MTAS, Local Government Managers Team Up for UT Chattanooga MPA Classes

Municipal Technical Advisory Service government finance consultants and two local city managers are sharing their real-world experience with students enrolled in the UT Chattanooga master’s of public administration program.

The finance and accounting course, which is new to the master’s program, is an abbreviated version of MTAS’ Certified Municipal Finance Officer (CMFO curriculum, and students are eligible to sit for the 11 CMFO exams after completing the course. MTAS consultants Honna Rogers, Al Major, Brad Harris, Ralph Cross and John Grubbs, as well as Collegedale City Manager Ted Rogers and Signal Mountain City Manager Boyd Veal taught classes to the diverse group of students.

Dr. Chris Acuff, assistant professor with the UT Chattanooga department of political science and public service said the UT Chattanooga master’s program update included the additional of the new finance and accounting class. He said the class was modeled after the course developed by MTAS consultants and Dr. David Folz with the UT Knoxville master’s of public policy and administration program.

“As many who have worked in public service know, the budgeting process and dealing with financial matters can often seem daunting for new public managers. This course now gives student the opportunity to learn about the most important topics related to financial management, including the personal experiences and real-life situations each of the MTAS consultants have faced over the years,” Acuff said. “After completing this course, the hope is that new MPA graduates will feel more comfortable and be better equipped to handle the challenges associated with financial management in both government and nonprofit agencies.

“Additionally, having city managers Ted Rogers and Boyd Veal come in to speak with students was a great experience. They were able to engage the class with lively discussion and frank conversations about the challenges public administrators face, as well as offer advice on a host of topics that can help them in their careers.”