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Malcolm Oliver


Director, Master of Public Policy and Administration program
Chair, Bachelor of Arts in Social Science program

Programs/Classes Taught:

Foundations of Public Administration

Urban Community Development

Public Financial Administration and Budgeting

Public Policy Analysis

Public Human Resources

Comparative Public and Non-Profit Administration

Public Policy and Administration Seminar

Areas of Expertise:

Urban Management

Comparative Administration

Administrative Theory

Higher Education Administration


As a means to contribute to addressing the spectrum of public policy challenges facing the City of Chicago, the United States and the global community, National Louis University’s Master of Arts in Public Policy and Administration (MPPA) program seeks to train practitioners capable of linking theoretical knowledge with its practical application in order to solve real world policy challenges. Many of the public policy issues of our time, such as educational inequality, criminal justice reform, health disparities, immigration reform, inner-city job creation, community development and environmental sustainability require the training of practitioners able to utilize the tools of policy analysis coupled with administrative theory to develop well informed policy recommendations that can effectively be utilized by policy makers, administrators and non-profit agencies as they seek to move our society forward. Throughout the duration of the MPPA program, students will have the opportunity to research a variety of public policy issues, meet individuals involved in developing public policy, and have the opportunity to meet administrators in public and non-profit agencies tasked with managing complex administrative programs. The goal is to provide students with the tools necessary to impact the public policy making process with the intentional aspiration of making this a more just and equitable society.

The role I play in contrbuting to this mission is by serving as the Director for the Master of Public Policy and Administration (MPPA) program, and by serving as Chair for the Bachelor of Arts in Social Science program at National Louis University (NLU). In this capacity I am responsible for course scheduling, faculty recruitment, curriculum review, course evaluations, student advising, community outreach and day-to-day program management.

With regards to  my academic background, I started my educational journey at Mt. San Antonio Community College, and after two years transferred to the University of California Riverside, where I obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science. During my time as an undergraduate student, I took the opportunity to study for one year as an exchange student at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. In addition, I completed a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from California State Polytechnic University Pomona, and subsequently completed a Ph.D. in Public and Urban Administration from the University of Texas Arlington.

My doctorial dissertation is titled: How to be an Effective City Manager: Narrative Insights for Leaders within the Profession. In this dissertation I was able to interviewed some of the leading figures from within the city management profession in the United States in order to systematically document the managerial techniques utilized by these senior public administrators to remain effective in their leadership roles. Over the years I have expanded his research on the city management profession to nations that have recently gone through a process of political and fiscal decentralization in order to document, analyze and provide administrative insight for the rapidly expanding profession of municipal management in the developing world. I have published The Challenge of Delivering Sustainable and Equitable Municipal Services in Post-Apartheid South Africa (2015), and have served as a Visiting Scholar at the University of Padjadjaran in Indonesia, where I carried out research related to municipal governance in post-Suharto Indonesia.

Prior to entering academia, I worked as a city planner in Riverside County and then in the City of Pomona, which are both located in California. I then moved to Texas to become the Development Coordinator with the City of Lancaster, Texas, where I coordinated the work of the Planning, Building and Engineering Departments to streamline the development review process. In this capacity, I also worked on projects that were highly visible, inter-jurisdictional and administratively complex, such as the Southern Dallas County Infrastructure Analysis and Lancaster’s 3-Year Annexation Plan.

In my spare time I enjoy hiking, museums and traveling, which has taken me to 25 countries in Asia (Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, India, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia), Africa (South Africa, Mozambique, Swaziland, Ethiopia, Tanzania), Europe (United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Netherlands, Greece, Finland), the Middle East (Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Qatar), and Latin America and the Caribbean (Mexico, Saint Martin).


Ph.D. Public and Urban Administration (2012), University of Texas at Arlington

MPA, Master of Public Administration (2007), California State Polytechnic University Pomona

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (2004), University of California at Riverside

University of Cape Town (2002), Exchange Student, Cape Town, South Africa

Mt. San Antonio Community College (2000), Transfer Student, Walnut, California

Research and Interests:


Oliver, M. (2015). The challenge of delivering sustainable and equitable municipal services in post- apartheid South Africa. International Conference of Public Administration, Bandung, Indonesia, December 2015. UESTC Publishing, Chengdu, China.

Oliver, M. (2016 – In Development). Fifteen years after the decentralization of Indonesia’s governing structures: The historic 2015 municipal elections and addressing the administrative challenges that lay ahead. Manuscript in development for presentation and publication in 2017.

Oliver, M. (2016 – In Development). Capitalizing on the strategic planning process: Insights from within the city management profession.

Conference Presentations:

Oliver, M. “Innovation in Education for an Evolving Public Service Sector (Panel)” Presented at Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) Conference, Brooklyn, New York, October 14-17, 2015

Oliver, M. The challenge of delivering sustainable and equitable municipal services in post-apartheid South Africa. International Conference of Public Administration, Bandung, Indonesia, December 9-11, 2015

Oliver, M. "Teaching Through Global Crisis and Current Events (Panel)" Presented at Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) Conference, Columbus, Ohio, October 19-21, 2016


Contact Information:

(312) 261-3155


    NLU’s Chicago campus on South Michigan Avenue occupies five floors of the historic Peoples Gas Building. This landmark building, across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago and Grant Park, is easily accessible by train, bus and car and is surrounded by restaurants, parking lots/garages and shops.

    122 S. Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60603
    (888) 658.8632
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    Conveniently located in a fast-growing business district off I-90 and Route 31, NLU Elgin features 10 classrooms with high-tech media equipment; a computer lab with high-speed Internet access; two conference rooms; and comfortable student lounges. Parking is free at this recently remodeled and upgraded teaching site, which now includes wireless Internet access.

    620 Tollgate Road
    Elgin, IL 60123
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    Opened in the summer of 2006, NLU North Shore at Skokie is a state-of-the-art modern campus located just off the Edens Expressway near the Old Orchard Shopping Center. The campus includes 44 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a walk-in lab in the library; six conference rooms; a public café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; and multiple, comfortable student lounge areas.

    5202 Old Orchard Road
    Skokie, IL 60077
    (888) 658.8632
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    Located just minutes from the East-West Tollway (I-88), NLU Lisle features 42 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a separate walk-in lab in the library; a café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; conference rooms; and six comfortable student lounge areas with wireless access.

    850 Warrenville Road
    Lisle, IL 60532
    (888) 658.8632
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    Located in one of Chicago's major northwest suburbs, the newly renovated NLU Wheeling includes 20 classrooms with high-tech media equipment, four conference rooms, four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, large student lounge areas with wireless capabilities and interactive video capabilities, and an extensive research library. The site also houses the university library research collection.

    1000 Capitol Drive
    Wheeling, IL 60090
    (888) 658.8632
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    Established in 1988 and located in one of Tampa's major business districts, NLU's Florida Regional Center serves students in 13 counties in central Florida. In addition to its classrooms, the National Louis University Tampa Regional Center features a computer lab, student lounges, and conference room.

    5110 Sunforest Drive, Suite 102
    Tampa, FL 33634
    (800) 366.6581
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