July 1 marks the beginning of a new fiscal year for Carolina.  It also marks a “changing of the guard” for leadership of the Department of Economics:  a new chair.  Professor Pat Conway led the department for six years and will now fill his days with research, teaching, and service … sans administration.  We have seen the fruits of many great initiatives and growth during Dr. Conway’s tenure:  recruitment and hire of 19 faculty members, the EconAid Center, the Quantitative Financial Economics certificate, Women in Economics club, Center for Regulatory and Industrial Studies, expansion of our summer abroad offerings,  and several university-wide teaching awards, just to name a few.  We thank Pat for his commitment and leadership. We also thank Professor Andy Yates for his excellent service as chair from January through June.

I now step into the role of Chair of the Economics Department.  In preparation, future leaders are asked to think about their approach to leadership (e.g., positive, authentic, appreciative, ethical, transformational, autocratic, democratic, Laissez-Faire).  I believe I can best use my talents through servant leadership.  I hope to cultivate a workplace that empowers and develops the faculty and staff who ultimately do the serving in the Economics department.  We are serving students with quality education and mentorship, we are serving the professional community with our ideas, and we are serving the university with our commitment and integrity.

As chair, I want to be a resource, and that is where you – alumni, students, and faculty – come in.  What knowledge, wisdom, experience, or direction might YOU be able to share with the Economics department?  Your ideas are ones that we want to consider.  Might you serve as a mentor to students seeking advice about employment or internships? Could you come back to campus to give a guest lecture demonstrating how you use your economics training in your current work?  Do you have ideas for new initiatives that will prepare our students for a fast-changing economy?   Would you like to support undergraduate programs or graduate student research?

Currently, nearly 40 percent of incoming first-year students take Economics 101, and 1 in 10 UNC graduates is an Economics major.  Our new Ph.D.s are landing impressive jobs. Our faculty are producing important research and qualified students each year. This newsletter shares with you some of these accomplishments.  We invite you to partner with us.  Email donna_gilleskie@unc.edu to share your ideas.

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