2017-2018 Projects

Exploring Part-Time Opportunity and Wage Equity in Lane County Employees

Following a labor agreement in 2017, Lane County Government was interested in understanding why employees move from full-time employment to part-time employment and whether employees of different genders or races paid equitably for similar work. University of Oregon researchers analyzed employment data from Lane County, comparing it to other Oregon counties and the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. A survey and interviews were also conducted for this research to understand perspectives of Lane County Employees.

The research team found that 35% of full-time employees would prefer to work part-time, but feel there are barriers to this movement, including loss of benefits, budget constraints, and limited upward mobility for part-time employees. Lane County’s workforce is also shown to pay equitably across races and genders, accounting for union affiliation, job titles, and pay grades, although, researchers discovered barriers to fully assessing equity in Lane County. The county retains limited information about professional or educational experience, and it uses complex employee classification system which impacted the researcher capabilities.

Policy Labs Final Report

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) Public Management course at the University of Oregon prompted students to consider the impacts that policy labs have on stakeholders and governments. This research included case study analysis that reviewed 11 existing policy labs over a ten-week academic term. This research sought to develop evaluative criteria for policy labs. Researchers categorized labs by method of work based on previously established criteria.

This report provides recommendations for successful partnership between Lane County and the University of Oregon’s Institute for Policy Research and Engagement, emphasizing that open data and a well-updated, informative website will provide learners and community members the information needed to stay invested in the work happening in the County. These findings prompted additional research in the 2018-2019 academic year’s MPA Capstone course the direct needs and requirements of a Policy Lab structure in Lane County.

City Open Data Census

The School of Planning, Public Policy and Management (PPPM) Master of Public Administration (MPA) Public Management course prompted students to consider the benefits City Open Data may have on jurisdictions. During a ten-week academic term, students reviewed city and county governments in the Northwest region, which included The City of Eugene and Lane County in the sample. This research informed recommendations for Lane County and the City of Eugene to improve their open access to data along with general best practices that other jurisdictions could use to improve public access to information. Following the conclusion of this research, it became clear that additional work was necessary to inform Lane County’s Open Data policies and meeting of metrics. This research project preceded work conducted in the two-term Capstone course in the 2018-2019 academic year.