UC Merced Professor Appointed to County Bank Chair in Economics

MERCED - Shawn Kantor, a founding faculty member at University of California, Merced, has been appointed to the County Bank Chair in Economics.

"Being appointed to an endowed chair is an honor for any faculty member, and County Bank's generosity will allow me to expand my research in economics," Kantor said.

Considered an architect of the UC Merced economics program, Kantor has worked at the university since 2004. Economics was declared a major at UC Merced within the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Artsin 2006.

"One of the important jobs we have as founding faculty of a new research university is to establish a reputation for excellence," Kantor said. "It's not only important to attract undergraduate and graduate students by providing an outstanding educational experience, but we must also establish research programs that attract the attention of the international academic community."

"Endowed chairs are important to our university. They allow distinguished faculty the financial ability to excel in their scholarly field," said Keith Alley, executive vice chancellor and provost of UC Merced.

"Professor Kantor is a distinguished scholar, and it's fitting that he be appointed to the County Bank Chair in Economics. Shawn is a founding member of our distinguished faculty and County Bank is an early contributor to the success of the campus through this endowment. His scholarship and leadership on campus assure that the prestige of UC Merced will continue to be elevated through our mission of research, teaching and public service," Alley said.

According to Kantor, the endowment will allow him to augment the economics program's current research efforts, and to bring in scholars to discuss their research.

"Bringing prominent scholars to Merced and showing them our progress and our promise helps us to recruit them later as faculty or encourages them to send their best students here for graduate training," Kantor said.

Kantor, a graduate of the University of Rochester and California Institute of Technology, is the author of numerous articles and books, including "Prelude to a Welfare State: The Origins of Workers' Compensation," which won two major research awards in 2000. He is currently working on a book-length project that examines the economic consequences of the New Deal.

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