chris koliba

Christopher Koliba, PhD
Professor and Director of the MPA Program

Areas of Expertise:

public administration, comparative governance analysis, complex systems, infrastructure policy and governance


View/Download CV (PDF)
Contact Information
Office: 103D Morrill Hall
Phone: 802.656.3772

Christopher Koliba is a Full Professor in the Community Development and Applied Economics Department at the University of Vermont (UVM) and the Director of the Master of Public Administration (MPA) Program. He possesses a Ph.D. and an MPA from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.  His research interests include governance networks and complex adaptive systems, infrastructure policy & governance, organizational learning and development, action research methods, and educational policy. His current research program focuses on the development of complex adaptive systems models of food systems, regional planning, watershed governance, and transportation planning, and smart grid energy networks.  Chris is the lead author of Governance Network in Public Administration and Public Policy published by CRC Press. He has published articles over 35 articles in such prominent peer reviewed journal. He is the 2011 Marshall E. Dimock Award winner for best lead article in the Public Administration Review.  He has served as principal investigator or co-principal investigator on research and program development grants from the National Science Foundation, the United States Department of Transportation, the United States Department of Agriculture, the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Vermont Department of Education, the Bonnor Foundation, the Bay Paul Foundation, and the Spencer Foundation. He is chair of the Complexity and Network Studies section of the American Society of Public Administration.   Chris teaches courses pertaining to public policy and public affairs, public administration, systems analysis, governance networks, collaborative management, and the intersection of science and society.

Sample of Courses Taught

Christopher Koliba's courses taught by semester available here

CDAE: 391 Master's Thesis Research
PA 391: Masters Thesis Research
PA 301: Fundamentals of Public Administration
PA 302: Public Sector Organizations
PA 306: Introduction to Public Policy
PA 317: Systems Analysis and Strategic Management
PA 318: Administrative Theory and Practice: Governance Networks
PA 206: Introduction to Contemporary Public Affairs
PA 391: Masters Thesis Research
PA 395: The Reflective Practitioner
PA 295: Civic Leadership and Student Governance
HCOL 196: Science & Society
PA 397: Readings and Research

Recent Publications

Books and edited volumes
  • Koppenjan, J. and Koliba, C. Symposium Co-Editors. (accepted for publication). The complexity of New Public Governance.International Review of Public Administration.
  • Koliba, C. Symposium editor. 2011. Performance Management in Governance Networks: Critical Concepts and Practices.” Public Performance Management Review. 34(4): 515-597.
  • Koliba, C., Meek, J. and Zia, A. 2010. Governance Networks in Public Administration and Public PolicyBoca Raton, FL: CRC Press/Taylor & Francis.
Recent Peer Reviewed Journal Publications, Book Chapters and Conference Proceedings
  • Zia, A. and Koliba, C. Accepted for publication. Climate Change Governance and Accountability: Dilemmas of Performance Management in Complex Governance Networks. Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis.
  • Koliba, C. 2011. Book chapter: Administrative Strategies for a Networked World: The Educational Imperative for Intergovernmental Relations in 2020. Thurmaier, K. and Meek, J. editors.  Network Governance: Implications for Intergovernmental Relations in 2020.  New York: Sage Publications.
  • Conner, D., King, B., Koliba, C., Trubek, A. and Kolodinsky, J. 2011. Mapping Farm to School Networks: Implications for Research and Practice. Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition. 6:133-152.
  • Koliba, C., Campbell, E. and Zia, A.  2011. Performance Measurement Considerations in Congestion Management Networks: Evidence from Four Cases. Public Performance Management Review. 34(4): 520-548.
  • Koliba, C., Zia, A., Lee, B. 2011. Governance Informatics: Utilizing Computer Simulation Models to Manage Complex Governance Networks. The Innovation Journal: Innovations for the Public Sector. 16(1). Article 3.
  • Koliba, C., Mills, R. and Zia, A. 2011. Accountability in Governance Networks: Implications Drawn from Studies of Response and Recovery Efforts Following Hurricane Katrina. Public Administration Review. 71(2): 210-220.
  • Koliba, C., Meek, J. and Zia, A. 2010.  Gordian Knot or Integrated Theory? Critical Conceptual Considerations for Governance Network Analysis.  The Future of Governance: 5th Annual TransAtlantic Dialogue Proceedings. Brandsen, T and Holzer, M. editors.
  • Kemekes, R., Farley, J. and Koliba, C. 2010. Determining When Payments are an Effective Policy Approach to Ecosystem Service Provision.  Ecological Economics.
  • Westdijk, K. Koliba, C. and Hamshaw, K.  2010.  Collecting Data to Inform Decision-Making and Action:  Research and Planning for School-Wide Faculty Civic Engagement. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement. 14(2): 5-33.
  • Baker, D., Koliba, C., Kolodinsky, J., Liang, K., McMahon, E., Patterson, T. and Wang, Q. 2009. Moving Toward a Transdisciplinary Approach in the Land Grant SystemNorth American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA).
  • Koliba, C. and Zia, A. 2009.  Dispelling the Myths of Invisible Hands and Invincible Governments: An Argument for Democratically Legitimate Inter-Organizational Governance Networks. Administrative Theory & Praxis. 31(3): 417-423
  • Koliba, C. and Meek, J. 2009. ‘Mixed-Form’ Governance Structures: An Analytical Turn. Public. Institute of Public Governance and Management. 47(19).
  • Koliba, C. and Gajda, R. 2009. Communities of Practice as an Empirical Construct: Implications for Theory and Practice. International Journal of Public Administration. 32. 97-135.
Conference Proceedings
  • Koliba, C., Zia, A., Tucker, M., and Novak, D.  2011. Fostering Innovation in an Intergovernmental Transportation Planning Governance Network through Multi-Criteria Analysis.  American Political Science Association National Conference. Seattle, WA
  • Koliba, C., and Zia, A. 2011. Theory Testing Using Complex Systems Modeling in Public Administration and Policy Studies: Challenges and Opportunities for a Meta-Theoretical Research Program. COMPACT Conference. Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
  • Zia, A., Metcalf, S., Koliba, C. and Widner, M. 2011.  Agent Based Models of Cross-Jurisdictional Governance Networks: Simulating the Emergence of Project Prioritization Patterns Under Alternate Policy Theoretical Frameworks and Network Structures. COMPACT Conference. Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
  • Koliba, C. and Zia, A. 2011. Theory Testing Using Complex Systems Modeling in Public Administration and Policy Studies: Challenges and Opportunities for a Meta-Theoretical Research Program. Public Management Research Conference. Syracuse, NY..
  • Zia, A., Metcalf, S., Koliba, C. and Widner, M. 2011.  Agent Based Models of Cross-Jurisdictional Governance Networks: Simulating the Emergence of Project Prioritization Patterns Under Alternate Policy Theoretical Frameworks and Network Structures. Public Management Research Conference. Syracuse, NY.
  • Zia, A., Koliba, C., Metcalf, S. and Widner, M. 2011.  Decision Making in Watershed Governance Networks: Simulating Heterogeneous Beliefs and Accountability Ties in Agent Based Models. International Earth Systems Governance Conference. Fort Collins, CO.
  • Koliba, C.  2011. Convener and panel moderator. Public Administration within Complex, Adaptive Governance Systems: Questions Concerning the Next Generation of Research, Theory and Practice. American Society of Public Administration Annual Conference. Baltimore, MD.
  • Zia, A., Koliba, C., Campbell, E., Lee, B., Meek, J. and Calengelo, D2011. Prioritization of Performance Measures for MPOs: Understanding the Effects of Contextual Complexity and Collaborative Capacity from a National-Level Survey. Transportation Research Board, Annual Conference. Washington, D.C.
  • Koliba, C. 2010. The Little Engine that Could: The UVM-MPA Program, a Small Program with a Big Research Agenda. National Society of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. Las Vegas, NV.
  • Koliba, C., 2010. Administrative Strategies for a Networked World: Intergovernmental Relations in 2020. Workshop on the future of intergovernmental relations. American Society of Public Administration Annual Conference. San Jose, CA.
  • Zia, A., Metcalf, S.,  Koliba, C. and Widner, M. 2010.  Management of Complex Governance Networks: Opportunities and Challenges for Agent Based Models of Policy Analysis. American Society of Public Administration Annual Conference. San Jose, CA.

Recent Grants

Awards and Recognition

Professional Societies

Pi Alpha Alpha (Public Administration National Honor Society), American Society for Public Administration, National School Reform Faculty, American Evaluation Association, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Public Administration Theory Network