SPA Newsroom

SPA Assistant Professor Receives the 2021 SPALR Dissertation Award

Posted: April 2021


Dr. Iseul Choi is the recipient of the American Society for Public Administration’s (ASPA) 2021 Section on Personnel Administration and Labor Relations (SPALR) Dissertation Award. As such, Dr. Choi is “very happy to receive this award as an Assistant Professor at the UNM-SPA!” 

Dr. Choi’s winning dissertation, chaired by Ellen Rubin, is entitled, “Contracting Out for Performance of Democratic-Constitutional Values and Procedural Tasks in Federal Agencies: Evidence from the Equal Employment Opportunity Discrimination Complaint Process.”

The study explores whether or not contracting achieves better performance in democratic-constitutional, procedural (DCP) tasks compared with in-house delivery, by analyzing contracting use in the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) discrimination complaint process. Using agency-level panel data from the Federal EEO Statistical Report of Discrimination Complaints, combined with data from the Federal Procurement Data System and the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, the study offers evidence resolving the competing logics for a relationship between contracting use and performance in DCP tasks. The findings show that an increase in contracting is associated with a decrease in timely completion of case investigations, which is a key measure of DCP task performance.

The award was presented during the SPALR business meeting at the 2021 ASPA Annual Conference this April. 

“Deservedly, this honor will elevate Dr. Choi’s status in the PA community and will advance the School as well.  I am proud of Dr. Choi,” said by SPA Director Bruce J Perlman.

Dr. Iseul Choi is an Assistant Professor in the UNM School of Public Administration, and recently joined the School in Fall 2020. Her research interests focus on public management, performance management, work motivation and administrative burden. She received her Ph.D. in Public Administration from the State University of New York-Albany, and a MPA from La Follette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.