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Alfred Tat-Kei Ho

Professor
Primary office:
Wescoe Hall
Room 4060U
University of Kansas


Dr. Alfred Ho's teaching and research focus on public budgeting, performance management, citizen engagement, and e-government. He has also advised state and local officials in the U.S. and in other countries on their performance-oriented reforms. Before he joined KU, he taught at Iowa State University and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). He received his Master of Public Affairs and Ph.D.from the School of Public & Environmental Affairs, Indiana University (Bloomington).

Teaching

I teach two graduate classes regularly, Resource Allocation and Control, and Performance Management and Governance. Through case studies, in-class discussion, and class projects, these classes create opportunities for students to explore, extend, and apply the knowledge they gain through readings and lecture materials. The class projects often include service learning components by engaging real clients from state and local governments so that students can apply what they learn and integrate that with community service and research. Occasionally, I also teach other graduate classes, including a class on performance audit. In all of my courses, I like to combine online learning and in-class lectures and exercises so that students can enjoy a variety of learning experiences and use different formats and tools to achieve the best learning outcomes.

Teaching Interests

  • Public budgeting
  • Public finance
  • Financial management
  • Performance management and governance
  • State and local government
  • Comparative public administration

Research

In 1990, the Carnegie Foundation published the report Scholarship Reconsidered, which redefines scholarship in terms of “discovery”, “teaching”, “integration”, and “application” and emphasizes the need for academics to use research discoveries to address the needs of the larger community and to improve learning. A similar call for service was also done by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), urging academics to interact more closely with policymakers and the public to contribute to evidence-based policymaking in government.

I share this vision of scholarship. My publications are often produced as engaged research to advance the practice of public administration locally, nationally, and internationally.

Research Interests

  • Public budgeting
  • Performance management and governance
  • Local government
  • Comparative budget reform
  • Citizen participation
  • E-government.

Service

Following the vision established by the 1990 Carnegie Foundation report on Scholarship Reconsidered, I do not believe that faculty service should be completely separate from research and teaching activities. Hence, I often use my classes to engage real clients and provide service learning opportunities for students. In my research, I often work closely with state and local officials and community leaders who provide funding for me to help them solve practical and important problems in budgetary and performance management practices. In recent years, I have also expanded my service outreach internationally in Asia and Europe.

I am a member of a few professional associations, including the American Society for Public Administration, the Association of Budgeting and Financial Management, and the China-America Association for Public Affairs. I am also one of the associate editors of Public Performance and Management Review, serve in the editorial boards of a few journals, and was an elected member of the National Council of the American Society for Public Administration in 2015-2018.