Economics professor N. Gregory Mankiw, head of the popular introductory course Economics 10: Principles of Economics and adviser to presidential candidate Mitt Romney, will take over as chair of the economics department starting on July 1. He will replace professor John Y. Campbell, who is wrapping up a three-year term as chair.
“I was not surprised to be asked, as several of my colleagues told me they had suggested me for the position,” Mankiw wrote in an emailed statement. “I look forward to making the world’s best economics department even better.”
Mankiw has taught at Harvard since 1985 and also served as the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers during the Bush administration. He said that he plans to continue to work as a part-time adviser to the Romney campaign and will continue to teach Ec 10, but that he has cancelled his plans to offer a freshman seminar next year and may reduce his other teaching responsibilities as necessary.
Looking forward, Mankiw stated that he will aim to secure more faculty hires in economics. Like other departments in the social sciences, economics faced a hiring freeze following the financial crisis in 2008 but has begun to see growth in recent years.
“The department may seem large to some, but we have many students, so our student-faculty ratio is much higher than the university average,” Mankiw wrote.
According to Campbell, the outgoing chair, negotiating faculty searches is a significant component of the position. Other duties include supervising the staff, interacting with the Board of Overseers, and interfacing between the department and the dean of social sciences, Peter V. Marsden.
“It’s hard work,” Campbell said. “We all feel that we should take a turn.”
Campbell said he enthusiastically supports Mankiw’s appointment, which was made by Marsden.
“I think Greg is a very good choice,” Campbell said. “[He] has very high professional standing. He’s very well-respected.... He’s highly committed to undergraduate teaching.”
Campbell also stated that Mankiw’s 27 years of teaching at Harvard prepares him well for the position.
“He’s been here his whole career,” he said. “He knows the institution.”
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