What Alumni Say About IPA

photo of Andrew HainesAndrew Haines

Take a look at what Andrew Haines said in an interview about his career and his experiences at IPA looking back, now that he’s been in the workforce for more than five years.

current position: Township Manager, Hatfield Township, Pa.
UD degree: MPA, University of Delaware 2003, State and Local Government


Q.What is your current position?

A.I am the Township Manager of Hatfield Township in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.

Q.What experiences have you had that helped qualify you for this position?

A.Past experience working for public employers and elected officials greatly aided my qualifications to be a township manager.  With a developing township, having a background with planning, land use, and business development was also a positive factor.  Furthermore, consistent with all municipal managers, having experience managing personnel and budgets are a necessity.

Q.What challenges are unique to you as Township Manager?

A.Every community has unique socio-economic conditions among its residential and business community.  Infrastructure conditions and geographical proximity greatly impact each municipality.  In today’s economic climate, maintaining quality services to the community without raising taxes or fees, while maintaining efficiencies, presents a challenge for all governments.

Q.What excites you about your job?

A.Hatfield Township is still a growing community, and balancing the growth of the township while implementing new initiatives from the Board to preserve the community is a welcomed challenge.  Additionally, attempting to find new methods to motivate the staff to achieve its goals and fostering an environment to experience with new methodologies is exciting as well.

Q.How did your experiences at UD and through IPA help prepare you for what you’re doing now?

A.A key element to my job as manager is working for the five elected Board of Commissioners and tackling each of their respective ideas and initiatives.  My tenure at the University of Delaware afforded the opportunity to be a Legislative Fellow, which delivered an outstanding, hands-on experience working side-by-side with elected officials and assisting with policy development and constituent issues.

Through IPA I was hired as an intern for the City of Newark’s Planning Department and continued to cultivate my exposure to the municipal process on the local level.  Whether at the state or local level, this experience demonstrated that ultimately elected officials want to provide quality services to their constituents at a reasonable cost.

Q.Looking back, what is the most important thing you learned at IPA that has helped you the most?

A.IPA can provide exposure to nearly any professional industry in the state for its students, and delivers a hands-on experience that cultivates an unmatched opportunity for knowledge.  In the classroom, IPA developed realistic course loads for public finance, economics and organizational theory.  Each of these classes has carried forward for me invaluable knowledge that I use on a daily basis to perform my duties as manager.