A minute with...Cliff McCue


A minute with...Cliff McCue, associate professor, School of Public Administration, Florida Atlantic University. Dr. McCue has served in local governments across the U.S. and has published over 30 articles on public administration, finance, budgeting and public sector procurement. He is the author of Local Government Budgeting: A Managerial Approach and Immigration and Its Impact on American Cities. Dr. McCue is the director of the Public Procurement Research Center.

Name three projects of which you are most proud. 

1. Working with two of my colleagues (Drs. Khi Thai and Charles Washington) in creating the Public Procurement Research Center at Florida Atlantic University. The PPRC was created by a mutual agreement between FAU and the National Institute for Governmental Procurement (NIGP). Over the last 15 years we have created an academic journal (the Journal of Public Procurement), hosted a series of national and international conferences on public  procurement, conducted a significant amount of practical and academic research, and have started to focus on working with a number of faculty across the U.S. developing a core curriculum in public  procurement.
2. Working on the “Herdon Project.” The project created the guiding values and principles for the public procurement profession. I am working with the NIGP and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (they are the world’s largest professional procurement association, housed in England) on creating the standards of practice for the profession.
3. Writing my first book on strategic planning in public procurement. I was fortunate to work with a dear colleague, Barbara Johnson, in writing this book. It is currently being used in classrooms, as a training tool for the profession, and as a source for practitioners.

Tell us about your most challenging day at the office.

My most challenging day at the office is when we seem to have an infinite number of meetings that, in the end, serve no specific purpose. Not that I mind doing my job, but I surely hate wasting my time.

Tell us about your most rewarding day at the office.

When I am in front of a classroom filled with students wanting to learn. I am truly blessed that I am doing exactly what I want to be doing in life. At the end of the day, I may not be rich in terms of possessions, but I am so rich in terms of feeling like I have contributed to educating our future generations of government employees. I know this may seem cliché, but I so truly love what I do.

Do you have any personal, proven methods for approaching municipal challenges?

The only method that continues to work is understanding that organizations are made up of individuals, and in the end it is through people that we get our job done. Therefore, no matter what position you hold, it is being truly concerned for your colleagues that will continue to make you stronger.

One way in which you would change the world?

Make government more effective. We have been so bogged down in political rhetoric, that we (and our leaders) have forgotten that, at the end of the day, we are public servants. We have a responsibility to serve, we have a responsibility to help those who can’t help themselves, and we have a responsibility to protect those who can’t protect themselves. It is not about being right or wrong; it is about doing what is right.

One fact people might be surprised to learn?

I was the Florida Junior High School chess champion in 1974 – a true geek.


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