About W. Bartley Hildreth
W. Bartley Hildreth is professor emeritus of public management and policy in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University in Atlanta. Dr. Hildreth served as Dean during the 2009-10 academic year. At GSU (2009-2021), he was an affiliated faculty member of the AYSPS Center for State and Local Finance and the GSU Philosophy, Political Science and Economics Program, and the creator and faculty advisor for the Municipal Securities Laboratory.
Dr. Hildreth is professor emeritus at Wichita State University where he was the Regents Distinguished Professor of Public Finance (1994-2009), with joint tenured appointments in the faculty of the Hugo Wall School of Urban and Public Affairs in the Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the finance faculty of the W. Frank Barton School of Business. Additionally, Bart was Director of the Kansas Public Finance Center, a successful technical assistance, contract research and training enterprise at the university. Dr. Hildreth served as Interim Dean of the W. Frank Barton School of Business for the 2007-08 academic year.
His earlier tenured faculty positions were in the business schools at Louisiana State University (1985-1994) and Kent State University (1979-1985). He was Director of Finance for Akron, Ohio in 1984-1985, while on a leave of absence from his duties as associate professor of finance and public administration at Kent State University.
Dr. Hildreth specializes in municipal securities. From 1989 through 2023, he served as the editor-in-chief of the Municipal Finance Journal (a quarterly specializing in the financing of state and local governments and municipal securities). From October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2015, Dr. Hildreth served as a "public member" on the Board of Directors of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board which was created by Congress to promote a fair and efficient municipal securities market as a self-regulatory board under the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In May 2017, Dr. Hildreth received the "Industry Contribution Award" from the National Federation of Municipal Analysts for contributions that advance the municipal bond industry. Professor Hildreth's research on municipal securities has been published in many journal articles and several book chapters. He authored the State & Local Government Debt Issuance and Management Service (an update service by Sheshunoff Information Service). He was the principal author of the State of Kansas 2005 Debt Affordability Report, the first comprehensive study of the state's debt, and the companion study on local government debt affordability. Dr. Hildreth was the only academician on the small task force of industry leaders charged with rewriting the last two versions of the industry standard GFOA Disclosure Guidelines for Offerings of Securities by State and Local Governments. While in Ohio, his experience in financial workouts included the financial restructuring of an enterprise operation in 'technical' default and advisor/author on municipal financial emergencies to the U.S. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations. In 1997, the Governor of Kansas appointed, and the state Senate confirmed, Dr. Hildreth to the board of directors of the Kansas Development Finance Authority, the largest municipal bond issuer in the state. He was reappointed in 2000 to serve until 2003. He also served on the Wichita Public Building Commission. Moreover, his work on infrastructure financing has gained research and lecture tour support in Canada from the Canadian Embassy and the Government of Quebec, and for presentations in China from the National Committee on United States-China Relations and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. In fall 2005, Dr. Hildreth was a Fulbright scholar on infrastructure financing as the Fulbright-McGill Visiting Research Chair of Public Policy at McGill University in Montreal, and he continues to conduct research on Canadian provincial and municipal debt. He was a consultant on subnational bond financing to the Nomura Institute of Capital Markets Research, Tokyo. Recent task force or consulting roles on municipal securities include work with The Volcker Alliance, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, and the University of Chicago's Center for Municipal Finance.
Dr. Hildreth has been admitted as an expert witness on municipal finance, municipal securities and the municipal bond markets (including auction-rate securities and bankruptcy risk) by the U.S. Federal court system under the Daubert standard and by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (and, earlier, the National Association of Securities Dealers). Additionally, he has been admitted as an expert witness on matters involving municipal securities, capital markets, public budgeting, cost of governmental services, and public pension affordability in trial courts in several states. A particular specialty is his ability to analyze a government's ability to pay and/or willingness to pay an obligation.
He has authored many articles and book chapters, and he has co-edited over 15 books. His work has been published in the National Tax Journal, Public Budgeting & Finance, Proceedings of the National Tax Association, Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting and Financial Management, State Tax Notes, Government Finance Review, Public Administration Review, American Review of Public Administration, Public Productivity and Management Review, Public Administration Quarterly, International Journal of Public Administration, Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, Canadian Foreign Policy, Policy Options/Politiques, and Public Integrity, among others. His co-authored and co-edited books include: Research Handbook on Public Financial Management, Handbook of Public Administration, Fourth Edition (2021), Management Policies in Local Government Finance (the 6th edition of the influential "green book" published by the International City/County Management Association in 2013), Budgeting: Politics and Power (Oxford University Press, 2011; second edition, 2013); Handbook on Taxation; Financial Management Theory in the Public Sector; Budget Theory in the Public Sector; Performance-Based Budgeting; Case Studies in Public Budgeting and Financial Management; State and Local Government Budgeting Practices Handbook; State and Local Government Public/Private Partnerships; State and Local Government Budgeting Practices Handbook; Handbook of Strategic Management; Handbook of Public Administration (first, second, and third editions); Budget Management; Public Budgeting Laboratory; and Budgeting. He served as the book review editor of the International Journal of Public Administration and currently serves on the editorial board of several academic journals including Public Budgeting & Finance.
Professor Hildreth served as the part-time (one day per week) Executive Director of the National Tax Association-Tax Institute of America under a GSU-NTA agreement (2015-2016) during the transition to hiring a full-time employee. NTA, founded in 1907, is the leading association of tax professionals dedicated to advancing the theory and practice of public finance. Bart has been a member of NTA since 1980.
A specialist in tax policy, Professor Hildreth has advised chief executives of different political backgrounds. In the State of Kansas, Dr. Hildreth's work for Republican Governor Bill Graves included service as the appointed chair of the Governor's Tax Review Committee in 1998 and earlier, in 1995, service as the only academic member appointed to the Governor's Tax Equity Task Force for which he also directed the comprehensive tax reform study. The next Governor, Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat, appointed Dr. Hildreth to the sales tax simplification task force and the state transportation investment task force. Additionally, he has contributed to tax reform studies in Louisiana and Alabama. He is the lead editor of the Handbook on Taxation, published in 1999 by Marcel Dekker, Inc., that includes original contributions by premier scholars of taxation. He served on the planning committee for the annual Wichita Program on Appraisal for Ad Valorem Taxation of Communications, Energy, and Transportation Properties, and has presented research on the tax impacts of electric restructuring to state and local public officials, the National Tax Association annual conference, and at national workshops sponsored by Public Utilities Reports and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. He has served as a member of the board of directors of the National Tax Association. His work on fundamental federal tax reform included a debate on a live, state-wide, 60-minute television broadcast with Stephen Moore of the Heritage Foundation (then of the Cato Institute and later on the Wall Street Journal editorial board) and Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform. Bart's research on fiscal federalism was supported by the Italian Institute of Economics and Finance.
Professor Hildreth's research and service in the field of public budgeting and financial management is extensive. In October 2023, he received the Paul Posner Pracademic Award for lifetime academic and practitioner achievement in the field of public budgeting and finance by the Association for Budgeting and Financial Management. He was a member of the National Advisory Council on State and Local Budgeting, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board appointed Financial Reporting Model Task Force (Statement No 34), and the Governmental Accounting Standards Advisory Council (GASAC) which is the official advisory body to the Governmental Accounting Standards Board. In 1994-5, he served as the elected chair of the Association for Budgeting and Financial Management, a section of the American Society for Public Administration. In addition, he has served as an academic advisor to both the debt and budget committees of the Government Finance Officers Association as well as the only academic member of the first Council on Certification for the GFOA Certified Public Finance Officer Program. Bart has devoted considerable attention to advancing the professional role of chief financial officers in government, as found in the new focus of the co-edited Management Policies in Local Government Finance, 6th Edition (the 2013 version of the International City/County Management Association's "green book") as well as in several journal articles, expert witness work, and media interviews.
In 2008, Dr. Hildreth received the Aaron B. Wildavsky Award for lifetime scholarly achievement in the field of public budgeting and financial management from the Association for Budgeting and Financial Management of the American Society for Public Administration. He is a 2012 elected Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and served on its expert advisory panel advising the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board on PCAOB's strategic plan.
Bart received the 1995 Donato J. Pugliese Award from the Southeastern Conference for Public Administration for outstanding contributions to the profession of public service. He received the Loman Insurance Foundation Fellowship in 1981 for his research in public risk management. William B. Hildreth received the WSU Excellence in Research Award in 2003. He was selected for Who's Who in America (2010) and earlier in Who’s Who in Finance and Industry, Who's Who of Emerging Leaders in America, and other listings. When serving as the chief financial officer for the City of Akron, he issued that City's first Comprehensive Annual Financial Report that received GFOA's Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting and the City's first Annual Budget that received GFOA's Distinguished Budget Presentation Award.
Bart is an experienced financial and management consultant whose clients have included business and employee groups, state and local governments, federal agencies, nonprofit organizations, and professional associations. Bart has served as an advisor or expert witness on municipal securities and debt financing for issuers, broker/dealers, business groups, attorneys, and media outlets.
During his 40+ years as a professor, Dr. Hildreth taught undergraduate, masters, and Ph.D. courses in public budgeting and public financial management. He is a frequent speaker at national and regional professional conferences and workshops. In Kansas, he created and directed the annual Midwest Regional Public Finance Conference and conceived the first "MiniMPA" executive training program and helped restructure an existing program around this innovative and successful branding design. Recently, he designed and conducted budget and finance training sessions for the faculty and students working with The Volcker Alliance and the national Fellows and Residents of the Centers for Disease Control's Public Health Prevention Service. He recently designed and wrote a recorded turn-key workshop set of videos on budgeting and finance for public health laboratory officials in Africa.
Indicative of spending 30 years as a business school professor (including Interim Dean), Dr. Hildreth has served in many capacities to help state and local governments build a policy environment supportive of entrepreneurs and business development. For five years he served on a city’s small business micro-loan committee designed to assist low-and moderate-income small business owners to establish or expand businesses. He assisted Governors (of both parties), State Revenue Secretaries, State Treasurers, and State Transportation Departments, as well as city leaders, in the design and implementation of responsible fiscal policies, and helped Chambers of Commerce influence good government. This background led Dr. Hildreth, while serving as Dean, to frame the spirit of the Andrew Young School as building the policy infrastructure locally and around the globe.
Dr. Hildreth specializes in infrastructure planning and financing. Early in his career he worked for a regional planning commission where he prepared multi-year comprehensive capital improvement plans for many small cities in Alabama and, later, he was appointed by the Mayor/President of the City of Baton Rouge/Parish of East Baton Rouge (Louisiana) as the overall coordinator of the start-up of a new comprehensive master land use and development plan. He also served as the chief financial officer of Akron, Ohio where he was instrumental in successfully resolving the complicated workout financing of a waste-to-energy facility in 'technical default' that threatened the financial condition of the city (at 7:11 in the video). In Kansas, successive governors appointed Dr. Hildreth to groups charged with designing and financing comprehensive transportation infrastructure programs. Additionally, he served two terms on the board of directors of the Kansas Development Finance Authority, a statewide, multipurpose bond issuer. Dr. Hildreth has extensive research, publications, teaching, and advising on municipal securities and state and local financing.
Throughout his career, Dr. Hildreth promoted educational excellence, built productive teams, managed large budgets in concert with many stakeholders, met strategic targets, and worked effectively with academic, business, political, and civic leaders in a variety of settings. In his leadership positions, Dr. Hildreth was successful in cultivating support from main street entrepreneurs and world-class corporate leaders as well as elected officials.
William Bartley Hildreth holds the doctor of philosophy in public administration (Ph.D.) degree from the University of Georgia in 1979, the masters in public administration (MPA) from Auburn University at Montgomery in 1974, and the bachelors of arts degree in political science (B.A.) from the University of Alabama in 1971.
Bart served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force and his father was a World War II B-17 pilot, crew leader and P.O.W.