The Economics Department Thanks David Papell for 15 Years of Service as Department Chair

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David Papell, Joel W. Sailors Endowed Professor of Economics, served the Department of Economics at the University of Houston as Chair for 15 years. On September 1, 2019 he transitioned back to the department to concentrate on research and teaching. During his time as Chair the Department grew in prestige as well as size. He was instrumental in starting a full-time MA program, oversaw the dramatic improvement in our PhD program, generated substantial increases in research funds for faculty and pioneered the hiring of full-time instructional faculty to bolster the department’s teaching and service. He was famous for his short and informative faculty meetings, and usually started the meetings with a quote from some literary reference. In his last faculty meeting on August 28, 2019, he cited departing comments from several former US Presidents. When asked how he lasted for such a long time as Chair, he replied “because of faculty volunteering and mutual respect.”

To celebrate his tenure as Department Chair, Chinhui Juhn hosted a taco bash party together with Ruxandra Prodan Boul at Chinhui’s home on September 6, 2019. The photo display here is from that event. There were many toasts and roasts including some funny comments from the incoming chair Dietz Vollrath, “David taught me there was no reason to make decisions when you have to, but not before. There is no reason to argue about the decision twice.”