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UC Merced Professor Appointed to County Bank Chair in Economics

July 8, 2008


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


“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 Arts
in 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.