Charles Sampson, Ph. D., emeritus professor of public affairs and black studies is a founding member of the Harry S. Truman School of Public Affairs, University of Missouri, USA. He is also a founding member of the University of Missouri Department of Black Studies. Sampson was awarded the PhD in Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh in 1974 where he focused on urban and regional planning. He joined the MU faculty in the summer of 1988; initially serving as associate dean of the Graduate School and then dean from 1996-2000. During his decanal appointment he sought and obtained greater than $15M in grants and contracts to support the matriculation of STEM graduate and undergraduate programs on campuses across the state of Missouri.
In 2012 the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board selected Professor Sampson as recipient of a Fulbright award to facilitate his appointment as visiting professor, Khan Kaen University, Thailand. Dr. Sampson has also served as visiting professor, School of Government, University of Western Cape in South Africa. His service to the profession includes past membership on the national council of American Society of Public Administration (ASPA); editorial boards of American Review of Public Administration, Public Administration Review, and Journal of Social Policy and Public Management. His public policy and administration research has been published in refereed scholarly journals and book chapters. His research agenda focuses on voting rights policy in the USA and, minority-governed municipalities. His post retirement publications include the text, Vanishing Beacons: Black Mayors and the Challenge of Governance in Urban Regimes and Voting Rights Policy, (2018) and his memoir, Sparrows of Senegambia (2021). Sampson formerly served as chair of the committee on fiscal affairs for the MU Faculty Council and the MU representative to the Consortium of International Management, Policy, and Development (CIMPAD) a group of higher education institutions, and non-governmental organizations devoted to sustainable governance among rising democracies in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The research within Vanishing Beacons focuses on American municipalities, their revenue streams, expenditures decisions, governance processes and organizational structures. This research examines public policy on voting rights and its connection to the ability of the citizenry to elect officials from the traditional underclass. This entails the observation of the impact of federalism and/or intergovernmental fission on future voting rights policies, policy implementation and policy outcomes. The venture led to the creation of a database containing every municipality in the U.S. which elected mayors after the passage of the 1965 voting rights law and subsequent amendments.
By controlling for mayoral race/ethnicity, Dr. Sampson was able to focus on black governed municipalities and make comparisons of expenditure patterns to the group as a whole. Decennial census and census of government data collected since 1960 provide the source for more than 75 variables describe population composition, size, governance attributes, revenue sources and related variables and constructs
My memoir connects my birthplace, life and work experiences to more than a dozen African countries, places in South America, and all of the states in the Southern and Mid-western United States. The memoir is shaped by family history, as seen through my interpretation of the American experiences of six generations. I believe it is fair to say that I have extensively researched my family background based on oral histories, census documents and, of course, my life and work experiences. The narrative covers the descendants of Abe and Carolyn Sampson; their trials, tribulations, and triumphs as an American family. A good portion of my understandings have been derived from participation and observations of family gatherings of 3rd and 4th generation members around the dinner table at 115 Melon Street in Laurel, Mississippi during my childhood. These memories are stored in my “childhood tapes”, a valuable tool that allows me to travel through the summer forest of my mind and board the cockpit in my time machine. From there I assess life situations up close and from afar without regard to the period in which they occurred.