Greetings from the Dean

October 6, 2010

Dear Alumni and Friends,

Weill Hall is buzzing with activity these days. We’ve got internationally-renowned policymakers dropping in weekly, incredibly talented students who inspire us with their energy and enthusiasm, and faculty research projects that are breaking new ground and impacting local and national policies. It’s an exciting time to be at U-M.

I’ve just returned from a trip to Washington, D.C. to participate in a meeting between academic economists of color and senior Obama Administration officials. On the agenda: the Administration’s efforts to spur job creation and economic recovery, with a special focus on issues for minority communities. Next week, I’m co-chairing an academic symposium on the future of international service here at U-M. It’s wonderful to be a part of such a dynamic and engaged academic community.

Speaking of which, a number of new faculty join our Ford School community this fall. You can read about Ashley Langer, whose research explores energy and environmental economics, in this edition of the feed. Other new faculty—no less illustrious—include:

  • David Harding, an expert in urban poverty and inequality,
  • Bob Guenzel, who recently retired from his position as Administrator of Washtenaw County, Mich.
  • Megan Tompkins-Stange, who will teach public management here at the Ford School, and
  • two visiting professors from Renmin University of China: Wei Liu, whose studies focus on decision making in international organizations, and Guangjian Xu, who has expertise in public budgeting, taxation, and macroeconomic theory.

At the same time, some of our long-standing faculty members—including Bob Axelrod, Matthew Davis, Jim House, Ann Lin, and Dean Yang—are taking some time off from the Ford School to work on sabbatical projects or other initiatives. They are just getting started with their projects, and we’ll share news of their work in upcoming editions of this publication.

We also welcome some new volunteer leaders to the Ford School. Pamela Carter, Debbie Dingell, and Sandy Weill have recently joined the Ford School Committee, a group that helps lead the fundraising efforts that allow us to expand successful programs and develop new education, research, and service initiatives.

Please take a few minutes to learn about our activities, and to reengage with us if you haven’t been in touch for a while. We’d love to hear from you.