Robert L. (Bob) Bland is the Endowed Professor of Local Government in the Department of Public Administration and Faculty Director of the Center for Public Management in the College of Health and Public Service. He teaches courses in public economics, governmental accounting, and budgeting. He has been on the faculty at UNT since 1982 and served for 22 years as the department’s first chair. In 2019-20, he served as interim chair of the Department of Criminal Justice. He is the author of several books, all published by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) including, with Michael Overton, A Budgeting Guide for Local Government (4th edition). He studies and writes about the municipal bond market, property taxation, tax increment financing, local government investment pools, municipal budgeting, and city management. He is the recipient of the first Terrell Blodgett Academician Award given by the Texas City Management Association and the Stephen B. Sweeney Academic Award from ICMA. Since 2012, he has been an elected fellow in the Congressionally chartered National Academy of Public Administration. In 2017, he was elected an Honorary Member of ICMA. On four occasions he has been the recipient of the Outstanding Professor of the Year Award given by the MPA Student Association. He was elected vice chair of the Association for Budgeting and Financial Management and in 2022 served as the association’s chair. In 2023, he received the UNT Foundation’s Eminent Faculty Award, one of the university’s highest faculty honors. The annual award recognizes a faculty member who has made outstanding and sustained contributions to scholarly-creative activity, teaching, and service and has served as an inspiration to the University of North Texas community.
Primary Research Interests:
- Local tax policy -- Tax increment financing; property tax policy; economics of local investment;
- Intergovernmental revenue -- flypaper and fungibilty effects if grants (and gifts);
- Municipal bond market -- US and China.
- City management -- performance measurement; financial management