I am very pleased to announce that Michael Veseth has been named the next Robert G. Albertson Professor. I have made this appointment after receiving the recommendations of a faculty committee consisting of Barry Anton, Mott Greene, and Ken Rousslang, chaired by Kris Bartanen, and on my own review of Professor Veseth's outstanding record over a thirty-one year career at Puget Sound.
The donors who endowed the professorship wanted to honor members of the faculty "who are personally and professionally committed to undergraduate teaching and teaching excellence." In addition, they wished to recognize a member of the faculty whose work is rigorously interdisciplinary.
During his five-year term, Professor Veseth will contribute new courses to the Core curriculum at the lower division and upper division levels, including both Connections courses and Scholarly & Creative Inquiry Seminars. His particular focus will be on helping students to understand more fully complex tensions of globalization through analysis of ordinary structures of everyday life, including soccer, wine, and the European Union. As the university moves forward to enrich its distinctive disciplinary and interdisciplinary strengths in globally-focused education, Professor Veseth's work on the conflicts and contradictions highlighted by processes of globalization is timely and creative. His selection emerged from an extraordinary pool of nominees for the position that presented a daunting challenge to the committee.
Mike Veseth returned to Puget Sound in 1976, after earning a bachelor's degree in economics and mathematics here in 1973, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Economics at Purdue University in 1974 and 1975, respectively. With the collaboration of faculty colleagues across several departments, he founded in 1994 the International Political Economy program, a program that is now among Puget Sound's five largest in terms of graduating majors. Mike is a legendary teacher and prodigious scholar, having authored or co-authored with Puget Sound colleagues several widely used textbooks in Economics and in IPE and published other scholarly work, including, most recently, the acclaimed Globaloney: Unraveling the Myths of Globalization. He has been recognized by students with several teaching awards, and has received invitations to lecture for regional, national, and international events; in the summers of 2005 and 2006 he served as Economics Professor for the American Institute on Political and Economic Systems in Prague.
When Mike's term as Albertson Professor begins in 2008-2009, he will be the fifth member of the Puget Sound faculty to be honored as Robert G. Albertson Professor. The inaugural recipients of this significant recognition were Professor of Physics Jim Clifford and Professor of English Frank Cousens, followed by Professor of History Terry Cooney (who vacated the chair during his tenure as Dean) and Professor of History Suzanne Barnett. Having recently celebrated the remarkable life of Bob Albertson and his intense dedication to students and to the enduring power of the liberal arts, we take special pride in what this chair represents about our faculty and offer our warmest congratulations to Mike Veseth on being named to it.