Economics Department Goals

The University of West Georgia (UWG) has established four strategic guiding principles and twelve corresponding strategic planning goals. The relationship between departmental and the university goals is indicated in parenthesis.

  1. Economics Graduates. Students completing the baccalaureate program with a major in Economics (B.B.A., B.S., B.A.) will be able to demonstrate a satisfactory understanding of economic theory and its application and will be adequately prepared for the job market and/or graduate school.  Specifically,
    • at least 90% of economics students will pass the department’s exit exam,
    • at least 85% of economics students will meet or exceed expectations on their oral presentation assessment, and
    • all graduating economics majors will attend at least one session on job search preparation and at least one session on graduate school opportunities (SPG1)
  2. Economics Majors, Graduates, and Enrollment in Major Courses. The Economics Department will recruit majors, effectively advise majors, and schedule classes in such a way to help economics majors graduate in a timely manner.  Specifically, the department will
    • continue efforts to maintain/expand the number of economics majors and graduates. The specific goal is to maintain the number of majors in all economics degree programs at or above 85 and to graduate at least 20 economics majors each year, and
    • average at least 20 students in upper division economics major courses (excluding the business junior core economics courses); 
    • offer selective independent study courses in specialized areas as well as to help students graduate in a timely fashion. (SPG7, SPG8)
  3. Undergraduate Research and Internships. Economics majors will be engaged in research and will be given opportunities to participate in internship experiences.  Specifically, at least
    1. four economics majors will make research presentations as part of the "Big Night" competition or participate in some other significant research activity,
    2. four economics majors will gain work related experience by participating in an internship, and
    3. all economics students will present results of a research project in the economics seminar class (ECON 4484) (SPG1)
  4. Departmental Committee Activity. Department committees will effectively function during 2009-10. Specifically,
    • the Curriculum Committee will review degrees and courses offered by the Economics Department and present any recommendations for changes in courses and/or degree programs to the entire department by the end of Fall 2009 and
    • other committees will meet and undertake actions as needed. (SPG1)
  5. Faculty and Staff Development. Economics faculty and staff will be actively engaged in development activities.  Examples of such activities include workshops, seminars, training programs, and conferences. As a specific goal,
    • adequate funding will be provided by UWG for conference participation, training, the purchase of software, etc. in support of professional development;
    • each faculty member will devote at least 40 hours to such faculty development activities during 2009-10.  This is in addition to course preparation activities.  However, new course development activities may be included in the 40 hour total.
    • the staff assistant in the department will participate in at least 4 professional workshops or training sessions each year (SPG6)
  6. Research, Publication and Professional Leadership. Economics faculty will be actively engaged in research, publication, and other professional activities. Specific goals:
    • all tenure track faculty or lecturers in the department will attend a research related economics conference,
    • at least 75% of economics faculty (tenure track and lecturer) will make a research presentation at an academic conference,
    • an average of two-thirds of an article per faculty member will be published (or will accepted for publication) during 2009-2010 for a total of 6 publications for the department (no double counting to determine if we met this goal),
    • all economics faculty will be "academically" or “professionally” qualified as defined in the RCOB Faculty Development Policies document,
    • department faculty will obtain at least two research or teaching grants from internal or external sources, and
    • department faculty will take leadership roles in state and national associations as officers, journal referees, conference organizers, etc. (SPG1, SPG6)
  7. Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) Activities/Economic Forecast Breakfast. The Economics Department will conduct an annual forecast breakfast in October 2009 and will be engaged in other regional economic activities.  Specifically,
    • The Department of Economics will successfully conduct an Economic Forecast Breakfast in October 2009. Specific goals: the publication of a Regional Outlook for the West Georgia Region for breakfast attendees, attendance at the breakfast of 300 people or more, and financial and other support for the breakfast from at least 8 sponsors and/or co-sponsors,
    • Department faculty will provide insights on the local economy to local civic groups as well as to various media outlets, 
    • the Economics Department will seek out grant opportunities to support the CBER; and
    • the CBER will begin publishing a quarterly update on the West Georgia economy (SPG12)
  8. Economic Education. The Center for Economic Education and Financial Literacy will conduct workshops for teachers, attract financial support, and provide other services to support economic education in the West Georgia area. Specific goals include:
    • advising and attracting  B.S. majors in economics with secondary education certification.  The goal is to have 5 majors in this program by the end of the Spring 2010.
    • the UWG Economic Education website will be updated on a periodic basis,
    • efforts will be made to attract financial and other support from the Georgia Council on Economic Education and the RCOB to support center activities,
    • conduct, with the assistance of the Georgia Council for Economic Education, at least four workshops or other activities for public school teachers and other educators, 
    • remain in contact with Economics Americas coordinators in the West Georgia region, vi) update the database of economics instructors in the West Georgia Region,
    • department faculty will attend at least two conferences with sessions/workshops devoted to economics education at the K-12 level, and
    • promote participation of K-12 teachers in economics education activities (in addition to workshops). (SPG12)
  9. Teaching Effectiveness. Economics faculty will strive to maintain excellence in the classroom and to promote student learning.  Specifically,
    • at least one-half of the half or full time teaching faculty will achieve a median score of 85 (% agreeing/strongly agreeing to positive statements) on the student evaluations of teaching , 
    • at least one half of economics faculty will attend workshops or conference presentations related to the effectiveness in the classroom. (SPG1)
  10. Honors College The Department of Economics will continue to utilize its resources to support the Honors College at UWG. Specifically,
    • the department will offer Honors sections of ECON 2105 and ECON 2106 during 2009-10.
    • department faculty will support Honors College students in various ways such as offering honors credit for students in upper division, non-honors courses. (SPG2)
  11. Student Awareness of the Global Economy.  The department faculty will support activities which promote greater student awareness of the global economy.  Specifically, the department will:
    • offer an international economics course each semester,
    • integrate international concepts in a variety of economics courses,
    • participate in at least one international travel/study abroad program during 2009-10, and
    • participate in other international programs such as the University System European Union program or attend an international academic conference at a location outside the U.S. At least two faculty will participate in internationally-related programs. (SPG1)
  12. Distance Education. The Department of Economics will continue to utilize its resources to support distance education initiatives of the RCOB and UWG. Specifically,
    • the department will offer sections of ECON 2105 and 2106 during 2009-10 as well as courses to support the graduate MBA program on the Newnan campus,
    • At least one section each of the following courses (ECON 2105, 2106, 3402, 3406 and 4410) will be offered online each year. (SPG1, SPG3, SPG12)
  13. Student Engagement.  The Economics Department will help foster greater student participation in the activities of the department, the RCOB and in the entire university.  Specifically,
    • the department will continue to induct members in the UWG chapter of Omicron Delta Epsilon (Honor Society in Economics).  At least two student-oriented events will be held during the 2009-10 academic year,
    • a member of the department will serve as faculty advisor to the Economics Club.  The club will meet at least 4 times during the academic year and
    • other types of events will be sponsored by the department to support student engagement. (SPG2, SPG5)
  14. Graduate Programs The Department of Economics will continue to utilize its resources to support the MBA degree program offered by the RCOB.  Specifically,
    • the department will offer required and elective graduate economics courses to support the RCOB MBA program.
    • department faculty will serve on the graduate faculty and will participate in graduate committees and other graduate-level educational activities. (SPG3)

These goals were approved by the Economics Faculty on August 21, 2009

Assessment of Goals

During 2009-10, the department met (completely) ten of fourteen goals. The other four goals were partially attained.  Progress in achieving each goal is summarized below:

  1. Goal 1
    1. Twenty-four (24) of 27 graduating seniors “passed” the department’s written exit exam (slightly less than the 90% pass rate goal) during 2009-10;  on the objective portion of the exam (15 multiple choice questions in three areas: macro, micro and stat), 9 students “exceeded expectations,” 15 students “met expectations” while 3 students were “below expectations” 
    2. Twenty-three (23) of twenty-six students (26) met or exceeded oral presentation expectations (above the goal of 85%), and
    3. in the senior seminar class, presentations from “outside” speakers included such topics as “job search tactics,” “graduate school options,” and “career development.” All graduating seniors prepared a resume. Goal 1 was partially met.
  2. Goal 2: There were 107 economics majors in Spring 2010 (above goal). A total of 27 students received economics degrees at UWG during 2009-10.  Economics upper division classes averaged almost 27 students (close to UWG target quality goal average of 27).  Nine independent economics study courses were offered during 2009-10 to help facilitate the graduation of economics majors.
  3. Goal 3:  Economics faculty advised five Big Night student presenters during 2009-10. Two students presented papers at a national conference also.  A total of five economics students completed internships during 2009-10. All economics majors presented results of a research project in the economics seminar class (ECON 4484, Spring 2010). 
  4. Goal 4: Departmental committees (textbook, scholarship, merit review, exit exam, curriculum, etc.) all effectively operated during 2009-10. There were no degree program changes forthcoming. The department faculty spent a considerable time during the fall developed a “strategic vision” for the department. This was presented to the VPAA for consideration at a meeting in November 2009.
  5. Goal 5: All faculty participated in at least 40 hours of faculty development activities. In total, the department spent approximately $10,000 (about $1,000 per faculty member) on travel and another $25,000 on software, hardware and other purchases in support of teaching and research. The department staff assistant participated in nine staff development workshops or seminars during 2009-10. 
  6. Goal 6:
    1. Seven (7) of 10 full time faculty economics faculty attended a research-related conference (100% goal not met);
    2. 7 of 10 faculty made a presentation at a research-oriented conference (75% goal not met);
    3. economics faculty were credited with 7 peer-reviewed publications (no double counting, goal met);
    4. all full time economics faculty members are currently “academically-qualified”;
    5. seven economics faculty were awarded grants (goal met); and
    6. five economics faculty were involved in significant ways in academic organizations (goal met). Research goals were partially met for 2009-10.
  7. Goal 7: The Department of Economics successfully conducted its economic forecast breakfast in October 2009.  More than 350 people attended and the event was supported by 12 sponsors/co-sponsors.  Don Ratajczak (Morgan Keegan Economist) presented the national and state outlook.  William J. Smith (UWG) presented the local economic outlook. During 2009-10, insights on the economy were provided on numerous occasions to the media.  Economic presentations were made to a number of civic groups including the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce Board, the Douglas County COC Power Luncheon, the Carrollton Great Decisions Group, and the Douglas County Rotary Club.  During 2009-10, a $10,000 grant from the John and Mary Franklin Foundation was obtained to support the activities of the Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER).   The CBER began publication of a quarterly update on the West Georgia Economy in January 2010.
  8. Goal 8:
    1. Goal 8 sub-section i: The B.S. Economics Degree (with Secondary Ed. Certification) had 5 majors as of the end of Spring 2010;
    2. ii-v: the Center for Economic Education and Financial Literacy (CEEFL) conducted 7 workshops during 2009-10, obtained grant support from the GCEE, updated its website, and conducted other community outreach activities.  The director of the CEEFL attended 5 economics education workshops/conferences during 2009-10. 
  9. Goal 9: More than one-half of the full-time faculty (6 of 10) achieved a median score of 85 or better on the teaching effectiveness instrument; more than one-half of full-time economics faculty (6 of 10) attended a teaching-oriented conference.
  10. Goal 10: The department offered two sections of honors economics during 2009-10; five economics faculty worked with honors students on individual projects for honors credit in non-honors courses.
  11. Goal 11: The department offered international-oriented economics courses at both the undergraduate and graduate level during 2009-10. Three faculty members participated in significant international activities during 2009-10 (Boldt, Kassis, Schaniel). Although the department did assist with the placement of students in study abroad programs, a stand- alone economics study abroad program was not offered during 2009-10. Goal 11 was only partially met.
  12. Goal 12: The department offered two courses at the Newnan Center during 2009-10 (ECON 2105, 2106).  Five completely online courses were offered during 2009-10 (ECON 2105, 2106, 3402, 3406, 4410).
  13. Goal 13: The department (under the leadership of James Murphy) conducted two meetings of the West Georgia Chapter of Omicron Delta Epsilon during 2009-10. A total of 10 students were inducted into ODE during 2008-09. The Economics Club held two meetings during 2009-10 and organized one field trip to Atlanta. Other student-centered events included the Scholarship Reception, the career-oriented speakers invited to speak in the seminar class, and the involvement of the faculty in promoting undergraduate research. The goal was partially met.
  14. Goal 14: The department offered four graduate courses during 2009-10 (one required course and three electives). In addition to the previously offered electives (International Finance and Business Forecasting), the department hired a health care management specialist to teach a health economics/policy for MBA students during Spring 2010. Department faculty participated on graduate committees including the RCOB Graduate Programs Committee and COGS.