In a twist on the “Life After Lawrence” meme, Professor Merton D. “Marty” Finkler officially retired yesterday, after serving on the economics faculty for more than 30 years. Professor Finkler is the consummate economist, always interested in talking about economics and ideas whether in class or at the ball game. He also has a remarkable versatility, from his principal field of health economics to his core (and terrifying?) macro theory course to urban economics to sports economics to environmental economics and on to China. It certainly is not possible to replace his expertise, at least not with one person. Fortunately, he will continue to teach and engage with our students as an emeritus professor, beginning this fall with his Investments class.
Here he is pictured in his new hood (!), along with our faculty and one of our more photogenic students. His Honorary Degree citation is below the break.
Marty Finkler, you have served as an outstanding member of the faculty since 1979, when youfinished your PhD at the University of Minnesota. Before studying at the University of Minnesota you earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics at the University of California in San Diego and a Master of Science degree at the London School of Economics and Political Science. In addition to being a highly effective teacher of over 20 different courses at Lawrence, you have contributed your expertise in helping the University develop effective programs in health insurance and retirement benefits and have enhanced our curriculum by providing leadership in building new connections with China. Your work on healthcare was recognized by your selection as a Robert Wood Johnson Fellow in Healthcare Finance and has led to leadership roles at the state level in efforts to improve the quality of public healthcare in Wisconsin. Among your many papers and presentations on healthcare, one has the creative title of, “Hitchhikers Guide to Competitive Managed Care.” For the past 12 years you have played a crucial role in creating and developing the Sustainable China program, an initiative that has taken over 50 students to China to gain a better understanding of its political economy. This work has been supported by two Luce Foundation grants. Your many contributions to the curriculum, to effective faculty programs, to the policies of the State of Wisconsin, and to international collaborative initiatives, symbolize the very best in combining classroom teaching with effective scholarship.
In recognition of your many contributions to Lawrence and its students, I am pleased to award you the degree of Master of Arts, ad eundem, on the occasion of your retirement from the faculty.