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Published September 01, 2021
An award-winning professor in the College of Business’ Department of Economics is the newest endowed chair at the University of Wyoming.
David Finnoff has been named the Wyoming Excellence Chair in Economics, under the program established by the Wyoming Legislature, and also has been named a McMurry Fellow, under a McMurry Foundation Business Dean’s Excellence Fund program created through a 2008 donation by Mick and Susie McMurry, of Casper.
“I have immense pride and honor to be named a Wyoming Excellence Chair and a McMurry Fellow,” Finnoff says. “To be awarded these prestigious distinctions, in the name of the great state of Wyoming and in the name of a wonderful Wyoming family, is an accomplishment I could only have dreamed possible.”
Finnoff has been a member of UW’s faculty since 2004, after beginning his teaching career as an assistant professor at the University of Central Florida. He received both his doctoral and bachelor’s degrees from UW, where he came to play rugby after graduating from high school in York, England.
Finnoff, who received UW’s John P. Ellbogen Meritorious Classroom Teaching Award in 2014, has been named the College of Business’ outstanding senior researcher, a top UW first-year course instructor and a “Top Prof” by UW’s Mortar Board student honor society, among other accolades.
His research focuses on developing public policies to improve social welfare, taking into account the coupling of human and natural systems. Most recently, he has been focused on the economic and social effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 2006 Wyoming State Legislature established the Excellence in Higher Education Endowment, which included a $70 million endowment to create senior faculty positions for highly distinguished scholars and educators at UW. The legislation states that the endowed positions must expand university instruction and research in disciplines related to economic and social challenges facing Wyoming.
UW’s Wyoming Excellence chairs are nationally and internationally recognized leaders in their fields.
“The combination of Wyoming Excellence Chair and McMurry Fellow is just so special to me, as it honors the place and people I hold dearly,” Finnoff says. “I am incredibly thankful for the support of individuals who made this happen, and it leaves me fired up to get to work.”