My term as the Chair of USC Economics starts this week. Proper decorum suggests that I should no longer be blogging. I've decided on a compromise path. I will no longer write about current events or politics or my humor. I will write about my own research and about activity at USC Economics. Of course, I will be a cheerleader for USC and readers are free to filter my slanted messages.
What needs to be said about USC Econ? USC is a school that people love to gossip about. It is a rich private university in a beautiful city. It aspires to be equal in rank to Columbia and Stanford. Like NYU, it is the "new kid on the block". Yes, there is sometimes drama on campus but there are many promising trends. One that I'm especially proud of is that our undergraduates are really smart. The University offers merit scholarships to hundreds of students and these young men and women could certainly have thrived in the Ivy League.
My efforts as chair will have two main foci:
1. improving education at the BA/MA and PHD level. I will share these thoughts. We also need to help our BA and MA students to find their first job. I will be actively involved in recruiting students to USC (selection) and upgrading their education (treatment).
2. Fundraising. What is the case for giving $ to an economics department? Here USC Economics is reaching out to our many past graduates and successful business people in the area to reconnect with the University. I've already attended many lunches with friends of the University and I've enjoyed meeting people who use their economics training to succeed "in the real world".