Susan T. Gooden, PhD delivers Messick Fellow Lecture at the University of Delaware

Posted 17 April 2015 by Nakeina Douglas-Glenn

Dr. Susan Gooden delivered the Messick Fellow lecture on Wednesday, April 15, 2015 on her book, Race and Social Equity: A Nervous Area of Government at the University of Delaware’s School of Public Policy and Administration. The Messick Fellow Lecture brings distinguished scholars and researchers to the University of Delaware to interact with faculty, students, staff, and alumni to “stimulate scholarship in public administration” (Link: The lecture was co-sponsored by the University of Delaware and the Delaware Association for Public Administration (DAPA).

The University of Delaware library provides a brief biographical background on Charles P. Messick, for whom the lecture series is named:

Charles P. Messick was born in Sussex County Delaware on June 1, 1882. He received his master's degree in 1909 at Delaware College (University of Delaware). In 1910 he earned another master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania. That same year he moved to New Jersey and began teaching. Messick began work with the New Jersey State Civil Service Commission as a special examiner in 1910 and served as assistant chief examiner of the Commission from 1915-1917. From 1917-1949, Messick served as the Commission's chief examiner and supervised some 75,000 positions in New Jersey's state and local government services. This position enabled Messick to influence the creation of many civil service administrations in the United States and Canada. His work encouraged many state and local governments to set up some form of a civil service system. Messick believed that public personnel systems should be used for reasons other than curbing the control of politicians over public offices. He thought that the public service offices could be professionalized and thus better serve the public. Continue reading here.

Susan T. Gooden, Ph.D., is a Professor of Public Administration and Policy in the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs and Executive Director of the Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute at Virginia Commonwealth University. Gooden is also the president-elect of the American Society for Public Administration, the largest and most prominent professional association for public administration.