April 05, 2017

Eastern Michigan University MPA program honors state water official Nicolette Bateson as its public administrator of the year

YPSILANTI — Nicolette Bateson, an Eastern Michigan alumnus and a veteran Michigan administrator in the field of water supply management, was awarded the EMU Master of Public Administration Program’s Public Administrator of the Year during a ceremony and reception event on Thursday, March 30.

Bateson was nominated to receive the award by faculty in the Master of Public Administration Program at EMU. The MPA program prepares students for leadership roles and careers in the public sector and nonprofit organizations.

Bateson currently serves as the chief financial officer and treasurer for the Great Lakes Water Authority (GWLA). In that capacity, she helped create a regional system that provides nearly 40 percent of water services for the State of Michigan’s population and wastewater services to nearly 30 percent. 

She was also named the first chief financial officer for the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) in February 2013 and supported intensive regional discussions that led to the formation of the Great Lakes Water Authority in 2014.

Nicolette Bateson, left, with EMU professor emeritus Joe Ohren after receiving the Outstanding Public Administrator Award at the MPA Alumni Reception March 30, at the Ladies' Literary Club in Ypsilanti.

“Nicolette’s capacity goes well beyond the boundaries of her day-to-day operating assignment and perhaps well beyond what most of us would consider humanly possible,” said Sue McCormick, Bateson’s current director and CEO at the Great Lakes Water Authority. “However, I think it is well known by those who have worked with Nickie – it’s not the external forces that drive her, but her internal desire to make each organization she touches exemplary.”

Jeffrey L. Bernstein, Interim Director of EMU’s MPA program, said, “Nickie’s exemplary work with the Great Lakes Water Authority is a testament to her extraordinary ability, admirable work ethic and the training she received from our program. We are in awe of what she has accomplished and proud to call her one of our most distinguished graduates.”

Credentials in public administration

Bateson has a Bachelor of Business Administration in professional accounting from the University of Michigan-Dearborn and a Master of Public Administration in government management from Eastern Michigan University. She is also certified as a public accountant.

Bateson started her professional career in 1988, working as an audit supervisor at Grant Thornton LLP, a member firm of one of the world’s leading organizations of independent audit, tax and advisory firms.

In 1994 Bateson served as the assistant city manager and finance director for the City of Northville, Mich. In that role, she was responsible for strategic planning, financial turnaround, information technology, labor relations, employee benefit design and project management, as well as multi-year budgeting and capital planning.

Prior to her positions at the GLWA and DWSD, Bateson helped aid cities in fiscal stress, serving as a visiting specialist for the Michigan State University Extension Service.

She also sits on the advisory board for the MPA program at EMU and provides guidance to faculty and the department on student retention, changing the curriculum of the program to adapt to workforce demands, and fundraising to support special programmatic needs.

MPA program at EMU

The MPA program at EMU offers students various ways to customize their educational experience. Students can specialize in local government management or nonprofit administration and construct a set of electives that prepares them for whatever niche of public service is attractive to them. The program has established working relationships with many graduate programs on campus to give students the opportunity for interdisciplinary study.

MPA at EMU is also fully accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA), which is considered the global standard in public service education and the recognized global accreditor of master’s degree programs in public policy, public affairs, public administration and public and nonprofit management. 

To learn more about the MPA program, visit the website or call 734-487-3113.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest university in Michigan. It currently serves 22,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Health and Human Services; Technology, and its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

Contact Geoff Larcom, glarcom@emich.edu, 734.487.4401

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