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LSU Today Flagship Faculty
What was your previous position and where?Before coming to LSU in 1983, I was at the University of British Columbia and then Miami University.
What brought you to LSU?I was attracted to LSU because the economics department had just implemented its Quality Thrust Initiative, designed to expand the department and build a nationally ranked program. I wanted to be part of that effort. Since my entire family lived in south Louisiana, it made the prospect of being part of that building process even more attractive to me. By the way, we succeeded in that effort.
What is your research interest?My early research papers dealt with various aspects of trade union activity and the impacts of state and local taxes on industry location decisions. Later, my focus shifted to the analysis of labor market earnings differentials. Though I continued to work on various labor topics, consulting opportunities in the early 1990s led me to the area of pharmaceutical economics.
What do you hope to accomplish at LSU?Beginning in the mid-1990s, the economics department began to lose faculty and funding. The department is now half the size it was after we succeeded with the Quality Thrust Initiative in the early '90s. As chair, I would like to be part of a university-supported initiative to rebuild the economics department so that it can solidify its position as a flagship program. Also, while at LSU, Iíd like to win a major bass fishing tournament — hope springs eternal.
What do you enjoy most about LSU?For the past 28 years, Iíve had the good fortune to work with great colleagues, while at the same time remaining close to my extended family. That comes very close to defining happiness.
What are your major accomplishments?Iíd like to think that my research output contributed to the success of the departmentís Quality Thrust Initiative and helped enhance its reputation in the research community. Further, as chair, I hope I have been instrumental in providing my colleagues with an environment that facilitates their success at two activities they enjoy — teaching and research.