On 11 May 2013, Bill Duncombe passed away after a brief battle with lung cancer. Bill, who was 57, is survived by his wife, Julie, and his sons, Chris and David.
Bill was an original member of the editorial board of this journal, a long-serving member of the Association for Education Finance and Policy (AEFP), and a regular attendee of the annual conference. Anyone who had the privilege to see Bill present or discuss a paper knows how all his audience members benefited from his insights into challenging policy problems. Bill's career epitomized what this journal is about; Bill's work, which spoke both to academics and policy makers, consistently strove to improve our “understanding of the means by which global resources can be justly generated and productively engaged to enhance human learning at all levels.”
Johnny Yinger's wonderful tribute to Bill (available at http://cpr.maxwell.syr.edu/efap/about_efap/ie/May_2013.pdf) provides a list of Bill's publications in the field of education finance. These are just part of Bill's contributions to the profession. The extent to which our knowledge has been improved by his superb reviews and his exceptional teaching is harder to measure, but every bit as important. Johnny's tribute also offers numerous examples of how Bill worked selflessly to improve the research of his students and his fellow scholars at the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. The obituary for Bill on the Maxwell School's Web site (http://www.maxwell.syr.edu/news.aspx?id=107374186876) lists the many awards Bill received for his research and his teaching. Bill's students will be a large part of his legacy at AEFP.
Still, we think the first thing people who knew Bill will remember about him is that he was a great friend. Those of us who had the pleasure to spend time with Bill—over dinners, at receptions, and even at conference coffee breaks—know the important role he played in knitting people together. What was notable about Bill is that he treated his old acquaintances and his new students in exactly the same way—he was welcoming to all. The AEFP community held him in high regard, and we will miss his presence immensely.