Discussion Questions

For these discussion questions,  shift from policy researcher to policy practitioner— an executive who must glean lessons from  Lindquist and Wanna’s state of policy implementation research to advance your organization’s mission. That is you should consider the organizational dimension of a policy’s implementation scheme, as well as the genesis of the idea, its trajectory on the systemic agenda, the formulation of tools necessary for implementation, etc.

For this assignment, you are to take on the role of a policy analyst in the UAH Office of the President.  President Darren Dawson has convened senior staff and asked each of you to draft a one page memo to him with your recommendations as to how Fall Semester 2021 should proceed in the new covid-era environment.  He asks each of you the same question:

“As the university’s chief executive, what recommendations do you have for me to continue steering UAH in a progressive direction, in light of the myriad challenges for governance imposed by the pandemic?”

To craft your memo, you should read and model your response after the nine bullets on the organizational dimensions of policy implementation on pages 223-225. You will need to think back to and/or review emails that have come from the president during the last year and you may also want to review the Return to Campus webpage. Links to an external site.In essence you are interpreting the bullets in this section in ways that offer customized guidance for Dr. Dawson. You don’t have to know all the answers or all of what UAH has done to address the new policy environment we are in to successfully answer his question. You may not use all of the bullets in your response, but it should demonstrate that you understand how agency heads must lead and adapt during implementation during times of rapid change.


To:  Dr. Darren Dawson, President

From: Dr. Noelle Hunter, Lecturer

Date: 3/14/2021

Subject: Recommendations for Policy Change and Adaptation at UAH

In our leadership meeting, you requested each team member submit a one-page memo of recommendations for your continued governance at UAH in a new policy environment. Certainly, the pandemic required the University to quickly adapt in every dimension, so that we could continue providing our students, faculty, staff and our stakeholders with the education, service and cutting edge innovation for which we are known.

I draw my recommendations from policy implementation research from Lindquist and Wanna (2015), who maintain that executives must lead and adapt simultaneously in unfamiliar policy terrain.  Thus, I suggest you consider the following ideas to guide your governance strategies:

• “Executives must identify new values, meaning, and narratives” (224):  (then explain what this means for UAH and for Dr. Dawson)


Take the time to develop a good, high-level memo to Dr. Dawson that incorporates selected themes from this section.

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