School of Economics Annual Report
July 1, 2010 - June 30, 2011
Tight budgets (1% net cut in the SOE budget), no merit raises, and a hiring freeze again characterized the general operating environment this past year. And two Assistant Professors resigned to take position elsewhere. However, there were positive developments that lessened the full impact of the budget woes and faculty resignations, which included a targeted hire, a spousal hire, and two replacement hires. In addition, the Provost approved salary adjustments for several faculty and staff whose compensation was well below market levels.
The major administrative change in the School is that Pat McCarthy is stepping down as Chair as of July 1, 2011. Dean Royster appointed Professor Usha Nair-Reichert, currently UG Director, as Interim Chair for AY11-12. Professor Tibor Besedes will be Acting UG Director for AY11-12. The Dean’s Office will conduct a national search for School Chair during the coming year.
Two important programmatic activities occurred in AY2010-11. In Fall 2010, the School underwent its 5th year program review in Fall 2010. And the School inaugurated its Ph.D. program with five entering students. The first year class performed well and took preliminary examinations in June 2011. The Fall 2011 entering Ph.D. class is expected to be four students, one male and three female, from a total pool of forty-two applications. Two of the students are Georgia residents and one student is international. The major challenge for the School continues to be Ph.D. student funding.
The total number of SOE and joint majors was up slightly down from 146 to 148. SOE semester credit hours in 2010 rose by 60 in comparison with 2009, with an increase in lower division and graduate credit hours and a decrease in upper division hours. And UG degrees conferred remained stable in 2010 at 35, in comparison with 34 in 2009. One disappointing change was a significant decrease in average SAT scores between Fall 2009 and Fall 2010, falling more than 100 points for male and female students.
The School continues to participate in the International Plan and UROP but, similar to last year, did not participate in the GT Honors Program due to budget cuts. 58% and 54% of our December 2010 and May 2011 graduating seniors graduated with an overall GPA in the 3.00 – 3.99 range. One student carried a 4.0. At both the UG and MS levels, the School continues to have solid placements.
Research productivity continues to improve in terms of working papers, peer reviewed publications, presentations, keynote speaker invitations, and sponsored research.