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William Hatcher, PhD, MPA - Augusta University. Augusta, GA, US

William Hatcher, PhD, MPA

Chair of the Department of Social Sciences | Augusta University


Dr. William Hatcher focuses on public administration and social, economic and political institutions in local communities.






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3Qs with William Hatcher on diversity in Augusta's MPA program 3Qs with Dr. William Hatcher on running a country like a business Unlocking Jaguar resilience: A mental health discussion | In the Wild




An award-winning scholar, Hatcher is the interim chair of the Department of Social Sciences and an associate professor of political science. His research focuses on the connection between public administration and the development of local communities. Through his research, he tries to understand why public administration scholars and practitioners often have different views about the efficacy of certain administrative practices. His research has appeared in journals such as American Journal of Public Health, Journal of Public Affairs Education, Public Administration Quarterly, and The Review of Regional Studies. In the Department of Political Science, topics he teaches include public administration, public policy, public budgeting and finance, and community and economic development. He received his PhD from Mississippi State University in 2010.

Areas of Expertise (5)

Public Administration

Public Policy

Community and Economic Development

Health Policy

Public Budgeting and Finance

Accomplishments (5)

Co-editor-in-chief (professional)

Journal of Public Affairs Education

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award (professional)

An award presented by the Georgia Political Science Association.

H. George Frederickson PA Times Best Article Award (professional)

American Society for Public Administration

Distinguished Education Leader Award, Excellent Student Support (professional)

Student Government Association at Eastern Kentucky University

Distinguished Education Leader Award, Outstanding Service (professional)

Student Government Association at Eastern Kentucky University

Education (3)

Mississippi State University: Doctorate

Georgia College & State University: Master's in Public Administration, Public Administration

Georgia College & State University: Bachelor's Degree, Political Science and Government

Affiliations (5)

  • Phi Kappa Phi, National Honor Society
  • Pi Alpha Alpha, National Honor Society for Public Administration
  • Pi Sigma Alpha, National Honor Society for Political Science
  • American Society for Public Administration
  • Georgia Political Science Association

Media Appearances (8)

What does the continuing resolution that the US government keeps open consist of?

Voices of America  online


In a race against time are lawmakers in the United States Congress, who currently have 40 days to approve annual budgets that keep government agencies open. Last Saturday, with the new fiscal year imminent, the US government was under threat of a shutdown due to lack of funding. However, just hours before midnight, lawmakers reached a bipartisan agreement to enact a continuing resolution that will keep the government open until November 17, 2023. The continuing resolution was enacted after then-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy relented in seeking Democratic support and gave up on demanding deep spending cuts. This move cost McCarthy his position, and he was removed from his position on Tuesday following a historic vote in the legislative body. Given the vacancy in the presidency of the House of Representatives, and the lack of negotiations on final budget laws, the outlook after November seems to become complicated, according to experts.

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Early Voting kicks off: WJCL 22 anchor Olivia Wile interviews Dr. William Hatcher about history

WJCL  tv


Local elections in both Georgia and South Carolina are less than a month away, with early voting underway in the Peach State. WJCL 22 News Anchor Olivia Wile breaks down the history behind early voting, and how long it lasts in both states. “I am joined now by Dr. William Hatcher who is the chair of social sciences at Augusta university and a political science professor. Thank you for joining us this morning,” said WJCL 22 News Anchor Olivia Wile. “Thank you for having me,” said Hatcher. “I’m excited to talk about early voting.” “Talk me through when early voting started," said Wile. “It’s an effort to expand democracy in the us compared to others the us has more restrictions on voting, some states have you have to register days or weeks before the election. So it was an effort along with expanding absentee ballots and reforming our system and increasing democracy,” said Hatcher.

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2016’s Best-Run Cities in America

WalletHub  online


William Hatcher, director of the Master of Public Administration program, was featured in a 2016 WalletHub analysis of the best-run cities in America. For the analysis, WalletHub compared 150 of the U.S.’s top cities in areas like financial stability, education, health and safety, then asked Hatcher and other local government, economic and diversity experts how to evaluate how well a city is run.

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How can diversity make us stronger?

Jagwire  online


William Hatcher, director of the Master of Public Administration Program, talks about how diversity makes Augusta University – and the U.S. – a stronger, more inclusive place.

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MPA program receives prestigious accreditation

Jagwire  online


Augusta University’s Master of Public Administration program was recently reaccredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration – a hallmark of excellence in public service education that is earned by only 63 percent of the world’s graduate public administration programs.

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What happens when you value diversity? Success, for a start August 15, 2016by Nick Garrett

Jagwire  online


Having a diverse campus is more than just a feather in the cap of a good university. It’s also the best way to bring the world to your own hometown. Watch to hear about some of the ways Augusta University’s various departments are bringing the wide world to classrooms, clinics and offices across the state of Georgia.

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Can you really run a country like a business?

Jagwire  online


William Hatcher, director of the Master of Public Administration program, talks about the feasibility of running a country (or a public institution) like a business.

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What will be Mike Johnson's first challenges as president of the US House of Representatives?

Voices of America  online


Republican Representative Mike Johnson began his presidency of the House of Representatives with important pending legislative challenges, such as the approval of aid packages for Israel and Ukraine, and new funds for the southern border, as well as the urgency of passing a new budget governmental. Although Johnson set out to make up for lost time during the three weeks of chaos that followed Kevin McCarthy's impeachment , experts anticipate that he would face the same negotiating challenges to pass the 12 appropriations bills needed to fund the government. Congress must approve the new funds before November 17 or the risk of a federal government shutdown would return. President Joe Biden has asked for an additional $106 billion in military and humanitarian aid to Israel and Ukraine. While Republicans hope to resume the investigation with a view to impeaching Biden for his son's business dealings.

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Answers (4)

Are local governments taking cybersecurity threats and steps to prevent themselves against being attacked?

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Why should a long-term deal on federal spending be a necessity? 

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With a federal shutdown still on the horizon, the White House mentioned numerous agencies that could have services curtailed, did they do this for a strategic reason?

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Articles (10)

Local Government Cyber Insecurity: Causes and Recommendations for Improvement

Wiley Online Library

Donald Norris, Laura Mateczum, William Hatcher, Wesley Meares, John Heslen


In this paper, we address several facets of the problem we call local government cyber insecurity – a problem that plagues such governments across the nation, if not the world. We describe this problem and discuss its manifestations in local governments. This is followed by our analysis of why, on average, local government cybersecurity is managed and practiced so poorly. Next, we discuss several constraints on local governments that may help to explain why so many of these governments are not able to provide highly effective cybersecurity. We then discuss steps that local governments can and should take to improve their cybersecurity, including adopting dedicated cybersecurity budgets, adopting several highly recommended cybersecurity policies, and following best cybersecurity practices.

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The Curious Public Administrator

Routledge Taylor & Francis Group

William Hatcher


Louis Brownlow, one of public administration's historical thinkers, once argued that “the principal requirement of a good administrator is an insatiable curiosity.” This book is rooted in the notion that public administrators must practice insatiable curiosity to be effective, fair, and democratic. By seeking to uncover how the world works, and therefore practicing curiosity, public administrators may be more likely to move toward evidence-based decisions, improving the efficacy and efficiency of public service. Curiosity encourages public administrators to seek answers in a caring manner, and in doing so empathize with the communities that they serve. First, the book incorporates the concept of curiosity into the field of public administration. Scholarship in philosophy, business administration, social science, and other scholarly fields address curiosity, but public administration has yet to examine this concept in detail. This book fills that hole in the literature. Second, the book presents novel primary data on curiosity in public agencies by examining curious organizations and surveying local government officers. Third, the book presents novel primary data on how public affairs faculty view curiosity and incorporate the concept in their research and the classroom. Lastly, author William Hatcher integrates this information in the book’s final chapter to present a model of administrative curiosity, focusing on creating a guide for future research and teaching. Thus, this book serves as a roadmap for developing a new doctrine of curiosity in public administration theory and practice, and it will be of enormous interest to students enrolled in public affairs courses as well as practicing public administrators and nonprofit managers.

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Using the Asset-Building Model of Development in Teaching the Politics of Community Development in Appalachia

Journal of Appalachian Studies

2016 This teaching note discusses an undergraduate course on the politics of community development in Appalachia. The course teaches students that the economic issues facing Appalachia are the product of not only economics but also social and political factors. The goal of the course is to teach students the role that community development can play in the region...

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From Compassionate Conservatism to Obamacare: Funding for the Ryan White Program During the Obama Administration

American Journal of Public Health

2016 Objectives: To examine President Obama's fiscal commitment to the Ryan White Program (formerly Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resource Emergency Act), which provides funding for economically disadvantaged people and families affected by HIV.

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The Efficacy of Public Participation in Municipal Budgeting: An Exploratory Survey of Officials in Government Finance Officers Association's Award Winning Cities

Public Administration Quarterly

2015 Municipal reformers often call for more public participation in the budget process. However, few studies have surveyed the viewpoints of budget practitioners on the efficacy of public involvement in municipal budgeting. In this paper, we report a survey administered by e-mail to budget directors in cities that won the Government Finance Officers Association’s (GFOA) distinguished budget presentation award in 2011.

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Reflecting on over 100 years of public administration education

Wiley Online Library

William Hatcher, Catherine Farrell, John Diamond


Public administration education has an interesting history rooted in numerous scholarly disciplines, such as sociology, political science, economics, and engineering. The article reflects on the last 100 years of scholarship on public administration education, starting with an article on the topic in the first issue of Public Administration in 1923. We provide a concise review focused on the development of public administration education over this time. Next, we discuss scholarship in top journals on public administration education, Journal of Public Affairs Education and Teaching Public Administration. We use Denhardt's (2001) big questions in public administration education as a framework to examine this scholarship. We conclude by discussing the future of public administration education and advocating a community-based approach to pedagogy practice and research in the field.

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The career paths of the chief administrative officers of U.S. cities: a survey of city managers and content analysis of how they discuss their careers

Taylor & Francis Online

William Hatcher, Beth Rauhaus, Wesley L. Meares


We expand the research on the career paths of the chief administrative officers managing cities of all sizes in the United States (U.S.) by surveying the chief administrative officers working in the small, medium, and large cities throughout the U.S. We collected 345 surveys from chief administrative officers. The survey included questions on the career paths of managers and asked respondents to discuss factors and challenges that have influenced their career paths. From our analysis, we find that the career path to city management positions often begins with prior experience in local government administration and higher educational attainment, such as an MPA degree.

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Introduction to the symposium on international and comparative public administration education

Journal of Public Affairs Education

William Hatcher, Bruce D. McDonald


We live in a global society. Our countries may maintain their own borders and bureaucratic structures, but the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the problems that arouse out of it have highlighted the intermingled relationship we have with all parts of the globe (McDonald et al., 2022). The interconnectedness of the globe can even be seen from our own experience as co-editors-in-chief of the Journal of Public Affairs Education. In the early days of the pandemic, printing of the journal was temporarily halted as our publisher had challenges getting access to paper from its distributor in one country, trouble shipping the paper to its printer in another, and finally delivering the hardcopies to the United States. Although this example focuses on JPAE, we are not alone. What happens in one country impacts and effects those around it. But what does this mean for public affairs education? From our standpoint, we believe that it means we should be preparing our students to engage in an international arena.

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Work-Life Balance in Higher Education

Routledge Taylor & Francis Group

Bruce D. McDonald III, William Hatcher


This book explores the issue and struggle of work-life balance in higher education. It provides a rare opportunity to shape the conversation surrounding work-life balance in academia and provide a venue for dialogue around balance that had previously been forced into secret. The challenges that surround work-life balance are something that we must all confront, but they are also something that is rarely discussed within academia. Faculty and graduate students face increasing demands to publish, while also being expected to effectively teach and engage in service to both the university and the community. The demands of an academic career have been cited as a reason for faculty and students to leave the academy, but they have also been tied with rising rates of depression throughout the community. Concerns about balance have led to challenges in recruiting diverse students and faculty for academic careers.

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Community-level internet connectivity and mental health: an analysis of United States counties

Journal of Mental Health

William Hatcher, Lance Hunter, Wesley Meares, Mary-Kate Lizotte, Dustin Avent-Holt


Background: Access to the Internet is often viewed as a positive feature of communities, but little research has been conducted examining the effects of internet access on mental health at the community level. Aims: To examine the relationship between internet connectivity and mental health in United States (US) counties, an analysis that has not been conducted in the public health literature. Methods: We analyzed predictors of mental health in US counties. Data from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the U.S. Bureau of the Census, and the County Health Rankings and Roadmaps were used to construct a time-series regression analysis. The data were available from 2013 to 2016. Results: US counties that increased their internet connectivity over this period also had more citizens report suffering from mental health conditions. Conclusions: Public health needs to focus on the county-level predictors of mental health and how internet connectivity may not always produce positive effects and may be contributing negatively to the mental health of communities.

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