William “Woody” Hall, Ph.D., was the senior economist and a professor of economics at UNCW for 41 years until his retirement in June. Following his departure we have asked Adam Jones. Ph.D., to take on the role of regional economist and are excited about his energy and enthusiasm, and the perspective of a unique background in economic development, university outreach with the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government, and the formal training of a Ph.D. economist. Here is Jones’ explanation of why he accepted the regional economist position and his objectives for the new role:
The regional economist position offers a unique opportunity to bring together several UNCW objectives: educating students, scholarship and service to the community. One of the reasons I moved from economic development into academia was to help prepare future leaders to make good policy decisions in their family lives, careers and communities.The regional economist position offers an opportunity to use the classroom as a tool for community development and the community as a tool for classroom learning. Cameron’s students are hardworking, humble and hungry to make a difference. As a region, we have corridors to be studied, economic impacts to be estimated, real estate trends to be analyzed, business plans to be developed, and market studies to be undertaken. One of the most valuable resources for these projects is sitting right here, thousands of creative and engaged students searching for the opportunity to serve those around them while furthering their education. I can’t imagine anything more fulfilling than helping to facilitate that process! Furthermore, the regional economist position offers an opportunity to pursue academic research in a fashion complimentary to the engaged learning of our students by contributing to the local knowledge base.
If you’ll permit me to wander esoterically for a moment, the economist Friedrich Hayek is famous for many intellectual contributions with some of the most important being his observations about the nature of knowledge. Hayek suggested that centralized, social planning would never work because knowledge is “decentralized” and contained in each of us, and that there was no way to adequately aggregate all the knowledge. The validation of Hayek’s insights come from the success of organizations that involve their whole team and not just a few. The long-term success of our region depends on how well we cultivate, develop and invite contributions from all. We all need to contribute time, talent and treasure to making our community the place we hope and know it can be; I look forward to making my contribution, starting with the Outlook Conference in October. This year’s event will feature a condensed format with an emphasis on sharing information including observations on the local economic conditions, national economic conditions and observations from some of the largest employers in southeastern North Carolina. For me personally, I look forward to meeting the people engaged in our community (so please introduce yourself), learning from each of you, and learning more about how we can use the university’s resources to serve our neighbors. The Outlook Conference will be held on October 13, 2015 at the Burney Center on the UNC Wilmington Campus. For more information and to register, please visit www.csb.uncw.edu/cbes/conf/EOC .
Robert T. Burrus, Jr., Ph.D., is the dean of the Cameron School of Business at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, named in June 2015. Burrus joined the UNCW faculty in 1998. Prior to his current position, Burrus was interim dean, associate dean of undergraduate studies and the chair of the department of economics and finance. Burrus earned a Ph.D. and a master’s degree in economics from the University of Virginia and a bachelor’s degree in mathematical economics from Wake Forest University. The Cameron School of Business has approximately 60 full-time faculty members and 20 administrative and staff members. The AACSB-accredited business school currently enrolls approximately 2,000 undergraduate students in three degree programs and 200 graduate students in four degree programs. The school also houses the prestigious Cameron Executive Network, a group of more than 200 retired and practicing executives that provide one-on-one mentoring for Cameron students. To learn more about the Cameron School of Business, please visit http://csb.uncw.edu/. Questions and comments can be sent to [email protected].
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