Expert on U.S. Financial History, Banking and Government Visiting Scholar Heads Economics Department at Colorado State

An economics professor whose work has ranged from banking reform to widely recognized studies on the financial history of the United States has been named chairman of Colorado State University’s economics department.

Ronnie J. Phillips assumed leadership of the 17-member department in July and will serve a five-year term. He succeeds Robert Kling, professor of economics, who has returned to teaching.

A past president of the Association for Evolutionary Economics, Phillips has published both academic and popular papers and has written a book on New Deal banking reform. His current research interests are the role of the Federal Reserve in light of the growing use of the Internet in the payments system and the availability of credit for small and start-up enterprises.

After joining Colorado State in 1983, Phillips was a visiting scholar at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and a research scholar at The Jerome Levy Economics Institute of Bard College. He also was a visiting professor at Texas A&M University.

"This is a period of change for the department, and indeed for higher education as a whole," Phillips said. "We face increased demands for both quantity and quality of teaching, research and outreach. Though students are often viewed as our immediate customers, our ultimate customers are in the community at large-in Colorado and society as a whole.

"Building upon an already solid foundation, I intend to work toward greater prominence for the department in both the economics profession and in the community at large in the years ahead."

Phillips’ honors and accomplishments include Colorado State’s Oliver Pennock Distinguished Service Award (2000); the presidency of the Association for Evolutionary Economics (1999); Intergovernmental Personnel Act Award (1996); membership on the editorial board of the Journal of Economic Issues; and presidency of the Association for Institutional Thought.

After receiving a bachelor’s degree in urban studies in1973 from the University of Oklahoma at Norman, Phillips earned his doctorate in economics from the University of Texas at Austin in 1980.

Phillips is a 1969 graduate of Lovington High School and the son of Sidney Phillips of Portales.