Our first class meeting is Tuesday, January 21, 2014 at 5:30pm in Avon Williams Campus Room 213. This course is a hybrid, which means we will not meet on ground every single week – instead we will have some weeks where we do not meet and instead have online activities (the course as a whole is therefore about 50% on ground, and 50% online). I will let you know the full schedule of on ground meetings at our first class meeting. Please note that sometimes rooms are changed at the last minute as enrollment “settles” – if there is a room change the day of the meeting, the folks in the main office where you come in on the 2nd floor should either have the new room posted or be able to tell you. I will also post signs if that is the case.
BOOK 1 OF 2: MIKESELL – For this Fall 2013 I am requiring the 8th edition of Mikesell’s Fiscal Administration as the core textbook for PADM 6230 and the 2nd edition of the Baker workbook (details below). It is critical that you have your texts within 1 week after the start of the semester so that you do not fall behind, and preferably you will have them at the start. I will not accept not having the textbook as a rationale for any late work or falling behind; textbooks are an essential input to graduate education and make up part of its costs. The editions DO matter. Do not buy a different edition, or all page numbers, some cases and many questions/problems will be incorrect, and much content will be different as well. International editions may also be different. Given the nature of public finance, the textbooks do age out and much material changes between editions. If you want to know more, including a variety of options for accessing the primary text at a lower cost, read on.
Fiscal Administration, 8th Edition
John Mikesell – Indiana University, Bloomington
ISBN-10: 0495795828 ISBN-13: 9780495795827
736 Pages 2011
Bad news: The publisher’s price of the book is expensive, $269 at the publisher’s website as of today 7-25-2013. Good news: you have a variety of ways to obtain the eighth edition, many of which are at lower prices – especially if you plan ahead:
- Buy a hardcopy from the bookstore (Avon Williams Campus (615) 963-7221; hours)
- Buy a hardcopy online (I recommend NOT buying the hardcopy direct from the publisher because I think you can do better than the list price); you can try any supplier such as Bigwords.com (really a price comparison engine); Half.com; Amazon.com; etc. On 1-13-2014 I found copies of this edition for sale in the neighborhood of $80 at resellers and for rental as low as about $30.
- Rent electronic access to the eBook for under half the list price directly from the publisher’s website ; it appears you can do this either all at once or even a chapter at a time (we will not use all the chapters in the book). It is fine with me if you choose to try the electronic option; however please be aware that I cannot resolve technical issues with this service for students, and will not accept such issues as excuses for late work. I use an electronic edition on my iPad and it works acceptably, though not as well as a print version.
- Rent a hardcopy of the book directly from the publisher’s website
- Find out if you can rent the book from our bookstore: Our campus bookstore rents some but not all textbooks, though for details on that you will have to ask them directly (contact the AWC bookstore at (615) 963-7221 because they are the ones who carry the books for our department). I do not know how the price of a rental from the bookstore will compare to the rental price from the publisher, you will have to investigate this for yourself.
Why am I requiring purchase of this edition, and why am I using an expensive book? I used to let people buy various old editions but that has become a major hindrance to both instruction and learning because despite my early advice to check on assignments etc., people wait till the last minute and then realize their old edition is quite different. I can’t keep up with all different versions students may purchase, and I can’t legally give you photocopies of the textbook. So since the eBook version is available now, and even by chapters, as well as rental (offering a variety of ways to access this admittedly expensive text), I require that people gain access to the 8th version to ensure a consistent learning experience. This text is the “industry standard” – there is no other one that even comes close, and therefore I insist upon it. It is not unusual that texts with a lot of tables, formulas, and charts cost more than others, and that is the case with this one as well; any of you with a science background will have encountered this before. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on your perspective, tables, formulas, and charts turn out to be rather important for our subject matter in this course. For any student planning a public sector career particularly in the finance/budgeting/taxation side, I highly recommend investing in your own hardcopy and keeping it as a reference for your professional work.
BOOK 2 OF 2: BAKER WORKBOOK – The other core book is Baker’s workbook (2nd edition), Government Budgeting (scroll down to see the book on the publisher’s page!). It is inexpensive, about $18 plus shipping if you buy online. Your choices for obtaining this book are to get it from the bookstore or to buy direct from the publisher for $22 (scroll down to find it on the publisher’s page).
Governmental Budgeting Workbook – 2nd edition
By David L. Baker
California State University, San Bernardino
Published March 2011