Professor reflects on public administration journey

Jack Meek, professor of public administration, reminisces during his faculty lecture Tuesday, titled “My Last Lecture: Journey in the Study of Collaboration.” He reflected on his time at the University of La Verne, the conferences he attended, the colleagues he met and the projects he worked on. / screenshot by Rachel Kendrick
Jack Meek, professor of public administration, reminisces during his faculty lecture Tuesday, titled “My Last Lecture: Journey in the Study of Collaboration.” He reflected on his time at the University of La Verne, the conferences he attended, the colleagues he met and the projects he worked on. / screenshot by Rachel Kendrick

Jorge Martinez
Staff Writer

Professor of Public Administration and Public Management Jack Meek delivered his last lecture, explaining his journey in life and the journey for the future, Tuesday via Zoom before a virtual audience of 80. 

Meek teaches courses in research methods and collaborative public management. His research focuses on metropolitan governance, including the emergence of administrative connections and relationships in local government, regional collaboration and partnerships, policy networks and citizen engagement. 

Meek has over 40 academic publications to his name and has co-edited three books – “Business Improvement Districts,” “Intergovernmental Relations” and “Complex Governance Systems.” He has co-authored a book on governance networks.

Throughout his last lecture, Meek shared his research, his story, how he prepared to capture themes that shaped his life and what contributed to his thinking. 

“I’m happy to be at every institution and it was an honor to be around different students and communities, which were on the same path as me,” said Meek. 

Meek talked about his research interests in collaborative public administration. The topics Meek researched were the anatomy of new forms of collaboration in metropolitan systems and the significance of metropolitan regions. Meek said that most of these were to focus on practice bridging jurisdictions and what brings people and institutions together. 

Meek also talked about his recent publication, “Collaborative Public Management.” Some of the working themes of the book were the challenges of globalization. 

“In response we are creating connective patterns or networks of governance. These networks are shaping the future and we live and work in networks that we don’t recognize so we grow out our skills and further our learning to move forward,” Meek said. 

At the end of his lecture, President Devorah Lieberman thanked Meek for his hard work at the University. 

“I want to personally thank him for being more civic-minded, and more gracious. All these characteristics built a leader that shouldn’t be forgotten. He brought heart and soul to every single one of us and I want to thank everything he has done,” Lieberman said.

Meek’s daughter Chelsey, a La Verne graduate, said she’s proud of him for working hard and reflecting his life upon her. 

“Obviously I’m very proud of my dad and has been working hard. I think what he does and what I heard is reflected in my childhood. The way he takes time reflecting on everything. I’ve learned from him what kind of good questions are good questions from his years of research,” she said. 

When Jack Meek was asked what his retirement will be like he said he had no clue.

“I don’t know what my future journey will do or take me but I want to further my study in the collaboration of metropolitan systems,” said Meek. 

Jorge Martinez can be reached at jorge.martinez@laverne.edu.

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