As a public servant, Ralph Wise values the opportunity to positively influence people’s lives.
He previously was a city manager in Russell, Kansas and the director of safety and service for the City of Fostoria. He currently serves as the Village of Hebron’s administrator, where he specializes in gathering information on projects and policies so that elected officials can cast educated votes on behalf of their constituents.
Also a former real estate broker and business owner, Wise maintains that his University of Findlay education has been invaluable. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1999 and an MBA in 2007. He took particular note of the ease with which he was able to transfer to UF, and its convenient graduate school schedule that he could tailor around his work.
Wise is convinced that his learning at UF was integral to his hiring and success as a public administrator.
“Without my (UF degree), it would have been highly unlikely that I would have been offered the safety service director position (in Fostoria),” he said. “The challenging profession of public administration made me quickly realize I needed to go back to UF to get my MBA to further my career.”
“I chose Findlay because at that time it offered the 2+2 program from Owens Community College and the associate degree credits transferred toward my bachelor’s degree,” Wise explained.
He described his schooling as “meaningful and challenging and the University offered a flexible schedule where I could take some graduate courses on the weekend,” he said. “I was also allowed to finish the MBA online since my career had taken me to Kansas City, Kansas.”
“The preparation and presentation skills learned at the University of Findlay still apply every day,” Wise said, particularly those he learned from Ray McCandless, Ph.D., who formerly taught political science and public administration courses at UF. He “stands out as the professor who had the most impact in terms of preparing me for a career in local government. The concepts he taught in public policy I still use to this day,” Wise said.
As the administrator in Hebron, a statutory village with a population of 2,300, Wise manages the day-to-day operations of the public works and public utilities department. He said he loves the work, and what he was able to accomplish in other communities too.
“I like the fact that I can make lasting improvements in the communities that I have served in which they all have become better places to live, work and play,” Wise said. “There are few, if any, professions that offer that parallel.”
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