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Save Graduate Emory Economics

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This is a letter we will be sending President Wagner in response to the recent changes that plan to phase out the Economics Graduate Program at Emory over the next years. If you agree with our cause, please sign our petition. Write your full name and major. Thank you


Re: Recent Departmental Freeze

President Wagner,

On behalf of the undergraduate economics community and as many other individuals on campus have done already, we firmly oppose the recent departmental freeze orchestrated by Dean Forman; concretely as it affects the graduate economics department.

The closure of the graduate economics department is extremely harmful to both the undergraduate economics department and Emory University’s standing as a whole. As in any other prestigious university, the graduate and undergraduate programs at Emory are closely intertwined. The graduate program is an essential backbone of research that attracts talented graduate economists who collaborate with professors in the department and in many cases also teach our classes. As a result the freeze announced by Dean Forman removes a fundamental piece of the department, one that will without a doubt force some of our best professors to leave this university and seek employment elsewhere. This decreased number of professors and graduate students will not improve the quality of the economics department, reason for which many of us came to Emory. On the contrary, this decision will leave an already struggling, understaffed yet highly demanded major with 716 students in a state that is far from the excellence Emory preaches. Many of our colleagues have already wondered aloud how a university could consider itself a world-class institution and not have a growing graduate economics program. Similarly, others wonder how the administration could make this move in one of the most extraordinary economic environments of the last century, and we wonder if the value of an economics education is truly understood.

The closure of the economics graduate department is from our perspective incomprehensible and we stand behind and fully support Dr. Banerjee’s efforts to combat this decision. As he recently pointed out, the Emory graduate economics program has consistently risen in national rankings over the last 10 years from 70th to 43rd in terms of papers published in the top 50 academic economics journals. A lack of statistical improvement can’t be blamed.

Likewise, the manner in which the changes were decided is completely unacceptable. With an utter lack of transparency and little to no consultation of the faculty or students of the university, many see the freeze as the illegitimate result of an illegitimate process. As students and educated consumers, we research to find the school that best fits our preferences and goals. Because of these actions, many students, including us, feel we have been betrayed and deceived regarding the product called Emory University. Additionally, our reputations and good name will be affected by actions beyond our control.

We hope that you take our words as a sincere and serious invitation to a dialogue that will restore the department to full functionality before the damage is permanent.



-Economics Student Society Executive Board


Emory Economics Student Society


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