Keough-Hesburgh Professorship lures leading economist

Author: Arts and Letters


Renowned economist William Evans from the University of Maryland has accepted an appointment at the University of Notre Dame as the first recipient of a Keough-Hesburgh Professorship, the innovative new program created to attract world-class scholars who demonstrate a commitment to Notre Dame’s Catholic mission.

Created last year through a multimillion-dollar gift from Notre Dame board chairman emeritus Donald Keough, his wife, Marilyn, and their children, the professorships are named in honor of the Keoughs and Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., president emeritus of Notre Dame.

“The Keough-Hesburgh Professorships are a critical part of a bold plan to combine our commitment to bringing to Notre Dame teacher/scholars of the first rank while also strengthening our distinctive and defining Catholic character,” said Thomas Burish, Notre Dame’s provost. “Bill Evans is just exactly the kind of faculty member for whom these chaired positions were created, and he sets a very high bar for them. He stands at the top of his field and is committed to the special mission of Notre Dame. We are delighted that he has accepted the offer to join our Department of Economics and Econometrics.”

A member of the Maryland faculty since 1987, Evans is an applied microeconomist who specializes in labor economics, public finance, industrial organization and health economics. His work is geared toward social issues and the policies used to address them, such as studies on the economic control of smoking, the economic determinants of health, and the changing quality of teachers. He is especially noted for his use of state-of-the-art econometric techniques to analyze health and education outcomes and the policies used to improve them.

Evans has published 45 articles in refereed journals, and he is among the most frequently cited scholars in the field. His research also is regularly cited in other disciplines, including medicine, health care finance, public health, public policy, education, sociology and psychology.

Evans is an executive committee member of the Maryland Population Research Center, a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and the new editor of the Journal of Human Resources, one of the leading publications in the field.

A graduate of Wake Forest University, Evans earned his doctorate in economics from Duke University.

In addition to chaired professorships, the Keough gift is helping to fund Notre Dame’s efforts to identify and attract younger faculty and graduate students drawn to the prospect of working closely with a Keough-Hesburgh professor.

“It is Don Keough’s vision and creativity in establishing this initiative that has made it possible for us to make this major appointment,” said Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s president. “We can’t thank him and his family enough for a gift that advances Notre Dame’s academic mission and Catholic character, while paying tribute to a great lay leader and a legendary religious leader.”

Keough is chairman of the board of Allen & Company Inc., a New York investment banking firm. He retired as president and chief operating officer of The Coca-Cola Company in 1993 and continues as an appointed advisor to the company’s board. A member of the University’s Board of Trustees since 1978, he served as board chair from 1986 to 1991.

The Keoughs have made several other generous contributions to Notre Dame, including the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies, an endowed chair in Irish studies (held by the acclaimed author Seamus Deane), a summer internship program for Notre Dame students in Ireland, Malloy Hall (which houses the Departments of Theology and Philosophy), and a men’s residence hall named in Marilyn Keough’s honor.

Originally published by Dennis Brown at on May 03, 2007.