The Unger International Program for Local Government Leadership was established in November 2001 through a grant from Paul and Sonja Unger. The program was a collaborative effort of the Levin College to respond to the consulting, training, research and educational needs of local government leaders in emerging democracies. Its goal was to strengthen the management of public organizations and non-governmental organizations, to promote local governments that are professional, transparent, accountable, responsive, innovative, efficient, and characterized by reliance on the rule of law and active citizen participation. The program was committed to facilitating sustainable government reforms that result in long-term impact and systemic change. The program worked with university faculties and local government leaders in emerging democracies to develop and implement academic and continuing education programs in public management for future and incumbent officials and managers in local governments and non-government organizations.
The Unger Program worked in collaboration with the Faculty of Economics at the University of Rijeka in Croatia and provided training and educational programs in local governance, acted as a repository of information on best practices in local government and developed case studies and research projects for use by administrators, managers and supervisors throughout Croatia.
List of Accomplishments
January 17-28, 2001 - The Unger program presented a highly successful 2½-week seminar for 19 local government officials including mayors, department heads and other elected and appointed administrators. Workshop topics included leadership, community and economic development, service to citizens and private business, public investments, public works, personnel management, financial management and budgeting, and performance measurement. Site visits and shadowing opportunities included a Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District wastewater treatment facility, a City of Cleveland water treatment facility, a tour of the City of Lakewood's city hall and service department and meetings with local Croatian-Americans with business interests in Croatia.
May 30-June 5, 2001 - The Dean of the Maxine Goodman Levin College and the Director of the Unger Program participated in a public administration seminar in Brijuni, Croatia. The Dean gave a presentation on economic development and the Penter Director gave a presentation on managing change. After the seminar, the dean, director, and the Ungers traveled to Zagreb for meetings organized by Paul A. Unger and met with the President of Croatia, the Strategy Development Officer, Foreign Minister, Minister of Science and Technology (who governs financing of universities), officers of parliamentary committees, national bank officers, the U.S. Embassy Public Diplomacy Officer, the USAID Director and education officer, and Director of the USAID-funded Urban Institute. All pledged support of the Unger Croatia Institute and Program. The Foreign Minister issued a public "announcement" of support.
July 21-25, 2001 - The Unger Program Director traveled to Croatia to meet with the Dean of the Faculty of Economics at the University of Rijeka, Croatia, and other local officials to initiate a collaboration between the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University and the University of Rijeka.
November 15, 2001 - The Unger Program for Local Government Leadership was officially created by agreement with the Cleveland State University Foundation and the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs.
April 1-5, 2002 - The Dean of the Faculty of Economics at the University of Rijeka, Croatia, visited the Levin College to meet the faculty and discuss the elements of a Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation between the two universities.
May, 2002 - The Dean of the Levin College, the Unger Program Director, and the Ungers returned to Croatia to meet with the Rector of the University of Rijeka, the Vice Mayor of the City of Rijeka, and other officials in Rijeka and Zagreb to advise them of the progress of the Unger Program and to solicit their support. During this visit, the Dean of the Levin College gave a presentation on the economic impact of professional sports on local government to students and faculty of the University of Rijeka.
June 11, 2002 - The Rector of the University of Rijeka and the president of Cleveland State University signed the Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation that was developed by the Unger Program Director and the Dean of the Faculty of Economics at the University of Rijeka. The signing of the agreement took place at a ceremony in the Atrium of the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs.
June 17-28, 2002 - Ten professors from Croatia visited the Levin College to meet and confer with Levin College Faculty and develop a proposal to implement the Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation. During their visit, the faculty reviewed the Levin College's graduate curricula and discussed syllabi with faculty and staff. The implementation proposal was completed on June 28th and includes both non-academic and academic objectives.
November 30 - December 14, 2002 - The Unger Program was selected competitively by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to provide two weeks of training in Citizen Participation in Local Government for 11 Croatian local leaders. The training was provided by the Unger Program and the Program for Neighborhood Development and included classroom discussions at the College and site visits to Slavic Village, Cleveland Heights, Ohio, and Chattanooga, Tennessee. This training received an outstanding rating from the participants, who represented Bjelovar, Crikvenica, Rijeka, Varazdin, and Zagreb.
June 9-13, 2003 - The Program, working in collaboration with the University of Rijeka, the Urban Institute in Croatia, and the United States Agency for International Development held a seminar for local government officials in Rijeka, Croatia. Twenty-four participants enrolled. All participants evaluated this seminar as having fulfilled their expectations and they all recommended that similar seminars be offered to other local government leaders.
June 16, 2003 - The Director of the Unger Program facilitated a workshop in Zagreb for the Association of Towns and Municipalities of the Republic of Croatia. During this workshop, dialogue was initiated to assist the association in pursuing the enhancement of public administration in Croatia.
September 15-19, 2003 - Three professors from the University of Rijeka worked with the Levin College faculty and staff to finalize a graduate level curriculum in public administration that was sent to the faculty senate in October 2003 for approval.
September 26, 2003 - Paul Unger was selected by USAID for the Outstanding Citizen Award that was presented at a ceremony at the Levin College of Urban Affairs on January 23, 2004.
October 1, 2003 - The Urban Institute, in partnership with the Unger Program, was selected competitively by USAID for a four-year contract to provide training and support to local government leaders in Croatia (Local Government Reform Project II). The Program will serve as a subcontractor to the Urban Institute on this project.
December 1, 2003 - The Unger Program was selected for a Congressionally Directed Department of Education Grant in the amount of $99,940 to support its work in Central Europe.
December 10, 2003 - The Economics Faculty Senate at the University of Rijeka approved the graduate level curriculum in public administration.
January 23, 2004 - Paul Unger received the USAID Outstanding Citizen Achievement Award presented by Dr. Kent R. Hill, the USAID Assistant Administrator for Europe and Eurasia. The ceremony, which was held in the Maxine Goodman Levin College Atrium, was attended by over 150 guests including the Honorable George V. Voinovich, United States Senator; Dr. Ivan Grdesic, Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia; Jane Campbell, Mayor, City of Cleveland; Dr. Daniel Rukavina, Rector, University of Rijeka; Kathy Eckroad, Deputy Director, Executive Education at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; Dr. Michael Schwartz, President, Cleveland State University; and representatives of the USAID Mission to Croatia.
February 24, 2004 - The Program was notified of its competitive selection for a USAID University Partnership grant in the amount of $99,981. The grant will support the graduate program in public administration developed by the collaborative efforts of the Unger Program and the Faculty of Economics at the University of Rijeka.
May 3-10, 2004 - The Unger Program Director met with the University of Rijeka Faculty to explain the University Partnership Grant and to finalize details for implementation of the graduate program in Croatia.
June 14-24, 2004 - The Unger Program Director and Research Associate, Susan Burkholder, met with government and university officials in Zagreb, Osijek and Spit to discuss improving educational programs for local government officials in Croatia.
June 25-27, 2004 - The Unger Program Director participated in the Croatian Business Leaders Summit at the Croatian Lodge in Eastlake, Ohio. More than 300 Croatian business persons from around the world were present.
September 24, 2004 - The Unger Program Director in the formal opening of the MPA program at the Faculty of Economics, University of Rijeka. This ceremony, which was attended by Ralph Frank, US Ambassador to Croatia and many dignitaries, also served to announce the book, "Economics and Local Self Government," a joint publication by the University of Rijeka, the Unger Program at Cleveland State University, the Urban Institute and USAID.
November 8-13, 2004 - The Unger Program Director taught a portion of the Organizational Theory Course at the University of Rijeka in partnership with Marija Kastelan-Mrok, a professor at the University of Rijeka. This course is in the Master of Public Administration curriculum at the University of Rijeka. After teaching, the director and research associate, Susan Petrone, visited the University of Split, the University of Zadar, the University of Zagreb and Zagreb School of Economics and Management.
November 18-20, 2004 - Professor Ned Hill, from the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs, CSU, lectured on economics at the Faculty of Economics, University of Rijeka as part of the Masters Program in Public Administration.
January 11-12, 2005 - Dean Mark Rosentraub, Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs, CSU, presented a seminar on Sports Economics at the Zagreb School of Economics and Management.
January 13-14, 2005 - Dr. Rosentraub lectured on Finance at the University of Rijeka as part of the MPA program.
January 12-15, 2005 - Unger Program Director, Tom Cozzens, participated in meetings with the faculty and administrators at the Zagreb School of Economics and Management to discuss the introduction of Urban Institute models for local government reform in academic curricula. ZSEM indicated a sincere interest in developing courses in public administration and collaborating with the Urban Institute on workshops and seminars.