Suzanne Leland

Professor, MPA Director
Fretwell 440B

Professor, Department of Political Science and Public Administration
Professor, Public Policy Doctoral Program

Faculty Website

Research Interests: Policy Process and Administration; Economy; Urban Development; Political Institutions and Public Policy; Transportation Policy; Gender and Race

Dr. Leland received her PhD (1999) in Public Administration, American Politics, and Public Policy from University of Kansas. She Directed the Gerald G. Fox Masters of Public Administration Program from 2012- 2016. Her research interests focus around state and local government service delivery. This includes special purpose governments, business improvement districts, contracting out, the selling of public assets, school choice and public-private partnerships all critical issues facing public administrators at the state and local level. Dr. Leland has also worked on select other sub-national projects with my colleagues involving transportation policy, succession planning for local governments/nonprofits, and studied state legislators career patterns.

Recent and/or Relevant Publications


  • Heberlig, E., Leland, S., & Swindell, D. (2017). American Cities and the politics of party conventions. Albany, NY: SUNY Albany Press.
  • Leland, S., & Thurmaier, K. (Eds.). (2010). City-county consolidation: Promises made, promises kept? Washington DC: Georgetown University Press.
  • Leland, S., & Thurmaier, K. (Eds.). (2004). Case studies of city-county consolidation: Reshaping the local government landscape. New York, NY: Routledge.


  • Boyer, R. and Leland, S. (Forthcoming). Co-Housing for Whom? Survey Evidence to Support the Diffusion of Socially and Spatially Integrated Housing in the U.S. Housing Policy Debate.
  • Piatak, J., Mohr, Z., & Leland, S. (2017). Bureaucratic accountability in third‐party governance: Experimental evidence of blame attribution during times of budgetary crisis. Public Administration.
  • Read, D. C., & M. Leland, S. (2017). Toward Understanding Another Gender Gap: How Women in Economic Development Perceive Access to Capital. Journal of Women, Politics & Policy, 1-17.
  • Heberlig, E.S., Leland, S. M., Shields, M., & Swindell, D. (2016). The disruption costs of post-9-11 security measures and cities' bids for presidential nominating conventions. Journal of Urban Affairs, 38(3), 370-386. DOI: 10.1111/juaf.12228
  • Heberlig, E. S., McCoy, J., Leland, S. M., & Swindell, D. A. (2016). Mayors, accomplishments, and advancement. Urban Affairs Review, 53(3), 539-558. DOI: 10.1177/1078087416656286.
  • Read, D., & Leland, S.M. (2016). A gendered perspective on local economic development: Differences in the perceived importance of public services in the business recruitment processes. Administration & Society. DOI: 10.1177/0095399715616837.
  • Smirnova, O., Yusuf, J-E., & Leland, S. (2016). Managing for performance: Measurement and monitoring of contracts in the transit industry. Journal of Public Procurement, 16(2), 208-242.
  • Leland, S. M., Read, D. C., & Wittry, M. (2015). Analyzing the perceived benefits of LEED-Certified and Energy Star–Certified buildings in the realm of local economic development. Economic Development Quarterly, 29(4), 363-375. DOI: 10.1177/0891242415587526.
  • Heberlig, E., Leland, S., & Read, D. (2014). Local politics, organized interests, and land-use policy: A research note analyzing the perceptions of urban planners working in city government. Urban Affairs Review, 50(6), 890-903. DOI: 10.1177/1078087414522411.
  • Leland, S., & Thurmaier, K. (2014). Political and functional local government consolidation: The challenges for core public administration values and regional reform. The American Review of Public Administration, 44(4S), 29S-46S. DOI: 0275074014533003.
  • Smirnova, O. V., & Leland, S. M. (2014). Cutback management during the Great Recession: The case of transit agencies and contracting out. State and Local Government Review, 46(4), 272-281. DOI: 10.1177/0160323X14564777.
  • Smirnova, O. V., & Leland, S. M. (2014). Public transportation and contracting out.
  • Public Works Management & Policy, 19(4), 358-364. DOI: 10.1177/1087724x14545541.
  • Goodman, C.B, & Leland, S.M. (2013). Cost shocks and their relationship to the creation, consolidation and dissolution of US local governments. Public Finance and Management, 13(2), 58-79.
  • Smirnova, O. V., & Leland, S. M. (2013). The role of power and competition in contracting out: An analysis of public transportation markets. Administration & Society, 48(4), 421-443. DOI: 10.1177/0095399713498748.
  • Leland, S.M., Carman, J.G, & Swartz, N.J. (2012). Understanding managerial succession planning at the local level: A study of the opportunities and challenges facing cities and counties. National Civic Review, 101(2), 44-50. DOI: 10.1002/ncr.21076.
  • Leland, S., & Read, D. (2012). Stimulating real estate development through public-private partnerships: Assessing the perceived opportunities and challenges. Public Administration Quarterly, 36(3), 311-340.