Department of Economics Selected to Receive Funding in Strategic Hiring Initiative

Author: Carrie Gates

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Notre Dame’s Department of Economics has been selected by the University as one of 10 essential research areas to receive funding through a new strategic hiring initiative—a key component in the University’s Advancing Our Vision (AOV) program.

Announced in December 2013, the hiring initiative will create approximately 80 faculty positions across campus and draw on $10 million in annual funds that have been reallocated from lower-priority expenditures.

“AOV is an exciting initiative as it enables us to push forward even faster with two of our strongest departments: economics and history,” said John McGreevy, I.A. O’Shaughnessy Dean of the College of Arts and Letters. “Economics is one of the fastest growing majors in the University and a place where, over a long period of time, Notre Dame had suffered from underinvestment— but it is also a department that has made great strides in the past decade.

“The AOV program is now an extraordinary opportunity to leap forward in this crucial discipline, especially with key programs such as the Lab for Economic Opportunities and in growing areas of emphasis such as financial economics.”

The department has already added three new faculty members through the initiative and more hires are in the works, according to Chair William Evans, the Keough-Hesburgh Professor of Economics.

“The positions generated by our AOV proposal will be transformative for our department both on the research and teaching side,” Evans said. “On the research front, our department is dedicated to finding exceptional scholars who support the mission of the University and being able to expand by such a large amount is just exciting. Very few departments are given this opportunity and we hope to make the best of it.

“On the teaching front, as our department expands, we hope to offer a much greater variety of classes at the junior and senior level to make the major an even more valuable experience for undergraduates.”

University President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., introduced the AOV program in 2011 as part of Notre Dame’s ongoing commitment to research excellence, both within faculty and for the undergraduate and graduate students they teach.

The president also emphasizes the program’s importance given the University’s commitment to be a sound steward of its resources, a commitment that has taken on even greater significance given current challenges facing the economy and higher education.

The 10 winning proposals, which were selected by a cross-disciplinary committee of faculty and deans, aim to build on the University’s existing strengths in economics, global history, chemical and biomolecular engineering, electrical engineering (nanotechnology), topology, analytical chemistry and biochemistry, nuclear physics, computational data science and engineering, applied and computational mathematics and statistics, and non-embryonic stem cell research.

“Hiring quality scholars is the single most difficult task at even the best departments,” Evans said. “As our department has grown, we believe we have been good stewards of the University’s resources and have hired exceptional scholars.

“The fact that our department was selected for this initiative means the University believes in our vision and helps signal to potential hires Notre Dame’s commitment to the study of economics.”

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Originally published by Carrie Gates at on January 15, 2015.