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Chih Ming Tan named Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor

UND Provost Eric Link (left), and President Andrew Armacost (right) present Chih Ming Tan with the Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor award. Photo by Mike Hess/UND.

Chih Ming Tan was in for a surprise when UND President Andrew Armacost and Provost Eric Link entered the Nistler College of Business and Public Administration dean’s offices on the morning of April 18, 2024.

Tan was named Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor — UND’s highest academic honor — joining an exclusive club of faculty lauded for their excellence in teaching, research and service. Recipients are selected via a panel of nine UND professors, who consider letters of nomination from deans and fellow professors, among other factors, in rendering a decision.

Tan, professor of Economics & Finance and associate dean for research in the Nistler College of Business & Public Administration, appeared terrifically surprised when informed of his award. He said he takes his role as an educator and its attendant responsibilities very seriously.

“I am extremely humbled and grateful to be recognized in this way,” he said. “In my view, honors like this are a call to arms by the University. It’s about investing in us as trustees, particularly responsibilities that we need to carry out — in this case to be a leader, to work tirelessly to advance the research agenda of the University and create an inclusive, supportive environment for all of our colleagues. That’s what I intend to do to the best of my ability.”

Tan’s academic interests center on econometrics, and the discipline’s applications in fields such as global health, economic growth and inequality. Since arriving at UND in 2013, Tan also has co-authored academic papers on workforce issues in North Dakota, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the state’s labor force.

Prodosh Simlai, department chair and professor of Economics & Finance, stated in his nomination letter that Tan’s scholarship is respected worldwide — with his work appearing in publications such as the European Economic Review and the International Review of Economics and Finance.

“Chih Ming is a spectacular researcher and one of the jewels of UND in terms of impactful and high-quality publications,” Simlai said. “He built a world-class reputation as a very dedicated and prolific scholar. His work is full of technical brilliance, well-cited and very influential. As an example, Ben Bernanke (former Federal Reserve chair) has cited Chih Ming’s co-authored article in Economic Journal.”

Provost Link added that Tan is equally dedicated to his students — often going above and beyond to mentor them and provide career counseling.

Tan will be honored officially at UND’s commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 11.