Faculty ProfileThurmaier

Kurt Thurmaier

Professor and Director, Department of Public Administration

Public Budgeting and Finance, Intergovernmental Relations, Comparative Public Administration and Research Methods.

Curriculum Vitae

Professor Thurmaier received his B.A. and M.P.P.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his Ph.D. from the Maxwell School, Syracuse University. He held assistant and associate professor positions at the University of Kansas before becoming MPA director at Iowa State University, 2002-2005. His research and teaching interests include budgetary decisionmaking at the local and state levels in the U.S. and other countries, comparative public administration (especially fiscal decentralization),and intergovernmental relations (especially interlocal collaboration). His most recent work has focused on city-county consolidations and interlocal agreements among cities and counties, as well as financing state and local e-government. He and has served as a consultant and researcher with ICMA, HIID, and several local governments. He is a lifetime member of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA), and has served as chair of the Association for Budgeting and Financial Management (ABFM). He presently serves on the editorial board of Public Administration Review.

Selected publications:


Suzanne Leland and Kurt Thurmaier, eds, Case Studies in City-County Consolidation: Promises Made, Promises Kept? Georgetown University Press, 2010.

Suzanne Leland and Kurt Thurmaier, eds, Reshaping the Local Government Landscape: Case Studies of Local Government Consolidation, M.E. Sharpe, 2004.

Kurt Thurmaier and Katherine Willoughby, Policy and Politics in State Budgeting, M.E. Sharpe, 2001.

Articles, (Refereed)

David Mitchell and Kurt Thurmaier, “Currents and Undercurrents in Budgeting Theory: Exploring the swirls, heading upstream,” invited article for Foundations of Public Administration Series, Public Administration Review, forthcoming 2011

Michael Peddle and Kurt Thurmaier, “Reformulating and Refocusing a Fiscal Administration Curriculum,” forthcoming in the Journal of Public Administration Education (JPAE), forthcoming 2011.

Shannon Sohl, Curt Wood, Michael Peddle, Gregory Kuhn, and Kurt Thurmaier, “Measuring Financial Position of Municipalities: Numbers Don’t Speak for Themselves,” Public Budgeting & Finance 29(3) 2009: 74-96.

Yu-Che Chen and Kurt Thurmaier, “Interlocal Agreements as Collaborations: An Empirical Investigation of Impetuses, Norms, and Success,” American Review of Public Administration 39(5) 2009: 536-552.

Yu-Che Chen and Kurt Thurmaier, “Financing eGovernment Business Transactions: An Enterprise Pricing Framework for G2B Services,” Public Administration Review 68(3) 2008: 537-548.

Kurt Thurmaier, “High Intensity Interlocal Collaboration in Three Cities,” Public Administration Review 66(Supplement 1) 2006: 144-146.

Suzanne Leland and Kurt Thurmaier, “Frame the Consolidation Debate with a Sound Argument: A Reply to a Response,” Public Administration Review 66(2), March 2006: 279-280.

Kurt Thurmaier, Alfred Ho, and Lilly Lu “Testing the Reluctant Professor’s Hypothesis: Evaluating a Blended-Learning Approach to Distance Education,” Journal of Public Administration Education 12(2006): 81-102.

Teaching Case: When Silence is Not Golden, developed for an Introduction to Public Administration course, published on the Electronic Hallway, 2006, www.hallway.org.

Suzanne Leland and Kurt Thurmaier, “When Efficiency is Unbelievable: Normative Lessons from 30 Years of City-County Consolidations,” Public Administration Review 65(4) 2005: 475-489.

Works in progress

Book Manuscripts

Intergovernmental Relations in 2020: Theory & Practice. I am co-editor of a volume that will publish the results of a Special Friday Symposium of the American Society for Public Administration, April 9, 2010, San Jose, California, sponsored by The Section on Intergovernmental Administration and Management (SIAM) and the Federal Systems Panel at the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA). The dozen papers and six practitioner responses is being submitted to several publishers as soon as we have the corpus of papers and responses.


Kurt Thurmaier, 2010. “Comments on ‘Reaching and maintaining structural balance: leaders in the states’ and ‘Fiscal limitations on local choice: the imposition and effects of local government tax and expenditure limitations’” in State and Local Fiscal Policy: Thinking Outside the Box? Edited by Sally Wallace, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd.

Kurt Thurmaier and Yu-Che Chen, “Managing for Less: The Fiscal Attributes of Collaboration,” presented at ABFM and PMRA conferences in fall 2009, under review.

Shannon Sohl, Curt Wood, Michael Peddle, Gregory Kuhn, and Kurt Thurmaier, “An Evaluation of Bond Ratings to Financial Reporting Structures,” under review.

David Mitchell and Kurt Thurmaier, "Advancing the Study of Public Budgeting,” invited article in Public Administration Review for the Public Administration Foundations Series.

Tatchalerm Sudhipongpracha, Curtis Wood, and Kurt Thurmaier, “Accountability Perceptions among Thai Municipal Clerks in Post-Decentralization Thailand,” presented at the International Conference on “Decentralization & Local Government Accountability in Thailand,” July 15-16, 2010, National Institute of Development Administration, Bangkok, Thailand.