Welcome to 731, Public
Financial Management. My name is Whitney Afonso. And I will be guiding you
through budgeting and finance this semester. So a little bit about me. I went to Vanderbilt
University for my undergrad, where I studied politics. And I was always interested
in how government served its citizens and that
role of government. And so, initially, I thought
politics would be my course. But after working for a
nonprofit, a lobbying firm, a TV show, and on
campaigns, I decided academics was more my speed. I got my masters in public
service administration at Texas A&M, my masters
in economics at Georgia, and also my Ph.D. In public
administration and policy at the University of
Georgia, specializing in budgeting and finance. So in this class,
I’m going to take you through budgeting and finance. And the reason that
this is required is because money will
affect all of you. Joe Biden, in the 2012
election, said, my father always told me, don’t tell
me what you value. Show me your budget. And I’ll tell you what
is important to you. Well, I’m not sure his father
actually said that to him. But it’s true. A budget is a list
of our priorities and what we value as a
society and a government. And it’s really an encyclopedia. And that’s how we’re
going to frame it. This class is going to
show you the best of what public administration is. It’s a multi-disciplinary
approach. And so in this class, we’re
going to start with budgeting. And we’re going to go over
the nitty gritty of it. We’re going to talk about
how it’s actually done, the timeframe, the
actors involved. But we’re going to frame it
from a political perspective. And that’s really important. Because budgeting
is about choices. And that, of course,
involves politics. Then we’re going to move on and
talk about the finance side. And we’re going to talk
about revenue sources available to local
governments, state governments, and the
federal government. And we’re going to approach this
from an economics perspective. Along the way, we’re going
to throw in accounting, financial management, and
many other disciplines. Because to understand
how we budget and finance our
government, we really need to take a more
holistic approach than you may be expecting. Whether you decide to go
into budgeting and finance or are already in
that world or not, this class will benefit you
because it’s so important to understand where
our money comes from. I’m really excited to embark
on this journey with you. And I really
encourage you, when I ask these questions in
the lectures, to go ahead and answer them in
the forums and read what your classmates are
saying and interact with them. Because you have a lot
to learn from each other, as well, in this
class, not just me. And so I’m really excited to
see you all engage and bring your perspectives and
how these different ideas have reached you or your
different perspectives on them. So please, please
don’t hesitate to be proactive in talking about it. Disagree with me. Because there aren’t universal
truths in budgeting and finance for the most part. I really look forward
to seeing what you have to say
in this class and to the synchronous sessions. Thank you.