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Guest Speaker Enlightens Economic Students

Lubbock Christian University Business and Economic students had the chance to learn from an economic expert last week. Dr. Larry R. Blank, New Mexico State University Economics Professor, guest taught approximately thirty LCU students on “Economists in the Public and Private Sector.” The goal was to show students, whether they were economic majors, accounting majors, or engineering majors, what job options are available for economists beyond becoming a professor.

“In nationwide earnings surveys, the economics major consistently ranks very high among all college majors in terms of both starting salary and mid-career earnings,” says Dr. Russell Dabbs, professor of economics at LCU.

Dr. Blank grew up in a town in Minnesota centered on the iron ore mining industry. The town was facing recession during his childhood, sparking his interest in economics. After receiving his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Tennessee, Dr. Blank was well sought after for various economic positions at places like the Public Service Commission of Nevada, Public Utilities Commission of Nevada, and the Energy Regulatory Commission of the Philippines. He has also opened and continues to run his own economic consulting firm, TAHOEconomics.

While speaking to the LCU students, Dr. Blank affirmed economics to be a very safe job market through a recession. He claimed that even through the hard times, utility companies will always put out the money to forecast demand. Job options for economic majors are numerous, from federal and state government, to oil and utility companies. Dr. Blank told a story from when he worked for the University of Tennessee’s Men’s and Women’s athletic programs to determine what sport was bringing in the most revenue and why. Though TV spots brought in the most revenue for UT’s Football program, Dr. Blank made the surprising discovery that when removing football from the picture, women’s sports brought in more revenue than men’s.

The Department of Business Administration houses eight majors, including the newest addition, economics. Economics is a social science that has many applications to business and government. Students at LCU can pursue a business or non-business economics track, making the economics major very flexible in meeting students’ interests. Unusual for a school of its size, LCU has two Ph.D. economists on the faculty, Dr. Russell Dabbs and Dr. Brian Starr, plus Dr. Caren Fullerton, who has a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics.