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Elbert H. Neese, Jr. Professorship in Economics

Warren Palmer

Warren Bruce Palmer has led the Miller Upton Forum since 2014. Prior to being named the Elbert H. Neese, Jr. Professor of Economics, he was the Coleman Foundation Chair in Entrepreneurship, and previously was the Moat Junior Professor of International Studies.

To date, Palmer has recruited four Miller Upton Scholars: Michael Greenstone, the 2017 Miller Upton Scholar;  Deirdre Nansen McCloskey, the 2016 Miller Upton Scholar; Yasheng Huang, the 2015 Miller Upton Scholar; and Robert N. Stavins, the 2014 Miller Upton Scholar.

Palmer has had many roles since joining Beloit College in 1992. He has taught courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics, accounting, finance, comparative economic systems, international comparisons of industrial firms, managerial economics, the Chinese economy, and energy and environmental economics. Most recently, he developed a new course, The Life and Financial Planning Workshop, an interdisciplinary course open to any junior or senior. The course helps students identify the key financial decisions they will face following graduation, gives them the analytical tools to make wealth- and life-enhancing decisions and helps them recognize potential entrepreneurial opportunities in choosing their life and career paths.

Palmer's other roles have included: organizer in 2010 of the 40th Earth Day Forum: "Can Markets Save the Earth?", co-organizer of the 2006 conference "Beloit College and the Asian Century" that explored the College's past, present and future connections with Asia, Chair of Asian Studies Program (2005-2007), and faculty advisor of the Beloit College Revolving Loan Fund since its founding. Palmer authored twenty new analyses and problem sets for in its early years, work that was recognized in 2009 with Beloit College's Phee Boon Kang'73 Prize for Innovation in Teaching with Technology. 

"Ebbie" Neese, former president of the Beloit Corporation, was a long-standing trustee of Beloit College and a close friend of Miller Upton. In his memory, the Neese Family Foundation endowed the Elbert H. Neese, Jr. Professorship in Economics to support the faculty member charged with directing the annual Miller Upton Forum. We are honored to perpetuate Ebbie's belief in the College's mission to prepare young people for educated, open-minded and responsible citizenship through this endowed professorship.

The Economics Professor who holds the Neese Chair teaches our Senior Seminar each Fall Semester, building the course around the contributions and fields of each year's Miller Upton Scholar. Just past the midpoint of the semester, the Upton Scholar arrives on campus for a 3-4 day residency to visit classes, participate in three panel discussions and deliver a keynote address. The Neese Chair's duties include the identification of, invitation to, and contracting of each year's Upton Scholar along with a pertinent supporting cast of economists and other practioners who participate in the panel discussion. Given the demand for distinguished economists, each Upton Scholar and accompanying panel is booked a year or more in advance. During each Spring Semester, the Neese Chair edits an Annual Proceedings on the Wealth and Well-Being of Nations, where the Upton Scholar's keynote address is published along with commentaries submitted by panelists.

Previous Neese Chairs include Emily Chamlee-Wright, now President and CEO, Institute for Humane Studies, Joshua Hall now Associate Professor and Director, Center for Free Enterprise at West Virginia University, and Arielle John, now Advisor to the Minister of Communications in the Government of Trinidad and Tobago.