Experts

Fiscal and Economic Policy Experts

Gutgsell Professor of Finance

Don Fullerton is a member of the Fiscal Health of Illinois working group. He researches energy and environmental policy issues, including household garbage and recycling behavior, air and water quality regulation, and climate change policy.  He studies the economic effects of these regulations including their cost effectiveness, the distribution of their burdens, and the interactions between environmental policy and other tax policy.

James J. Stukel Presidential Professor

David F. Merriman is the leader of IGPA's  Fiscal Health of Illinois Working Group and is the James J. Stukel Presidential Professor of Public Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His major area of study is state and local public finance. Professor Merriman directs The Fiscal Futures Project, which created and maintains of a comprehensive and consistently defined measure of the Illinois state budget.  He has published extensively about the effect of tax increment finance policy on local economic growth and the determinants of tobacco tax avoidance.

Assistant Professor

Julian Reif is an assistant professor in the Department of Finance at the College of Business in Urbana-Champaign and has been part of the IGPA faculty since 2012. He researches health care economics and spends time on environmental policy and the effect of taxation on environmental and climate policy. He is co-leader of IGPA's Climate Change policy initiative, and also holds a position as a research economist at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

IGPA Working Group Member

Amanda Kass is the associate director of the Government Finance Research Center in the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois Chicago and is a member of the IGPA Fiscal Health of Illinois Working Group. As associate director she designs, conducts, and manages research in the GFRC's priority areas. Amanda also works with the faculty and external advisory panels to advance the GFRC’s goals and disseminate its research.

University Distinguished Professor

Kenneth A. Kriz is University Distinguished Professor at the University of Illinois Springfield. Professor Kriz conducts research focusing on subnational debt policy and administration, public pension fund management, government financial risk management, economic and revenue forecasting, and behavioral public finance. He has published more than 40 journal articles and book chapters along with a textbook on quantitative research methods in public administration. Professor Kriz has consulted with several public and nonprofit organizations on financial and economic matters.  

Dean, College of Business and William G. Karnes Professor of Finance

Jeffrey Brown is a member of IGPA's working group on the Fiscal Health of Illinois. He also is dean of the Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is a nationally known expert on retirement policy. He serves as associate director of the National Bureau of Economic Research’s Retirement Research Center. Brown's research focuses on public and private insurance markets, pensions and retirement savings plans. He once served as a senior economist on the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

Robert C. Evans Endowed Chair in Business

Jon Davis served as interim director of IGPA from August 2017 until January 2020. Prior to joining the institute, Davis served as head of the nationally acclaimed Department of Accountancy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from 2012-2017 and continues to hold the Robert C. Evans Endowed Chair in Business as a professor of accountancy. He is a CPA and he worked at Deloitte, Haskins and Sells in tax before pursuing his Ph.D. Degree at University of Arizona.

Associate Professor

Joshua Drucker is part of the IGPA working group on the Fiscal Health of Illinois. He is an Associate Professor in the Urban Planning and Policy Department in the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His research interests center around processes of regional economic development and transformation.

Assistant Professor

Richard Funderburg is a member of the Fiscal Health of Illinois working group. He is an Assistant Professor of Public Administration at the University of Illinois Springfield. Funderburg’s research centers on the ability and limitations of state and local economic development policy to entice private businesses to locate, start up, or expand within the region and the fiscal and budget consequences of public efforts.

Professor and Faculty Fellow, Great Cities Institute

Rachel Weber is a member of the working group on the Fiscal Health of Illinois. She is a professor in the Urban Planning and Policy Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago where she conducts research in economic development, real estate, and public finance. She has expertise in the areas of urban and regional economic development, public finance, municipal government law, planning theory, andreal estate. She has conducted extensive research on the impact of changes in capital markets on urban economies and the built environment.

Professor Emeritus

J. Fred Giertz is part of the Working Group on the Fiscal Health of Illinois. He a professor emeritus in the Department of Economics at Urbana-Champaign and is the author of the University of Illinois Flash Index, a monthly indicator of the condition of the state’s economy. Giertz has served as interim director of IGPA twice since joining the institute’s faculty in 1980. 

Professor Emeritus

Geoffrey J.D. Hewings is a member of the Fiscal and Economic Policy working group. His major research efforts are directed toward modeling of urban, regional and interregional economic systems. Much of this work is based on a set of econometric-input-output models that have been developed for several metropolitan areas and states in the United States as well as several regions in Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia and Japan. Professor Hewings is the founder and director emeritus of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (REAL) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Professor Emeritus and Vice President Emeritus

Robert Resek is professor emeritus of economics at Urbana-Champaign. He served as the University’s vice president for academic affairs, the university’s chief academic officer, from 1988-1995. His research has foced on technical progress, investment behavior, risk analysis and regional economics. Resek is a past president of the Association of University Business and Economic Research.