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Roger Backhouse History Modern Economic Analysis - DOC

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					                             DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS
                                  ANNUAL REPORT
                                     2002/2003


   I.      ASSESSMENT ACTIVITIES

Principles of Economics

One of the most important outcomes of our departmental activity involves the service component
of our principles of economics sequence. All business majors are required to take both econ 40
and econ 50 or their equivalent at community colleges. In Spring 2003 we developed a forty-
five question multiple choice assessment instrument in conjunction with faculty from the Craig
School of Business. The test was divided into three sections: micro, macro and international. It
was administered to more than 100 graduating seniors in business school classes with the
intention of evaluating retention of the core concepts in our required principles of economics
courses. The results will be analyzed in the 2003-2004 academic year.

The Economics Major

Professor Sally Hays has reviewed 4 years‟ worth of course projects in econometrics (Econ 123,
a required class for all majors) using specific criteria to determine whether multiple learning
objectives were achieved in the course. Scores for each learning objective have been tabulated
and we are now able to identify strengths and weaknesses associated with the offering of this
important component of our major program.

Upper Division General Education

Professor Houser and Leet are analyzing student survey data gathered over two years from
classes taking Economics 176 (Economic Themes in Film). We are trying to determine the
degree to which students in this class are able to apply economic reasoning to real world
problems. How much of the “economic way of thinking” do they understand? Preliminary
results are encouraging, but we needed some comparative data from another class and we chose
Econ 165 (The Modern American Economy) as the control group. Further analysis of this data
will be done in 2003-2004.

   II.     TEACHER EDUCATION AND PRESCHOOL-12 COLLABORATION

Liberal Studies Blended Program

The department continues to play a major role in teacher education. Dr. Leet, serves as the
representative of our College on the Liberal Studies Review Committee, and for the past three
years he has served as chair of LSRC. The economics department offers one of the required
courses in the Liberal Studies Blended Program, Economics 165 – The Modern American
Economy. We must offer 7 or 8 sections of this course each semester in order to satisfy the
demand for the course. The classes are fully enrolled and generate 50 to 60 FTE every semester.
                                                                                                     2



Center for Economic Education

 The Center for Economic Education is an auxiliary organization affiliated with the department
whose major area of interest involves pre-college economic education. Professor Leet is the
Director of the Center. He is assisted by Professor Emeritus James Echols, a retired faculty
member from the School of Education, for whose continued contributions we are exceedingly
grateful. Professor Echols has taken charge of our stock market simulation which continues to
attract significant interest from local schools and provides an important activity for our liberal
studies students. In addition, Ms. Jeanette Iwasa, has begun providing invaluable service by
participating in or leading workshops, and by taking major responsibility for teaching the
required economics class (Econ 165) for Liberal Studies majors.

The Fresno State Stock Market Simulation operates a ten-week game in both the fall and spring
semesters. There are two divisions in each semester: university and high school. Competition
involves 317 high school teams in the fall and 281 teams in the spring. With 3-4 members for
each team, this gives us a range of 900 - 1200 students each semester. The university division
involves students enrolled in Economics 165, approximately 250-300 students per semester.

President Welty hosted the Annual Awards Luncheon for fall and spring high school winners of
the Fresno State Stock Market simulation, April 30, 2003. Winners appear on our webpage:
www.csusms.com/fresno

Unitrack

The Department of Economics, with assistance from the Center for Economic Eduation,
continues to offer instruction to high school students via a Unitrack agreement with Buchanan
High School (1 section per year), Hanford High School (2 sections per year), Edison High
School (4 sections per year). Outstanding students enrolled in AP Economics are ably taught
by: Ms. Kirstin Heimerdinger, at Buchanan High School; Mr. Ken Hill at Hanford High School;
and Dale Knepper at Edison High School.

III.   MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Publications

Professor Cypher

"Recent Tendencies in Development Economics: Bringing Institutions Back In?" in Institutional
Analysis and Economic Policy Marc Tool and Paul D. Bush editors (Kluwer Academic
Publishers: The Netherlands, 2002) pp. 249-275.

“Crisis Tendencies of the 1990s: Constraints on the Ideology of Globalization?” in
Globalizacion: Insercion de Mexico y alternativas incluyentes Carlos Morera y Jorge Basave,
coordinadores (Mexico:UNAM 2002) pp. 189-213.
                                                                                                 3

“A Prop not a Burden: The US Economy Relies on Military Spending,” Dollars and Sense
(July/August 2002).

Professor England

“Determining Regional Structure Through Cointegration,” with Harvey Cutler and Stephan
Weiler, The Review of Regional Studies (forthcoming)

Professor Fayazmanesh

“On Veblen‟s Coining of the Term „Neoclassical‟” (reprint), in Intellectual Legacies in Modern
Economics, Steven G. Medema, Roger Backhouse and A.W. Coats (editors). London: Edward
Elgar, 2003.

“The Politics of the U.S. Economic Sanctions Against Iran,” Review of Radical Political
Economy, Volume 35, Number 3, (forthcoming, 2003).

Professor Sally Hays

“Firm Willingness to Participate in Energy Conservation: An Empirical Study of Agricultural
Firm‟s Energy Conservation Under a Stepped-Incentive Program” co-authored with Dr. Ellen
Burnes, Dept. of Agricultural Economics, CSU-Fresno, in The Journal of Energy Education,
Vol. 1 April 2003.

Professor Houser

“How Well Can We Track Cohabitation Using the SIPP? A Consideration of Direct and Inferred
Measures” with Reagan Baughman and Stacy Dickert-Conlin, Demography, August 2002.

“Regional Differences in the Utilization of the Mortgage Interest Deduction,” with Peter Brady
and Julie-Anne Cronin,Public Finance Review (forthcoming).

Professor Leet

“Economics Goes to Hollywood: Using Classic Films to Create an Undergraduate Economics
Course,” with Scott Houser, Journal of Economic Education (forthcoming).

Reports and technical papers

Professor Houser

“Economic Impact of the International Center for Water Technology” Center for Irrigation
Technology, California State University, Fresno,” August 2002

“Welfare Reform in Rural Cities: The Economic Impact of Time Limits on Selma and Parlier,”
with Mark Hanna, California State University, Fresno,” September, 2002
                                                                                             4



Conference presentations and participation

Professor Fayazmanesh

“The Consequences of U.S. Economic and Political Policies in the Middle East,” presented at
Cal Poly SLO, February 24, 2003.

“Axis of Evil and the Holy Alliance,” presented at CSU Fresno, March 18, 2003.

Professor England

“The Local Impact of Monetary Shocks: The Importance of Proper Geographic and Sectoral
Aggregation,” presented at the Regional Science Association International, San Juan Puerto
Rico, November 2002.

Professor Houser

"The Earned Income Tax Credit: Marriage and Cohabitation" with Stacy Dickert-Conlin and
Yun Li, Population Association Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, April 2003.

Professor Iwasa

“Presenting Economics in the Classroom” Summer Institute of the San Joaquin Valley History
Social Science Project, Fresno, June 2003.

Professor Leet

“A Review of High School Economics Textbooks,” with Jane Lopus at the Annual Meeting of
the National Association of Economic Educators, San Diego October 11, 2002.

“Essential Microeconomic Concepts for Newly Independent Nations of the Former Soviet
Union” presented at Economics International Seminar, St. Petersburg Russia December 2002.

“Death and Taxes” presented at the Second Thursday Seminar of the San Joaquin Valley History
Social Science Project, Fresno, April 10, 2003.
                                                                                                 5

Grants/grant proposals/assigned time
Professor Fayazmanesh - 6WTU -Honors College

Professor Hays
$5000 Research, Scholarship and Creative Activities Award 2002-2003 for “Analysis of Energy
Reduction Program”

$1000          Affirmative Action Faculty Development Proposal 2002-2003 for “Effectiveness
               of an Energy Reduction Program”.

3 WTU          New College for Instructional Innovation Grant 2003-2004 for “Using Local
               Environmental Issues to Build a Case Study Class in Environmental Economics”

Professor Leet - 6 WTU -Chair of Liberal Studies Curriculum Committee


IV      GOALS - PROBLEMS\CHALLENGES\SUCCESSES

        1) ENHANCING THE ECONOMICS MAJOR -- INTERNSHIPS
Over the last ten years we have seen a gradual increase in the number of economics majors, but
we want to build the number of major and minors in our department. A solid core of economics
majors and minors is a pre-requisite for our faculty to be able to offer a wide variety of
challenging courses. One of the keys to this goal will be to restructure our internship program.
While we do not want to weaken our current emphasis on preparing our majors for post-graduate
study, we must recognize that most of our students do not plan to go on to graduate school
immediately, if ever. We need to place these students in meaningful work experience program
where they can apply their knowledge to practical real world problems. Past economics graduates
in public service, city planning, economic development, finance, banking, teaching and legal
services can all be contacted and asked to assist us in establishing meaningful internships for our
majors and minors.




        2) PART-TIME HIRING POOL – QUALITY ASSURANCE
Economics has traditionally had a difficult time finding qualified part-time instructors. Last
year‟s Annual Report (2001-2002) noted this as a major challenge. This was even more
important last year when we had two retirements (Shaw and Shaffer) in the department. This was
further compounded by the relocation of two part-time instructors (Mathews and Boyles).
Fortunately we were able to rebuild the pool with some outstanding part-time faculty (Dansby,
Dunn, Franz, Gibbs, Kempe, Nishimoto, Pranzo, and Tesfaye). With Professor Cypher on leave
in the spring and Professor Houser on sabbatical in the fall, we actually had more part-time
faculty than fulltime faculty. Nevertheless, the quality of instruction was maintained and we are
grateful for their dedication in the classroom and their cooperative spirit in the department.
                                                                                                   6

V. MILESTONES REPORT – STRATEGIC GOALS
We were asked to comment on selected Strategic Plan Goals insofar as they were addressed by
the department.

Goal 5 – Advising
The department chair continues to serve as the major advisor, but all faculty members share
advising duties. We recently revised the advising handout listing required and elective courses.

Goal 12 – Professional Development
This continues to be a high priority for our department. Every faculty member has travel funds
for one academic conference and we used our Strategic Fund to supplement this category.

Goal 17 – Honors Program
Our department continues to support the honors program by encouraging one of our most
talented members, Dr. Sasan Fayazmanesh, to teach in the Honors College.

Goal 18 – Student Research
Many of our faculty have engaged our majors in their research grants and activities. For example,
two of our economics majors (Brandon Webb and Bernard Ii) did an economic analysis of the
neighborhood surrounding the campus. This study was don through a Solutions Center project
supervised by Dr. Houser. We hope to enhance this element of our program as we enlarge the
number of internships.

Goal 19 – International Exchange
We cooperate with the Craig School of Business to ensure that international students who come
here to study business are given places in our upper division courses. We also encourage our
students and faculty to take advantage of international opportunities. Dr. Cypher is frequently in
Latin America (Chile in 2003) and Dr. Leet is often asked to work in countries of the former
Soviet Union (Russia and Kazakhstan in 2002-3).

Goal 20 – Assessment
We continue to follow university guidelines for peer review, student evaluations and student
assessment as well as outcomes assessment (see Section I above).

Goal 28 – External Partnerships and Collaboration
Our Center for Economic Education continues to serve as a resource for the community. It gives
students and teachers in the community access to university resources in economics by providing
materials, curriculum consultation, and in-service training for teachers and administrators.
Goal 31 – Capital Campaign
The economics department made three proposals for capital campaign project: creation of a
Master‟s Degree Program; An Endowment and Naming Rights for the Center for Economic
Education; and an Economic Policy Institute.
Goal 37 – Technology
Our department updated its website and designated Professor Fayazmanesh as the department
website coordinator.

				
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