Department of Public Affairs

Department Chair: Arif Ahmed, B.D.S., Ph.D., M.S.P.H.

Associate Professor of Health Administration

Kristina S. Shultz

Sr. Office Support Assistant
Whether in government, health care or the nonprofit sector – public administration is one of the highest callings that any student can pursue. Congratulations on exploring a career of service and significance. Whether you’re the midcareer adult looking for a career change or a new graduate who’s ready for the next stage in professional development, UMKC’s Department of Public Affairs has the program and faculty to help you.

Our programs have been accredited by NASPAA since 1980 (Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration).

*The GRE is no longer required for those who hold a 3.2 or better undergraduate GPA.

David O. Renz, Ph.D., University of Minnesota
Beth K. Smith/Missouri Chair in Nonprofit Leadership
Director, Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership
Academic Specialty: Nonprofit management and leadership

Arif Ahmed, BDS, Ph.D., MSPH, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Chair, Department of Public Affairs
Associate Professor in Health Administration
Academic Specialty: Health services administration; interdisciplinary Ph.D. program coordinator

Christopher Garmon Ph.D., University of Florida
Assistant Professor of Health Administration
Academic Specialty: Economics and Public Policy

Scott Helm, IPh.D., University of Missouri-Kansas City
Director, Executive M.P.A. and M.B.A.
Associate Director of The Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership (MCNL)
Associate Teaching Professor, Public Affairs

Brent Never, Ph.D, Indiana University
Associate Professor, Public Administration
Academic Specialty: Nonprofit management, organization theory

Affiliated Instructors

Peggy Dunn

Mike Garcia, MBA

Jane Lampo

Cynthia (Cindy) Laufer, MPA

Felicity Pino, MPA and MS

Tim Sweeney, MPA

Thomas M. Vansaghi, Ph.D.
Adjunct Professor

Scott Wagner


Robert D. Herman, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus
Academic Specialty: Nonprofit management, organizational behavior, strategic human resources

Nicholas C. Peroff, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison
Professor Emeritus
Academic Specialty: Public administration