Professor Tom Sinclair’s research focus and professional interest is in the intersection of democratic governance and public service delivery, especially among smaller local governments led by citizen volunteers. Current research explores how towns and villages develop and maintain the capacities they need to survive in an increasingly centralized and professionalized society. Some examples of research questions include how have towns and villages in Pennsylvania adjusted to the arrival of the natural gas industry and the utilization of hydraulic fracturing as an extraction technology? Under what circumstances do villages in New York dissolve and what characteristics keep others viable as local governments? By understanding issues like these, we gain insights about how modern local governments will evolve and adjust to environments where governmental functions are often shared with other governments, private companies and nonprofit organizations.
Professor Sinclair is an innovative teacher whose MPA courses include core topics such as Foundations of Public Service, Policy Analysis, Project Management and Intergovernmental Relations. His students are frequently engaged in service learning projects with recent efforts include examining the Community Reinvestment Act in Broome County, and the organization of fire protection services in that county. He is also a Fulbright Scholar whose international work has included organizing study abroad programs in Poland and Shenzhen, China.
Since arriving at Binghamton University in 2000, Dr. Sinclair has always been actively engaged in the practice of public service. He was the original chair of the Department of Public Administration at Binghamton University and has served in numerous leadership positions with both the Binghamton University and the SUNY Faculty Senates. His community service includes shared service projects with county and municipal governments.
Professor Sinclair lives in the village of Dryden, N.Y. where he is an active volunteer with the Dryden Beautification Brigade and serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Dryden Town Historical Society.
- PhD, Public Policy, School of Public and Environmental Affairs and Department of Political Science, Indiana University
- MPA, Western Michigan University
BA, Michigan State University