Syllabus for Public Financial Management, 2015

That's a nicer boardroom than we'll have (ShellVacationsHospitality / Flickr)
That’s a nicer boardroom than we’ll have (ShellVacationsHospitality / Flickr)

Despite the snowstorm wrecking havoc around the East Coast, the University of Baltimore is open and operating today. Today is the first day of class at UB and I will be teaching PUAD 702, Public Financial Management, again, this spring. And it’s going to be fun.

This is my second time teaching this class. Last spring, I evaluated the students on two take-home final examinations and a lengthy (20-30 page) paper. My students, I later learned, did not appreciate the simpler approach to grading and evaluation and this term, I am taking a completely different approach. This term, our course will have three categories of evaluative material. Approximately two-thirds of the course credit is based on homework problems from the text book. This is to give the students lots of working examples to touch.

There are also two memos for the course. The first is an evaluation of a city’s financial condition and the second evaluates the presentation of a nonprofit’s annual report. Both should be true memoranda, no more than 2 or 3 pages.

The really interesting change is the group project. The class will run a startup nonprofit during the course of the classroom. This is a more “real world” hands on experience than can typically be offered a financial analysis course. An organization’s startup process focuses on financial matters from strategic planning, to basic accounting, to filing a tax exemption form. With luck, the students will continue with this project long after the semester is over.

The syllabus for this class is available here.