Richard Shumway, Regents Professor in the School of Economic Sciences, will retire on September 30.
Shumway has worked at WSU for nearly 19 years. He came here from Texas A&M in 1998 as chair of the Agricultural and Resource Economics Department.
In retirement, he will continue to research the economics of taxation as an emeritus professor.
“I will miss my students,” said Shumway, who has taught doctoral econometrics, production and consumption economics, masters’ and undergraduate-level micro-economic theory and econometrics, the senior capstone course, and farm management, the subject that got him hooked on economics as a student.
“Economics addresses incentives for doing what we do,” said Shumway. “You’ve got to understand economics if you want to motivate people to do things that are important to society.”
A crucial part about teaching is realizing that “students are more than just ‘the job,’” say Shumway. “You are trying to stimulate growth and understanding, and in some cases behavioral changes, that will help them achieve what they’re capable of. That is always exciting.
For economists, the real world is their laboratory.
“We work with real-world data, where everything is changing at the same time, and we have to figure out what all of those effects really mean,” says Shumway. That makes research particularly challenging.
“We study important topics. We don’t always expect we’re going to change the world,” he added. “But we do hope to have a positive impact by careful economic analysis of relevant data.”
In retirement, Shumway and his wife Janet are looking forward to spending time with their six children and 22 grandchildren. An avid runner, Shumway has taken three-mile runs three days a week for the last 45 years.