December 2017 Faculty Spotlight
December Faculty Spotlight with Assistant Professor, Rahul Pathak
With the launch of the new Master of International Affairs program and the Marxe School’s renewed focus on worldwide public affairs, global viewpoints are more important than ever. New faculty member Rahul Pathak has worked in New Delhi, Mumbai, and Atlanta, GA, and is poised to bring his unique worldview to the School.
What most excites you about the prospect of teaching at the Marxe School?
An opportunity to teach at the Marxe School is unique since the classrooms are very diverse in demographics, disciplines, and interests. Such students offer opportunities to make the classroom a space for competing viewpoints and alternative perspectives. Furthermore, the Marxe School is expanding its international affairs programs with a new Masters of International Affairs] – the presence of these students will also nudge many of us to integrate domestic and international perspectives, and presents an exciting opportunity.
What courses will you be teaching in your first academic year?
In my first academic year, I will be teaching Public Budgeting and Financial Management (PAF 9140) which is one of the core requirements of the MPA program, but also attracts students from other programs. The course is specifically of interest for students who are interested in starting or building their existing career in public and nonprofit organizations and do not have any background in public finance. In addition to a broad survey of theory and research, the course aims to develop technical skills for financial analysis and budget making.
What issues have you been researching in previous positions?
In my previous positions, I have researched a variety of public finance and social policy issues. During the past few years, I worked with the Fiscal Research Center at the Georgia State University (Atlanta, GA), where I worked on several state and local finance projects, which primarily informed fiscal policymaking at the state level. Before joining the Georgia State University, I worked on municipal finance and urban governance issues in the context of Indian cities. In addition to policy-oriented work, I have also published articles in leading academic journals.
Are you currently engaged in any research projects?
Yes, currently I have several ongoing projects. Primarily, I am working towards publishing my doctoral research, which examines the interaction between budget institutions and fiscal outcomes in the domestic and international contexts. Another set of projects look at the fiscal and workforce challenges that state and local governments have been facing in the aftermath of the Great Recession. In addition, I have a couple of projects on urban public finance in their initial stages.
What do you find interesting about public finance and social policy?
I think the public finance and social policy govern our everyday life in the most significant way possible. Public finance essentially defines how the resources are allocated in the society, and social policy tries to ensure that the allocation is equitable. By focusing on this area of research, I spend my time on issues that are challenging, affect our everyday lives, and have direct policy relevance, which keeps me interested in what I do.