Inauguration news: Economics and education are topics of April 15 presentation

April 5, 2011
Contact: Karen Eldridge, Director of Communications
865-981-8207; karen.eldridge@maryvillecollege.edu

As the Obama administration prepares its push to modify and reauthorize No Child Left Behind, Maryville College is inviting the public to hear what one scholar thinks about the economic issues tied to the current crises in primary and secondary education.

Dr. Thomas Nechyba, professor of economics and public policy at Duke University, will answer the question “What can economics tell us about the education crisis?” during a presentation scheduled for 2 p.m., April 15 in the Ronald and Lynda Nutt Theatre of the Clayton Center for the Arts.

Recently, Nechyba has been involved with a Brookings Institution task force on school competition to advise the administration and Congress on aspects of the upcoming reauthorization of No Child Left Behind, a federal law that supports standards-based education reform.

Nechyba holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Rochester and taught economics at Stanford University before joining the faculty of Duke University in 1999. At Stanford, he received the Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching and in 2004, he was presented the Kenneth G. Elzinga Distinguished Teaching Award from the Southern Economics Association.

Twice, Nechyba has chaired Duke’s department of economics. In January 2011, he also became director of the university’s Economic Center of Teaching (EcoTeach), an initiative that he founded in 2001. The center provides all students – undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students – with services and assistance specific to their studies. For undergraduate students, EcoTeach also provides numerous opportunities for research-focused field classes and senior research seminars.

Nechyba’s research, which has been funded by agencies such as the National Science Foundation and the Spencer Foundation, lies in the field of public economics, with particular focus on primary and secondary education, federalism and the functioning of local governments, as well as public policy issues relating to disadvantaged families.

An active scholar, author and presenter, Nechyba is currently a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and serves as associate editor for The American Economic Review, International Tax and Public Finance, and The BE Journals of Economic Analysis and Policy.

His textbook, Microeconomics: An Intuitive Approach, was published last year.

The April 15 presentation, which is free and open to the public, is part of the Inaugural events for Maryville College’s 11th president, Dr. William T. “Tom” Bogart, who will be inaugurated during a ceremony scheduled for April 16 on the campus.

Nechyba is a colleague and friend of Bogart. The Maryville College president praised the Duke professor for his reputation as an award-winning teacher and scholar, especially in the area of education policy.

“Tom has the ability to explain difficult concepts in a way that they are not only understandable but that invite further exploration and questions, which is fundamental to the idea of lifelong learning,” Bogart said. “Tom earned recognition for his work as department chair for the strategic approach he took to building the program at Duke. His enthusiasm for building something larger than himself is contagious.”


Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the fall 2013 semester is 1,168.