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Seminar to discuss challenges facing Texas infrastructure, resources

State and local leaders who are on the cutting edge of issues related to water, health care, education and transportation will discuss the challenges facing Texas at the University of North Texas’ Master of Public Administration Alumni-Student Conference on March 22.

  • Register by March 15 by calling 940-565-2165 or mpa@unt.edu. Registration after March 15 accepted, if space is available.

The conference will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at  the second-floor Club Level of UNT’s Apogee Stadium. Free parking is available in front of and to the sides of the stadium. The annual event is hosted by alumni of the program.

Bob Bland, professor and chair of the Department of Public Administration“Texas and its communities stand at a critical crossroads,” said Bob Bland, right, chair of the Department of Public Administration. “The actions we take now, or fail to take, will determine our way of life for next year and for the next generation. We can determine our future, and we can build a better Texas. But time is running out and so are opportunities. This conference is about mobilizing Texans for action.”

Speakers in the plenary session are expected to discuss policy choices for Texas, obstacles to finding and implementing solutions, consequences for inadequate action and advice for dealing with policy changes that go against personal beliefs.

The plenary session schedule is:

  • 9:10 to 9:30 a.m. — Florence Shapiro, former member of the Texas Senate, on the future of education in Texas
  • 9:35 to 9:55 a.m. — Gary Thomas, executive director of DART, on the future of transportation in Texas
  • 10 a.m. to 10:20 a.m. — Jody Puckett, director of water utilities for Dallas, on the future of water in Texas
  • 10:45 to 11:05 a.m. — Billy Hamilton, senior advisor to the executive director of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas in Austin, on the future of health care in Texas

Five current master of public administration students and alumni will then join the group for a question-and-answer session.

A luncheon from noon to 2 p.m. will feature Hamilton talking about the challenges and opportunities in the future of the state.        

Morning facilitators are alumni Kim Tolbert, assistant executive director of the North Texas Tollway Authority and a 1993 graduate of the MPA program, and Mark Israelson, director of policy and government relations for Plano and a 1996 graduate of the program.

Luncheon emcee is alumnus Mario Canizares, deputy city manager of Coppell, who earned an MPA in 2000.

The conference is presented by the Department of Public Administration within UNT’s College of Public Affairs and Community Service.

Posted on: Tue 12 March 2013

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