Merl Hackbart, Ph.D., is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and is Provost’s Distinguished Service Professor of Finance and Public Administration at the University of Kentucky.
Dr. Hackbart has previously served as State Budget Director for Kentucky, as a Senior Policy Advisor to the Governor of Kentucky and on the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. He currently serves on the Kentucky Consensus Revenue Forecasting Group, is a member of a GAO Intergovernmental Issues Panel and is a Senior Fellow at the Council of State Governments. He has held various administrative positions at the University of Kentucky including Interim Dean and Associate Dean of the Gatton College of Business and Economics. He served as a member of the Kentucky Council for Postsecondary Education and the Kentucky Consensus Revenue Forecasting Group.
Dr. Hackbart has also served twice as Budget Director for the Commonwealth of Kentucky and as a Senior Policy Advisor to the Governor of Kentucky. He is a past President of the Association of Budgeting and Financial Management. His research has focused on public financial management including debt management, public pension funds, popular financial reporting and state government structural budget issues.
Dr. Hackbart’s early career included serving as Director of Economic Analysis for the State of South Dakota’s Planning Office in 1972 where he was responsible for tax policy design and economic development program legislation writing. He subsequently served as Deputy Secretary of South Dakota’s Department of Transportation in 1973 with responsibility for general administration and transportation policy and planning activities. From 1973 to 1979, Dr. Hackbart was Director of the Center for Public Affairs in the College of Business and Economics at the University of Kentucky. Under his leadership, the Center became the James W. Martin School for Public Administration in 1979, including initiating the Master of Public Administration, which he continued to lead until 1982.
In addition to his extensive service to the University of Kentucky, Dr. Hackbart has served the state of Kentucky as State Budget Director and Deputy Secretary of Finance and Administration, 1982-83; State Budget Director in the Governor’s Office of Policy and Management, 1989-91 and Senior Policy Advisor in the Governor’s Office from 1998-2002.