There are many fine textbooks on public financial management. Each does certain things well, but in our view none covers all the concepts, techniques, and analytical tools that today’s graduate students of public policy and administration need to put their passion into action. This book is our best attempt to weave that material together in a fresh, robust, concise, and immersive way. We also believe the time is right to bring to the market a free, open source treatment of this critically important subject.
At the University of Washington we use this text for a one quarter (10 week) introductory course titled “Public Financial Management and Budgeting.” We believe it’s suitable for a similarly-structured semester-long course. Sections of the text might also be suitable for other courses often found in Master of Public Administration, Master of Public Policy, and other programs. Chapters 2 and 3 would be appropriate for courses on governmental accounting, debt management, credit analysis, or non-profit financial management. Chapters 4 and 5 work well for an applied course on public or non-profit budgeting.
The first time we taught “Public Financial Management and Budgeting” together we quickly realized that we approached the course in similar ways. That shared thinking is in part the result of our shared experiences with some exceptional teachers and scholars. They include, in no particular order: the late, great Bill Duncombe, (formerly of Syracuse University); Bart Hildreth, Ross Rubinstein, and Katherine Willoughby (Georgia State); Jerry Miller (Arizona State); and Dwight Denison (Kentucky).
We’d also like to acknowledge the people who helped make this book a reality. It’s been a true pleasure to work with the staff at the Rebus Community Project, namely Liz Mays, Zoe Hyde, and Hugh McGuire. They’re building a wonderful model for open textbooks, and we’re proud to be one of their early products. Chelle Batchelor from the UW Libraries connected us with Rebus and has been a steady supporter and advocate all along. In the autumn 2016 quarter we test drove an early version of this text with our Evans School MPA students. A big thanks to them for their patience and helpful feedback throughout that experience. We’re also most grateful to the long list of scholars and practitioners who prepared anonymous reviews of the book for Rebus. We did our best to address all of your invaluable comments.
Finally, we’d also like to publicly thank our boss, Sandra Archibald. Fifteen years ago Sandy took over as Dean of the Evans School. On Day One she committed to making the School a leader in public financial management. This text is a testament to that commitment, and a reflection of our progress so far.
Sharon Kioko and Justin Marlowe
Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance
University of Washington