Rice Economics Fall 2014 Newsletter - Page 2

Welcome From Our New Chair introduce myself as the new chair of Rice’s Department of Economics. My wife Gia and I have just relocated to Houston from Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania, where I served as director of the Penn Institute for Economic Research and held the Lawrence R. Klein Chair of Economics. I am thrilled with the opportunity to get to know this city and to be at Rice, where your warm welcome has confirmed our decision to join this vibrant community committed to excellence and impact. I am most excited, of course, to position the Department of Economics among the leading institutions in the world for the study of economics. With this as our goal, we have launched the Rice Initiative for the Study of Economics, or RISE. STAY CONNECTED: • • 2 economics.rice.edu/ undergraduate-program facebook.com/ riceuniversityeconomics RISE will focus on the following priorities: • • • • • • Recruit additional new faculty to the department, including professors with joint appointments in other schools. Launch the new professional Master’s Program in Energy Economics. Establish the Distinguished Visiting Scholars Program. Establish the annual internationally attended RISE Conference. Recruit senior-level, nontenure-track lecturers to bolster our teaching efforts for Rice undergraduates. Expand graduate fellowships. To reach these goals, we must have the philanthropic support of our Rice community. Alumni philanthropy will provide, through RISE, the resources to open new avenues of academic excellence, nurture a top-class educational experience for our students, and ECONOMICS Fall 2013 - Spring 2014 3,784 Rice Undergraduates 1,685 ECON Undergrad Enrollments 21 FACULTY 8 AFFILIATED FACULTY 3 STAFF • • • • Flávio Cunha, a path-breaking r esearcher of the economics of education who joins us from Penn. Hülya Eraslan, a leading scholar in political economy who joins us from Johns Hopkins. Xun Tang, a leader in industrial organization research who joins us from Penn. Kenneth Wolpin, an eminent scholar in labor economics who joins us from Penn. Flávio Cunha Hülya Eraslan Xun Tang Each of these individuals brings unique expertise and perspective, while sharing my own vision for economics as a powerful lens through which we can view and understand our world and as a tool with which we can improve all of our lives. Again, I am very enthusiastic to begin the upcoming academic year and to continue to share and discuss RISE and all that we can do for Rice. I hope that I will have the opportunity to meet each of you in the coming days. Kenneth Wolpin With best wishes, Antonio M. Merlo Chair of Department of Economics 59% 41% 197 ECON Undergrads 38 Grad Students RICE ECON ECON & MTEC 48% MTEC Greetings! I am pleased to I am pleased to say that our efforts are already well underway, as we welcome four exceptionally talented new faculty members to the department: 52% ECON Through RISE, we will recruit more top scholars to join our exceptional faculty, leverage partnerships around Rice, and create programs that inspire our undergraduates, graduate students and community members alike. New Faculty! ensure that the Department of Economics reaches its full potential. Undergrads RISE is a five-year effort that will enhance research and teaching in economics as key engines of academic success and real-world contributions. Fall 2014