December 2022 Newsletter

Winter campus

Dear alumni and friends,

The end of 2022 is nearly upon us, and I wanted to take a moment as we wrap up finals week to send you warm greetings and updates from campus.

We have had a busy fall semester:

  • In September, we held a conference in honor of Neil Wallace, put together by his students, to celebrate a new graduate fellowship in Neil’s name. It was wonderful! If you missed it, you can check out these links to paper presentations and Neil’s after dinner remarks. (And on the subject of new fellowships, we have a fantastic line-up for the upcoming May 19-20 conference celebrating the new fellowship in Tim Kehoe’s name. Details soon…)
  • In September, Professor Fatih Guvenen was elected a fellow of the Econometric Society. Congratulations Fatih for this well-deserved honor! Fatih becomes the eleventh fellow in our current faculty. We take great pride in the high representation of our faculty with this distinction.
  • In October, we hosted the Review of Economic Studies North American tour, showcasing top job market candidates from European institutions. We were honored to be selected as one of only three stops in the US.
  • In November, we mourned the passing of Ed Prescott, a leader in the economics profession and a stalwart of the economics department at Minnesota for many years. Ed was fiercely loyal and devoted to his many graduate students, who in turn were fiercely loyal and devoted to him. In 2018 many of those former students gathered at a conference to celebrate Ed and to launch an endowed fellowship in his name. And in 2019, we brought all the “Four Horsemen” together, in a special event. Ed was a giant in the profession for the ages. He was also our colleague/teacher/advisor/friend and we will miss him dearly.

After many years of devoted and excellent service, two of our staff members are retiring. Caty Bach, office manager and placement coordinator, has been with our department for 27 years. Wendy Williamson, graduate programs coordinator and economics librarian, joined the department as a student and retires after 46 years of service! I know that many of our graduates have fond memories of the impacts Caty and Wendy had on their lives; they are both truly special.

One of my favorite duties as department chair is recognizing my fellow faculty members for their outstanding work. This fall, I have two special announcements. Loukas Karabarbounis has been named the Curtis L. Carlson Professor of Economics, starting this fall. Manuel Amador has been named the inaugural holder of the Anne O. Krueger Endowed Professorship in Economics, beginning next fall. Both Loukas and Manuel are exceptional researchers and exemplify what Minnesota Economics stands for. Congratulations to them both!  

And I want to especially thank our alumni and friends who worked together to endow the Anne Krueger Professorship. In one stroke they both honored one of our most distinguished former faculty members and created a legacy to support outstanding scholarship by our faculty for generations to come.

One of the lessons I have learned as department chair (now in my second year) is how much the success of our department depends upon the support of our alumni. Our alumni are extremely generous with their gifts of time and expertise. As chair, I see directly all the work our alumni put into the Heller Hurwicz Economics Institute, and their work this year organizing the conferences for Neil and Tim, and our recent alumni working to polish our graduating PhD students for the job market, and much, much more.

Our alumni are also extremely generous with their financial gifts. The establishment of the new graduate fellowships has been crucial—and will continue to be crucial in the competitive environment we face going forward—in enabling us to sustain the efficient scale and quality of our graduate program. And new professorships enable us to retain and attract top faculty. Thank you all for your generous support! I will close with a plug and a link to donate to the general fund. As chair, I appreciate the myriad of ways this fund supports excellence of the department.

Sending you and your family wishes for a festive holiday season.

Tom Holmes 
Professor and Chair
Department of Economics

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