Faculty Profile for Dr. Nandhini Rangarajan

profile photo for Dr. Nandhini Rangarajan
Dr. Nandhini Rangarajan
Professor — Political Science
UAC 351
phone: (512) 245-3285

Biography Section

Biography and Education

Nandhini Rangarajan is a professor of public administration in the department of political Science at Texas State University, San Marcos. She is also the Director of the Master of Public Administration Program at Texas State University, San Marcos. She has served in this capacity since August 2017. Dr. Rangarajan joined Texas State University in the year 2005 after earning a Ph.D. in Public Administration from the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, University at Albany. She received a Bachelor of Arts (B.A) in English Literature and a Master of Arts degree (M.A) in Public Administration from the Meenakshi College for Women affiliated with the University of Madras in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.

Dr. Rangarajan teaches both in the Bachelor of Public Administration (BPA) and the Master of Public Administration Program (MPA) at Texas State University. At the undergraduate level, she has taught courses such as Functions of American Government, Public Personnel Administration, Introduction to Public Administration, and Analytical Techniques. Graduate level courses taught by her include Introduction to Public Administration, Introduction to Statistics, Public Personnel Administration, and the three-course sequence that helps students develop and complete an applied research project. She has supervised more than 85 applied research projects and has served on 50 other applied research and comprehensive exam committees. She has mentored students to present their work at conferences and publish in academic journals. Dr. Rangarajan has been recognized for teaching excellence by the College of Liberal Arts at Texas State University, the Central Texas Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration and by the Alpha Chi National College Honor Society.

Dr. Rangarajan’s primary research interests are public management, human resources, and public affairs education. In addition to these core She has presented her work at national conferences organized by the American Society for Public Administration, Academy of Management, APPAM and NASPAA. Her articles have appeared in prominent journals such as the Review of Public Personnel Administration, Quality and Quantity, Public Policy and Administration, Public Productivity and Management Review, Administrative Theory and Praxis, and the Journal of Public Affairs Education. Her co-authored book, A Playbook for Research Methods: Integrating Conceptual Frameworks and Project Management, provides useful tools for graduate students to manage the research process.

Teaching Interests


Public administration, public management, public personnel administration, research methods, introductory statistics, public policy, innovation, and creativity

Research Interests

Public Management, Public Personnel Administration, Research Methods, Public Affairs Education, Public Sector Creativity and Innovation

Selected Scholarly/Creative Work

  • Manoharan, A., & Rangarajan, N. (2023). Public administrators as storytellers: Nurturing narrative competence to enrich their professional identity. Administrative Theory and Praxis, 45(2), 158–169. Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10841806.2022.2086753
  • Rangarajan, N., Lottman, M., & Earp, J. R. (2022). Enhancing professional and practical experiences for MPA students: Lessons from a manager-in-residence program. Journal of Public Affairs Education, 28(2), 117–137. Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15236803.2021.1959139
  • Ancira, J., Rangarajan, N., & Shields, P. M. (2022). Bridging the Academic-Practitioner Divide:  Findings from a Survey of Public Administration Faculty and Practitioners. Journal of Public Affairs Education, 28(1), 35–55. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1080/15236803.2021.1891396
  • Casula, M., Rangarajan, N., & Shields, P. M. (2021). The Potential of Working Hypotheses for Deductive Exploratory Research. Quality and Quantity, 55(5), 1703–1725. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1007/s11135-020-01072-9
  • Shields, P., & Rangarajan, N. (2013). A Playbook for Research Methods. Still Water, OK: New Forums Press.

Selected Awards

  • Award / Honor Recipient: Liberal Arts Achievement Award for Excellence in Teaching, College of Liberal Arts. 2020
  • Award / Honor Recipient: Educator of the year, Central Texas Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration. 2019
  • Award / Honor Recipient: Excellence in Service Award, College of Liberal Arts. 2019
  • Award / Honor Recipient: Favorite Professor, Alpha Chi Honor Society Chapter at Texas State University. 2020
  • Award / Honor Recipient: Favorite Professor, The Alfred H. Nolle Chapter of the Alpha Chi National College Honor Society. November 8, 2019

Selected Service Activities

Engaging Local Government Leaders Workshop
MPA Lunch and Learn Series
Graduate Advisor
August 2017-Present
Graduate Council
August 2016-Present
Editorial Review Board Member
Public Administration Review