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The Public Administration Department is one of the leading departments in offering a graduate program in the College of Letters and Science at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

History of the Department of Public Administration

Clow Faculty Building

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) program at the University of Wisconsin (UW) Oshkosh has grown and progressed since its inception in 1972. The MPA program was established to meet the needs of employees in public and non-for-profit agencies interested in enhancing their administrative knowledge and skills. It was housed in the Department of Political Science from 1972 to 1983. In 1983 the MPA program became part of the Department of Public Affairs, which also contained undergraduate programs in Criminal Justice and Urban and Regional Studies. A significant addition to the MPA program was the Graduate Certificate in Health Care Management, which admitted its first students in Spring 2004. This interdisciplinary program was developed in recognition of the fact that the need for trained managers in the health care field was expanding rapidly.

In July 2011 the MPA program was removed from the Department of Public Affairs. A separate Department of Public Administration was established that continued offering both the MPA program and the Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Management. In 2011 the Department accepted the transfer of the undergraduate Public Administration Minor from the Political Science Department. Beginning in spring 2017, the department is beginning to offer the MPA program 100 percent online in addition to the traditional classroom format. 

Over the years the MPA program at the UW Oshkosh has been recognized for providing a top-notch education and training in managing public, nonprofit and health care organizations in Wisconsin and beyond. Nowadays the Department of Public Administration continues to expand its strong commitment to academic excellence and public service that began 44 years ago. The three academic programs are enhanced by comprehensive, career-oriented curricula and a strong culture of student-centered teaching and learning. Through its collaborations with the College of Business, College of Nursing, Division of Lifelong Learning and Community Engagement and other university departments, and external institutions, such as the City of Oshkosh, the Department of Public Administration also provides its students with various networks and opportunities for learning, practical internships and career destinations. 

Department Leadership


Anna A. Filipova, Ph.D.


Anna Filipova was elected as the Chair of the Department of Public Administration and Coordinator of the MPA program at UW Oshkosh in 2015. 

As an Associate Professor of public administration, Filipova has been on the UW Oshkosh faculty since 2009. She was granted early tenure in 2013, and three of the highest faculty honors – the 2016 Edward M. Penson Distinguished Teaching Award, the 2014 Edward M. Penson Faculty Award and the 2013 Wisconsin Teaching Fellow.

From September 2007-2009, Filipova was an Assistant Professor in the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Western Michigan University, teaching graduate and doctoral courses in public administration. She also served as Assistant Professor in the Department of Foreign Languages at the Air Force Academy in Bulgaria from 1994-2000. She taught English phraseology in radio communication to graduate cadet pilots and air traffic controllers. 

She has authored research articles on health care organizational and community related issues, and has won research grants from the UW Oshkosh and the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation. In 2010 she was awarded with Academy of Management Outstanding Reviewer Award. 

Filipova gives back to her community by serving as the Chair of the Board of Directors of Evergreen Village, Inc., a non-profit Continuing Care Retirement Community. She also serves as a member of Oshkosh Area United Way Allocations and Community Investment  Committee, the Oshkosh Funding Consortium, and the Basic Needs Giving Partnership Grants Team of the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation. 

Born in Pleven, Bulgaria, Filipova earned her master's degree in English philology from St. Cyril and St. Methodius of Veliko Turnovo University in Bulgaria in 1994; her master's degree in leadership in public administration from Saginaw Valley State University in 2002; and her Ph.D. in public administration in 2007, Pi Alpha Alpha in 2005, Phi Kappa Phi in 2008 from Western Michigan University. Filipova was a Fellow of the National Science Foundation Research Ethics Program.

Faculty and Staff Work As a Team

The department's mission is carried out by dedicated and productive faculty and staff members. All faculty and staff work as a highly effective and cohesive team with emphasis on strong communication and collaboration, trust and commitment, leadership, and diversity of skills, talents and personalities. All faculty and staff are inspired by the common goal of providing quality educational experiences to all students and seeing UW Oshkosh graduates as effective leaders who serve responsibly their communities and contribute to the public good.

During a Department Meeting

At Dpt Meeting

Dr. Karl Nollenberger and Jenny Davies (L), Dr. Karen King (Center, Retired 2015), and Dr. Michael Ford (R); Photo taken by Dr. Filipova

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by Filipova, Anna A last modified Aug 06, 2016 03:26 PM
What Alumni Say

Manny P. Vasquez                                 


"The MPA Program at UW Oshkosh helped me to better understand the big picture - all the players and scenarios involved in leading a public organization...

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Dr. Anna Filipova, Chair
(920) 424-0037