For decades the Ph.D. program in economics at the University of Florida flourished. Highly regarded econometricians, like the late Henri Thiel and G.S. Maddala, taught there. Until the late 1990s, the department had been ranked among the top 20 of American public universities by prominent economics journals and associations.
Now, the 71-year-old doctoral program, housed in the Warrington College of Business Administration, is near death.
Like many public universities, the University of Florida faced significant budget cuts in the recent economic downturn. Such cuts led to reductions and eliminations of Ph.D. programs across the country, including at Florida, where the computer-science, engineering, psychology, and statistics programs have downsized. But it is rare for an economics program to be on the chopping block.
The number of economics Ph.D. programs housed in business colleges has held steady since 2008, according to a survey of 407 American institutions accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, and the job market for new economics Ph.D.’s is relatively healthy. In 2010-11, almost 89 percent of all economics graduates who sought employment got jobs, and 62 percent of those landed academic positions, according to a survey of 191 economics departments by the Center for Business and Economic Research. <Read more.>