, specifying how they recognized his work in bridging the university and public administration practice. Newland presented the award to Denhardt in Sacramento.

“I’ve always tried to be particularly attentive to making sure our academic concerns are addressing issues people have in the real world,” Denhardt said. “I’d call that the theme of all the work I’ve done over the years.”

It’s made his leadership classes valuable to many elected officials already in office. Six current members of the California legislature and a number of mayors in cities across Southern California have gone through the Executive Master of Leadership program.

“I still enjoy going to class because I get so stimulated by what we’re talking about,” said Denhardt, 74, who has been at USC for four years. “I leave excited and scramble home to start typing up ideas. It’s almost an electric atmosphere, and it’s just been a lot of fun.”