Bridging the academic-practitioner divide: Findings from a survey of public administration faculty and practitioners

The academic practitioner divide and strategies to close that gap have been important lines of inquiry in the fields of public administration and public affairs. This study contributes to that significant body of work by reporting results from two surveys of faculty in NASPAA accredited programs and of practitioners affiliated with the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). These surveys tapped into the perceptions of both groups of respondents about five categories of strategies (e.g., knowledge sharing, technological strategies) aimed at reducing the divide. The overarching objective of this research is to examine if respondent status as faculty or practitioner had an impact on their perception of these strategies. Results from a multivariate analysis of variance indicate that both faculty and practitioners accord significantly different levels of importance to three of the five categories. Open-ended responses yielded additional insights. Implications of this research and its findings for public affairs education are discussed.