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K-State Today

November 8, 2011

A career of excellence: Public administration professor receives lifetime achievement award

Submitted by Communications and Marketing

Krishna Tummala was one of the first students to receive professional training at the Indian Institute of Public Administration. Founded in 1954 with support from the Ford Foundation, the institute has developed into one of the world's premier institutions for research and training in public administration.

Tummala used his training to embark on a distinguished career in academia, much of it at Kansas State University where he is a professor of public administration. The Indian institute is recognizing his career achievements with its highest honor.

Tummala received the Paul H. Appleby Award for distinguished service to public administration Oct. 21 in New Delhi. The award is given based on contributions to the institute and the field of public administration. As the award recognizes lifetime achievement, it is not given to anyone younger then 65 years old.

Appleby was the longtime dean of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. He served as a consultant to the Indian government following the country's independence from Great Britain. After returning from India, Appleby worked with the Ford Foundation to establish the Indian Institute of Public Administration.

The award is typically conferred by India's vice president, who serves as the president of the institute. However, the vice president was delayed in Turkey. Tummala instead received the award from a member of the Indian senate.

Being recognized by the Indian Institute of Public Administration was particularly important to Tummala.

"They actually started my career in public administration," he said. "They introduced me to the subject matter and helped me take my first few steps in my long journey."

Tummala's work includes publishing numerous articles and books in areas of public personnel management in both India and the United States, on public budgeting, and on comparative administrative systems. He has been active in a number of public administration professional organizations and has received several awards. He served the national American Society for Public Administration in several leadership positions, which earned him the Don C. Stone Service Award in 2005. He was recognized as an Eminent National Development Scholar -- Rashtriya Vikas Shiromani -- in 2005, and as a Leading Asia Specialist in 2006. Having served as president of the national honor society for public administrators, Pi Alpha Alpha, he received the Outstanding Leadership and Service award in 2007. In 2008 he was given the Fred Riggs Award for lifetime scholarly achievement in comparative and international administration.

But receiving the Appleby award was a special experience.

"It feels good," Tummala said. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I am pleased and honored that my name is associated with the two biggest names in my area: Appleby and Riggs."

Tummala joined K-State in 1988. He has two master's degrees from India, where he taught at the college level before coming to the United States in 1968. He obtained two degrees in the United States: a master's in public administration from the State University of New York at Albany and a doctorate from the University of Missouri, Columbia.