DENTON (UNT), Texas - Robert L. Bland, endowed professor of local government in the University of North Texas Department of Public Administration, has been named an honorary member of the International City/County Management Association. He will be honored at the association's annual conference October 22-25 in San Antonio.
Founded in 1914, ICMA provides training and professional development to more than 11,000 city, town and county managers, their staffs, and other individuals and organizations throughout the world. Honorary membership is awarded to an individual who is not a professional in local government management, but who has achieved distinguished public service and contributions to the improvement and strengthening of local government.
Bland has devoted 35 years to advancing the study and practice of local government management through service, teaching and research. He joined the UNT faculty in 1982 as a faculty member in the Department of Political Science. In 1992, he helped to establish the new Department of Public Administration. He served as the department's first chair until 2013 and currently serves as the faculty director of the Department of Public Administration's Center for Public Management, which provides continuing education to local government officials in Texas.
Bland is the author or co-author of five books on local government finance, including "A Budgeting Guide for Local Government," which is used in the curricula of numerous master of public administration programs. He received the Excellence in Research Award from the Government Finance Officers Association for another one of his books, "Financing City Government in Texas."
For more than 30 years, Bland has secured funding from the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation for scholarships for UNT master of public administration students.
His other awards include the Stephen B. Sweeney Academic Award from ICMA and the Terrell Blodgett Academician Award by the Texas City Management Association. Bland was twice named Professor of the Year by the Public Administration Student Association and was elected as a fellow to the National Academy of Public Administration.