Letter from Tim Haab, AEDE Department Chair

AEDE’s future is bright.

Retirements and faculty vacancies create uncertainty for the future of academic departments, and three retirements of long-time AEDE faculty members over the past year is certainly no exception.

Over the past six months, the AEDE faculty embarked on a search for four new faculty members. In the Fall, four search committees developed position descriptions and advertised for the four positions. In December, the faculty screened over 500 applicants for the four positions. In early January, 11 AEDE faculty members travelled to San Francisco to conduct over 50 short interviews with potential candidates—I can attest that San Francisco is lovely from the Hilton window.

Over the last two weeks of January and first two weeks of February, we brought 12 outstanding candidates to campus for day-long interviews. That’s 12 job seminars, almost 50 business meals, and 12 days’ worth of meetings scheduled with faculty, students, stakeholders and administrators; all within a span of four weeks while our faculty continued to manage teaching, research and outreach responsibilities. It was an impressive accomplishment and took the collective engagement of all of our faculty and staff.

I am nothing short of impressed with how smooth the process ran.

In the end we were able to attract four outstanding new faculty members to AEDE, from some of the best programs in the world and we were able to outcompete some of the top programs in the country for these outstanding new faculty members. In future newsletters we will be introducing our new faculty members in depth, but for now I will simply say it is our pleasure to welcome:

  • Daniela Miteva, PhD in Environmental Economics from the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University (2013) to the position of Assistant Professor of Sustainable Development and Economy
  • Leah Bevis, PhD from the Dyson School of Applied Economics at Cornell University (anticipated 2016) to the position of Assistant Professor of Sustainable Food and Farm Policy
  • Zoe Plakias, PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California, Davis (anticipated 2016) to the position of Assistant Professor of Agribusiness
  • Yongyang Cai, PhD in Computational and Mathematical Engineering from Stanford University (2009) to the position of Associate Professor of Global Economic Modeling

AEDE is not the same today as it was yesterday, and tomorrow AEDE won’t be the same as today, but as John F. Kennedy once said “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”

The past four months have convinced me that I am proud to work with such a dedicated group of colleagues committed to the future of applied economics at Ohio State.

I am excited for the future of AEDE.