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Public administration professor collects major awards

Thursday, September 14, 2017

LAWRENCE — Distinguished Professor Rosemary O'Leary collected three lifetime achievement awards in public administration this summer.

This makes her the only scholar to win all five major lifetime achievement awards in the field.

O'Leary, who also took over as director of the University of Kansas School of Public Affairs & Administration in August, has extensively has authored numerous publications on public management in her career.

Amid her most recent trifecta of awards this year, her first stop was in Budapest, where she received the Routledge Award for Outstanding Contributions to Public Management Research from the International Research Society for Public Management. O'Leary joins an impressive list of awardees who have been deemed as outstanding in their field by the IRSPM. The society's mission is "to develop and support research about public management and public policy implementation amongst the international research community and to facilitate the creation and dissemination of new knowledge and understanding across this community."

In June she was the winner of the Frederickson Award for "lifetime achievement and continuous contributions to public management research over an extended career." The award is given by the Public Management Research Association and is named after George Fredrickson, KU SPAA professor emeritus.

In August, the Academy of Management presented her with the Keith C. Provan Award for "outstanding contribution to empirical theory." The award recognizes distinguished contributors to the field of public administration. They must:

  • be interdisciplinary in integrating literature across perspectives;
  • contribute substantially to both theory and empirical approaches;
  • or make a unique and identifiable contribution to knowledge in public administration research.

There are only two other lifetime achievement awards in public administration, and O'Leary won both of them in 2014 and 2016, respectively. In 2014 she received the Dwight Waldo Award from the American Society for Public Administration for "distinguished contributions to the professional literature of public administration and in recognition of a distinguished career as an author, educator and public administrator."

In 2016, she won the John Gaus Award from the American Political Science Association for a "lifetime of exemplary scholarship in the joint tradition of political science and public administration."