Economist Named to Austin Chair

Another story about Segerson’s Austin Chair, this time from the UConn Foundation:

When Philip E. Austin announced his retirement from the University presidency in 2007, longtime donors quickly came together to create a lasting tribute and preserve his legacy of service. In keeping with Austin’s dedication to education and research, a $1.5-million endowed chair was created in his name to memorialize his tenure and support the work of a nationally renowned scholar. The University of Connecticut’s Board of Trustees recently awarded the chair to Kathleen Segerson (IDEAS), a highly regarded professor of economics with 22 years at UConn.

Specializing in law and the environment, Segerson is at the cutting edge of scholarly inquiry and research into some of the most pressing questions of the twenty-first century. She is an expert in three areas critical to the future: natural resource and environmental economics; law and economics; and applied microeconomics. Support through the Philip E. Austin Endowed Chair will enable her to delve deeper into these focus areas.

“This position will allow me to enhance my own research on the links between economics and the environment and the design of public policies to address environmental problems. It will increase my ability to participate in interdisciplinary collaborations and exchanges, which are essential in my research,” says Segerson.

She also notes that the endowment will have effects beyond her own research.

“The position brings recognition not only to the University but to the economics department as well,” she explains. “I hope the chair can be used to advance the contributions of the department, through, for example, fostering exchanges related to a variety of public policy issues, such as education, health care and housing.”

Segerson joined UConn as a visiting assistant professor in 1986. She holds a joint appointment in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, where she headed the Department of Economics from 2001 to 2005, and the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

In 2007, she was appointed to the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences. Last year, she was selected to be a fellow of both the American Agricultural Economics Association and the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists.

As a nationally recognized expert, Segerson’s counsel has been requested on a number of government and professional committees, including an expert panel on climate change economics for the U.S. General Accounting Office, the Science Advisory Board of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences.

Her teaching and accomplishments have earned her recognition from students and colleagues alike. Segerson has received the Most Appreciated Faculty Award from the Association of Graduate Economics Students three times. She also has received the Research Excellence Award from the UConn chapter of the American Association of University Professors and the Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching from the UConn Alumni Association.

Segerson earned a B.A. in mathematics from Dartmouth College and a Ph.D. in environmental natural resource economics from Cornell University.

As UConn’s thirteenth president, Austin led the University through a period of remarkable transition from 1996 to 2007. He oversaw UConn’s dramatic physical transformation and steep rise in national prominence for academic excellence. Austin’s tenure also was marked by a fivefold growth of the endowment.

“It is a real honor to be appointed to a chair that was endowed in recognition of President Austin’s many contributions to the University of Connecticut. Under his leadership, the University made great strides forward, and I am very pleased to be a part of honoring his legacy,” says Segerson.