SECoPA is pleased to present spotlights of our member academics and practitioners, featuring their ongoing work on behalf of understanding and improving Public Administration. To recommend someone for a “Member Spotlight,” please contact Stacey Mann (click here to email).
By Domanique Reed
Dr. William Hatcher
Assistant Professor of Political Science, Associate Graduate Faculty, Department of Government, Eastern Kentucky University
In 2004, Dr. William Hatcher presented his research entitled “Ethical Dilemmas of State- Sponsored Lotteries” alongside W. Clifton Wilkinson at the Southeastern Conference for Public Administration.
That presentation is one he will never forget. “I was extremely nervous because I was presenting research for the first time at a large conference. But, the atmosphere was so relaxing and professional that it eased those first-time nerves.”
Almost 8 years later, Hatcher continues to contribute through yearly publications and lectures. His latest research, “Re-Opening a Slightly Old Debate: Florida’s Creative Class in Kentucky” with Matt Oyer was presented at SECoPA’s 2011 conference in New Orleans and received great reviews.
Currently an assistant professor at Eastern Kentucky University, Hatcher discovered a passion for political science early in life, prompting him to embark in over a decade-long journey of academic and professional work dedicated to public affairs. Hatcher’s journey began at Georgia College and State University where he received a bachelor’s degree in political science and completed a graduate assistantship for the Department of Government and Sociology. It was at GCSU where Hatcher subsequently received an MPA with a concentration in policy management, then enrolled at Mississippi State University to complete his doctorate in Public Policy and Administration.
As a doctoral student, Hatcher focused on public planning while working as a research and teaching assistant for MSU’s Department of Political Science and Public Administration. In the program at MSU, he continued to research other areas of interests, which include policy management, strategic budgeting, health administration, and government consolidation.
For Hatcher, his greatest achievement thus far is the pleasure of teaching future public managers the mechanics of public finance each semester. He plans to continue to equip the nation’s future administrators with the proper tools to run a successful government. When asked which aspect of public affairs he could change with the snap of the finger, he said, “I wish the word bureaucrat wasn’t so hated in this nation. If I had god-like powers over public affairs, I would want the American people to have a better appreciation of the role that bureaucrats play in our nation. Basically, I wish all Americans would read Charles Goodsell’s Case for Bureaucracy.”
Currently the Chair of the Board of Adjustment for Richmond, Kentucky, Hatcher continues to remain involved, and his professional memberships include: Pi Alpha Alpha honor society for public administration, American Society for Public Administration, and Pi Sigma Alpha honor society for political science. Also an active member of SECoPA, he currently serves on the Procedures Committee.
Although he is quick to recall his nervousness at the 2004 SECoPA conference, he also recalls the kindness and openness of its members. “I joined SECoPA because not only is it an excellent forum for academics and practitioners to share ideas, but also to build social relationships that help us better public administration in our region.”