Deadline for nominations for ABFM Executive Committee & Officer positions is June 27th. Deadline for ABFM Award nominations is July 1st.
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In Memoriam
Dr. William Dumcombe

With great sadness we report that Bill Duncombe, long-time ABFM member and current editor of Public Budgeting & Finance, died on May 11th. Bill passed away after a brief and courageous battle with lung cancer.
Bill was the 2009 recipient of the Aaron Wildavsky Award from ABFM, and was an internationally renowned scholar, particularly known for his work on education finance. Bill had taught at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs since 1992, and influenced a generation of graduate students.  He leaves behind many doctoral students who benefited from his generosity and wise counsel. Many of these students are in the next generation of active ABFM members, and are themselves among the top young scholars in the field. Others of us in the profession benefited from his feedback, either formally or in hallway talk at ABFM conferences.
Bill will be sorely missed by all who knew him and felt his influence.
A memorial service was Friday, June 7, at 2:30 in Hendricks Chapel. The service will be followed by a reception in the Maxwell Public Events Room, 220 Eggers Hall.
Bill’s family invites his friends, colleagues, and students to honor his life by supporting future MPA students through a donation to the William Duncombe Memorial Graduate Scholarship, Maxwell School of Syracuse University, 200 Eggers Hall, Syracuse NY 13244. Donations can also be made on-line (click here). (Please select "Other" on the drop-down menu of purposes, and input "William Duncombe Memorial Graduate Scholarship" in the Comments box.)

For more on Bill and his life, please take a look at the obituaries and tributes offered by the following:

Maxwell School Statement

Obituary in Syracuse Post Standard

Appreciating ABFM's Contributions to ASPA
Guest Column

By Steve Condrey, Ph.D., ASPA President

Ken Hunter has graciously asked me to write a brief column concerning the importance of sections such as ABFM to the health, viability and future success of ASPA.  I am happy to do this since I believe that ASPA’s sections are the key to its future.

ASPA’s sections are where like-minded scholars and practitioners come together to share ideas of common interest and to gain important collaborative partners.  Before becoming an ASPA officer, my primary ASPA experience was with the Section on Personnel Administration and Labor Relations (SPALR).  I served as SPALR Chair for two years.  During that time, the section made a decision to hold an annual symposium in conjunction with the ASPA Annual Conference.  2014 will mark the 12th year we will hold the symposium.  It is held the Friday afternoon of the conference and normally attracts around 100 participants.  The symposium features a mix of high-profile practitioners and academics.  I believe it has been a key to keeping SPALR members actively involved in ASPA.

As we approach our 75th Anniversary Conference in Washington, DC, I hope ABFM will take this opportunity to strengthen its already strong ties with ASPA.  The conference will be held March 14 – 18 at the historic Mayflower Hotel.  The conference theme is “Celebrating the Successes and Promoting the Future of Public Service.”  ABFM members should note that one of the major conference tracks is “The State of Budgeting and Financial Management 2014.”  Submissions can be made through the following link Submissions will be accepted until August 16.

Please note that individual papers as well as fully-developed panels may be submitted for consideration.
I hope many ABFM members will choose to join us in DC.  I promise that we will have high-profile speakers.  Additionally, Conference Co-Chairs Kendra Stewart and John Kamensky are teaming with PAR Editor-in-Chief Jim Perry to make sure that we have substantive panels that are of high quality.

I hope to see you in DC!

Call for Executive Committee Nominations
Deadline is June 27th

ABFM is now seeking candidates to stand for election for Vice Chair (2014) and for three openings on its Executive Committee(2014-2016).

The Vice Chair serves as the Conference Chair for 2015, (Chair-Elect in 2015), and Chair of ABFM in 2016.  The three Executive Committee members will serve for a period of three years.

The election will be conducted on-line.  The candidate receiving the highest vote for Vice-Chair will claim that position.  The three candidates who receive the highest number of votes for the Executive Committee will claim those positions.

Interested individuals are encouraged to examine the ABFM By-Laws (click here to view) to review the responsibilities of each position.

Individuals interested in standing as candidates for Vice Chair or the Executive Committee, or being appointed as Vice Treasurer, should submit a short biographical statement to James Savage (email by June 27, 2013.  Please clearly indicate the office you are seeking.

Elections are expected to be completed by mid-July with terms beginning on January 1, 2014.

ABFM Award Nominations Due July 1st

Please submit yours ASAP!

Nominations for ABFM's three annual awards are now being accepted. The deadline for nominations is Monday, July 1st. Please review the information below for information on each award and submission instructions.

Click here for more Information on ABFM awards, including lists of past winners.

Aaron Wildavsky Award

This award is presented to honor the lifetime scholarly accomplishments of Aaron B. Wildavsky.  The award is presented annually to a distinguished scholar in the field of public budgeting and financial management for lifetime achievement.  The award recipient should be an outstanding scholar as judged by his or her record of publication and service to the field over a sustained period of time.  Nominations should include a 1-2 page letter outlining the significant accomplishments of the nominee, the nominee’s vitae, and no more than two additional letters of recommendation.  A committee will determine the award winner. 
Nominations should be sent by July 1 to Donijo Robbins at

S.Kenneth Howard Award

This award is presented to honor the lifetime accomplishments of S. Kenneth Howard.   The award is presented annually to a distinguished practitioner in the field of public budgeting and financial management for lifetime achievement.  The award recipient should be an outstanding practitioner as judged by his or her record of service over a sustained period of time.  Nominations should include a 1-2 page letter outlining the significant accomplishments of the nominee, the nominee’s vitae, and no more than two additional letters of recommendation.  A committee will determine the award winner. 
Nominations should be sent by July 1 to Donijo Robbins at

Michael Curro Student Paper Award

Nominations are now being accepted for the Michael Curro Student Paper Award. Graduate students who have written outstanding papers in the field as part of a course, independent study, or other faculty supervised projects are eligible.  The paper must be nominated by a faculty supervisor and must have been written between June 2012 and June 2013.

The paper may not have been previously presented at a professional conference.  Papers written by more than one student are not eligible. The papers can represent a variety of formats and topics within the broader interests of ABFM.  In the past, papers have included traditional research efforts, critical literature comparisons, or analyses of financial documents.  The topics have ranged across the discipline to include papers on federal budgeting, local government financing, state revenue sources, capital planning, trends in debt issuance, financial and accounting practices, and financing of specific policy functions. 
Papers will be judged by both academic and practitioner members of ABFM and will be evaluated according to general criteria: contribution to the field, the appropriateness of the methodology, the quality of the research analysis, clarity of writing, logic of presentation, and originality and creativity. Faculty members responsible for nominating students should send a letter of nomination that includes the student’s name, the degree the student is pursuing, the school name, when the paper was written, and the thesis or purpose of the paper.  If the paper was written for a class, please include the name of the course and when the course was offered.  If the paper was part of the student’s extracurricular duties, please describe these duties.  A financial award and commemorative plaque will be presented to the winner. Authors of other top papers not selected will be encouraged to present their papers in appropriate ABFM panels.  Conference registration will also be waived for the winner. 
Nomination letters and copies of student papers should be sent as e-mail (.doc file) attachments by July 1  to Donijo Robbins

State Surpluses: An Explanation
Surpluses don’t mean the states’ fiscal challenges are over

By Scott Pattison,
NASBO Executive Director & ABFM Chair

Originally appeared here at NASBO Website

As many states end their current fiscal year (June 30th for most) with expected surpluses, state officials face important decisions about how best to spend the additional money.  Budget surpluses can arise for a number of reasons. For example, in fiscal 2013, a number of states benefited from one-time revenue gains due to the federal fiscal cliff. In addition, some forecasts were justifiably cautious due to the uncertainty in the national economy and revenue came in higher, creating an unexpected surplus.Using the entire surplus to increase funding for ongoing programs could conceivably create future budgetary problems. 

States should attempt to identify to the extent possible those revenues that are higher than what would be expected given the current state of the economy – in other words, identify the one-time only revenues.  In fiscal 2013, revenue gains for many states were likely from taxpayers selling certain investments in calendar year 2012 due to the uncertainty of the federal “fiscal cliff.” Also, state revenue forecasts may have been cautious – which can be desirable in some cases – but leads to a “surplus” because the forecast was low. Regardless of the causes of a budget surplus, there are generally enormous – and understandable – political pressures to restore previous cuts and deal with very serious issues that states face. But by taking money from one-time revenue gains to increase spending for ongoing programs, states may create a need for future budget cuts in the next few years. Avoiding further cuts in the next few years is important given the extensive challenges of the recent past and the ongoing federal sequester that is reducing funds for a number of state programs.

Some of the fiscal 2013 surpluses will inevitably go towards ongoing programs. However, states can reduce the risks of future budget cuts by putting at least some portion of one-time only money into one-time only expenditures. This could involve putting some surplus into rainy day funds or into capital infrastructure projects such as roads, parks, bridges and buildings.  States can also put one-time only money into pension funds or a one-time tax cut. 

A prudent, balanced approach to spending a surplus is good financial management. Many states are expected to take such an approach by not putting all of their extra surplus funds into just one basket – that is, the ongoing operating budget.  Memories are still fresh from the Great Recession, but it’s still important to be reminded of the challenges arising from the need to make severe budget cuts when the next tough fiscal times come.  It can be disruptive for programs, service recipients, state employees and public officials.  There will continue to be a lot of necessary, desired or expected tax and expenditure adjustments at the federal level in the near future – so it's important to continue good fiscal stewardship at the state and local government levels by following the dictum: as much as possible, one-time only money for one-time only spending.

AABPA Hosts Summer Symposium July 10th
Register by July 1st for Discounts

The American Association for Budget and Program Analysis (AABPA) will host their annual summer symposium on Wednesday, July 10th, at he Marvin Center at George Washington University, 800 21st Street, NW, in Washington, DC.

The theme for this year's symposium is "Cross Currents: Strategies for Survival." Sessions throughout the day will focus on strategies, methods and technologies analysts can use to administer budgets and operations in an environment of increased accountability and fiscal challenge at the Federal level.

AABPA members can register prior to July 1st for just $95 ($140 for non-members). Students can click here to learn how they can attend for little to no cost.

Click here to register for AABPA's Summer 2013 Symposium

Click here for 2013 Summer Symposium Information 
Articles & Announcements of Interest
Now Available at

Call for Proposals - Cleveland Fed 2013 Conference on Public Pension Funds

The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland invites the submission of research and policy-oriented papers for the 2013 Conference on Public Pension Funds to be held on November 21-22, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio. The objective of this one and a half day conference is to highlight research and encourage a dialogue on the economic and financial market impacts of the fiscal burden on state and local governments resulting from under-funded public pension plans.
Click Here for More

New Textbook: The Public Budgeting and Finance Primer

IBM Center to fund Studies in Public Finance


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Contributions for Teaching Database Accepted

Our Teaching Database is once again available online, and we are now accepting submissions for new material we will add to the database over the summer.  This project serves as a collection of teaching materials from graduate level courses related to Public Budgeting and Financial Management.

Items that will be considered include: course syllabi, reading and textbook lists, assignments, student project ideas, lectures, handouts and reading assignments.

Submissions should be made electronically to Kenneth Hunter, kenneth.hunter@ The subject of the email should include "ABFM Teaching Database Submission," and the message should include a brief description of the submitted items (attached files).

Open source data sets will also be considered.

Click Here for the Teaching Database
ABFM is a research section of the American Society for Public Administration

About ABFM
We aim to promote the professional development of budgeting and financial management in the public and non-profit sectors. Embracing both theorectical and operational concerns, ABFM addresses issues in budgeting processes and practice in financial management.

Click here for membership information.
ABFM Board of Directors

2013 Chair
Scott Pattison

2014 Chair

Charles Menifield
University of Missouri-Columbia

Vice Chair
2015 Chair

Robert Kravchuk

Indiana University

Immediate Past Chair
2012 Chair

James D. Savage
University of Virginia

Secretary & Archivist
Donijo Robbins

Grand Valley State University

Deborah Carroll
University of Georgia

Newsletter Editor

Kenneth Hunter
City of Rocky Mount, NC

Executive Committee
2011-2013 Term
Carolyn Bourdeaux, Georgia State University

Meagan Jordan, Old Dominion University
Eric Scorsone, Michigan State University

2012-2014 Term
Thad Calbrese, New York University

Helisse Levine, Long Island University
Dan Smith, New York University

2013-2015 Term
Ben Clark, Cleveland State University

John Gilmour, William & Mary
Kenneth Hunter, City of Rocky Mount, NC
Career Opportunities
Click Here for Job Postings

Recent Postings include:

Professor of Management, New York University, Wagner Graduate School of Public Service (Packets Due 10/31/13)

Assistant Professor (Tenure Track), Department of Public Administration, University of Texas-San Antonio

Assistant Professor, Financial Management, Naval Postgraduate School

Director, Virginia Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (Closes 7/22/13)Chief Financial Officer - Buncombe County (NC) Schools (Open Until Filled)

Budget Director - Town of Cary, NC (Closes 7/15/13)

Finance Officer 3/Budget Analyst - Metropolitan Government Nashville Davidson County, TN (Closes 6/30/13)

Members with announcements can have them posted for free. Email them to

ABFM's website is made possible by a grant from Public Financial Publications, Inc., a nonprofit corporation & publisher of Public Budgeting & Finance
Copyright © 2013 ABFM Secretariat, All rights reserved.
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