Faculty Friday: Youngsung Kim

In a special weekly series, the College of Liberal Arts is featuring a faculty member from one of our 13 departments. We asked questions about why they are passionate about the subjects they study and teach, and how they found their path to CSU. See all “Faculty Friday” features here.  

Man standing outdoors
Youngsung Kim joined CSU as an Assistant Professor of Public Policy & Administration in Fall 2020

Youngsung Kim

Dr. Youngsung Kim is an Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Administration at Colorado State University. His research focuses on public budgeting and finance, education finance, and local government management. He is particularly interested in understanding the accountable and efficient ways to allocate and manage financial resources for public organizations. His articles have appeared in Public Budgeting and FinanceLocal Government Studies, and State and Local Government Review.

What inspired your interest in Public Policy & Administration?

In my first year at college, I took Introduction to Economics although my majors were Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. In this course, I realized the importance of public policy and administration by seeing many examples of how inappropriately designed public policies can negatively affect many people’s lives.

What is your favorite class to teach and why?

I find that one of the most rewarding parts of my job is teaching. So, I have enjoyed teaching all the courses I have taught so far. However, if I am asked to choose only one favorite class, it would be Public Budgeting and Finance. Most importantly, this is my main research area, so I can directly teach students what I have found from my research. It is always to good to see how my research can help students, who are current or future public servants, understand the ways governments allocate and manage financial resources and apply this knowledge to their jobs.

Panel of speakers
Dr. Kim presents on a panel for the Rockefeller Institution of Government

What did you want to be when you were little? When did you know you wanted to work in higher education?

Before I got into my college, I wanted to become a scientist. My favorite class was actually chemistry. It was very interesting to study elements and substances we cannot even see with our naked eyes.

At first, I decided to pursue my MPA to better understand what I had observed during my service in the Navy as a financial management officer and to become a better public servant. However, while I studied public administration and policy in my graduate program, I realized that my interest was more in higher education.

How did you get to CSU?

It was a long journey. I got my BA in Management and BS in Computer Science and Engineering in 2008. After that, I served as a Navy financial management officer (Lieutenant Junior) for several years. I completed my MPA degree in 2015. I spent five more years to complete my PhD in Public Administration and Policy before I joined CSU as a tenure-track Assistant Professor for the newly launched MPPA program. It was very exciting to start my academic career for this great program with excellent students and faculty.

Why is Public Policy & Administration important in the current moment?

Public Policy and Administration provides a lens for seeing and interpreting how government interacts with other actors in the society to address social problems. It also provides important skills and techniques to analyze government policy and activities. Public Policy and Administration is always important to understand current social problems and provide better solutions to them.

Lead for a better tomorrow

Lead organizations and develop policies that change lives. The Master of Public Policy and Administration (MPPA) blends a research-based interdisciplinary curriculum with hands-on experience to prepare students to take on society’s greatest challenges.

Applications for Spring 2021 will be reviewed on a space-available basis through December 1.