Economics Departments Reorganized

Author: Marie Blakey

The University’s Academic Council voted on February 25, 2010, to change the departmental structure supporting the College of Arts and Letters’ economics major, which is currently administered by faculty from two departments, Economics and Policy Studies and Economics and Econometrics. Effective July 1, 2010, the Department of Economics and Econometrics will be renamed the Department of Economics, and the Department of Economics and Policy Studies will be dissolved.

All faculty members in Economics and Policy Studies will keep their tenure status and will become affiliated with the new Department of Economics, other Arts and Letters departments, or other campus units—ranging from History and Philosophy of Science to Poverty Studies to the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies—that require economics expertise.

“My hope is that the economics conversation at Notre Dame will become a richer one following this reorganization,” says John T. McGreevy, dean of the College. “I believe that within their new administrative and academic homes, Economics and Policy Studies faculty members will be well supported in their continued teaching and scholarship.”

The effect of this administrative change on the content and requirements of the economics major will be minimal. All courses currently taught by Economics and Policy Studies faculty will continue to count as courses in the major, and the College does not anticipate any significant changes in cross-listed courses.

“Our major in economics is thriving,” McGreevy notes. “Not only has the number of economics majors sharply increased in recent years—with more than 400 today, up from 129 in 2003—but the many faculty teaching our students together encompass a wide range of topics in their courses and research. Our students are exposed to everything from analytics and quantitative methods to health economics, environmental economics, game theory, economics of education, and economics of poverty.”

In conjunction with the administrative reorganization, the dean also announced that he will convene an event where students can gather with faculty to discuss economics education at Notre Dame.

“My shared goal with all of our economics faculty,” McGreevy says, “is to provide the best and most rigorous economics education possible, one that positions our students to be the future leaders that the Church, our country, and even the globe so desperately need.”