Taking their leadership credentials to the next level, Independence Public Works Director Mike Passauer and Police Chief Jerry Harrison recently graduated from the Kansas Certified Public Manager (CPM) program. The nationally accredited program is offered through the University of Kansas Public Management Center, in partnership with the Kansas Association of Counties and the League of Kansas Municipalities. Passauer and Harrison were honored Friday in a graduation ceremony at the Kansas State Capitol Building in Topeka.
The CPM program is specifically designed for managers working in government agencies, nonprofits and public-sector organizations. Certification involves a year’s study through a combination of online and classroom learning, for a total of 300 hours of structured coursework. The curriculum covers management skills and competencies needed to manage projects, people, policies and programs in today’s public-sector workplace, including: human resource policies; budgeting and collaboration; public policy; communication; management practices; ethics; coaching; innovation and creativity, among others.
“Mike and Jerry were already exemplary leaders in our organization,” said City Manager Craig Whitehead. “I applaud their initiative to further develop their management skills, and I’m very proud of their accomplishment.”
The course also requires each participant to complete an individual capstone project focused on an opportunity for cost savings, revenue generation, process improvement or innovation in the workplace.
Harrison participated with other public safety officers in the CPM program and said the experience has equipped him with
valuable tools for his position and allowed him to build important new relationships.
“The biggest benefit I gained from the program was a thorough understanding of budgeting and budget management,” Harrison said. “I also am very grateful for the opportunity to develop a statewide network of peers in law enforcement.”
Passauer also reported that meeting peers in similar roles was of great benefit. “I enjoyed networking with people from other entities like ours and sharing common issues and solutions,” he said.
Also attending Friday’s ceremony in support of Passauer and Harrison were Whitehead, Independence Mayor Fred Meier and Assistant City Manager Kelly Passauer.
Since it was established in 1993, the Kansas Certified Public Manager program has certified approximately 1,600 public service professionals across the state. Other partner organizations include the Mid-America Regional Council and the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center.