The Department of Economics is pleased to welcome new and continuing students to a new academic year. The purpose of the annual “Department Newsletter” is to acquaint (or re-acquaint) students with the faculty, academic requirements and upcoming events in the department.  For new information check the Economics Department web page at: New Department information will also be tweeted on twitter – and announced on the Department Facebook page (Econdept Whitman).

Economics Faculty

Halefom Belay
Office:          229 Maxey
Phone:          527-5150

Jen Cohen
Office:          123 Maxey
Phone:          527-5128

Jan Crouter
Office:          W46 Maxey-ESC
Phone:          527-5174

Denise Hazlett
Office:          224 Maxey
Phone:          527-5155

Pete Parcells (Chair)
Office:          124 Maxey
Phone:          527-5267

Lee Sanning
Office:          128 Maxey
Phone:          527-5718

Comprehensive Exams for Economics and Economics-Combined Senior Majors.
The standard written exam for Economics and Economics-Combined majors is the Major Field Test (MFT) in Economics. (In addition, Economics-Combined majors may have other components for the written exam.) The test is tentatively scheduled to be administered on the afternoon of Saturday, March 1, 2014 in a room to be announced. Students should arrive at 1:30pm, bringing a photo ID. The exam will last from 2-4pm. No calculators allowed. You must register and pay for the exam by Friday December 6, 2013 paying the $35 fee with cash or a check to the Whitman College Business Office in the Memorial Bldg. If you need special accommodation for the exam, contact Matt Fox, Director of Testing no later than December 6, 2013 and also notify Pete Parcells (Chair, Department of Economics).

Oral exams are tentatively scheduled to be administered starting Sunday March 2, 2014 and will continue throughout the next two weeks until completed. Economics majors are to sign up for one-hour time slots for the oral exam no later than noon on Friday, February 21, 2014. The sign-up sheet will be available online only on Wednesday February 19 at noon. An email will be sent out with instructions before the signup date. Economics-Combined majors should contact Professor Parcells after noon on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 to arrange the separate scheduling of their oral exam with the relevant Economics professor and the professor of the other major or program.

Information Meeting for Economics and Economics-Combined Majors

All Economics majors are required to attend a meeting at noon on Wednesday, October 30, 2013 in the Maxey Auditorium. Lunch will be provided for all attendees (please bring your own beverage). Please send a note to Professor Parcells ( if there are extenuating circumstances which prevent you from attending this meeting. Also send a note if there are dietary issues - pizza is the planned food. This is a mandatory meeting and attendance will be taken.

Items to be covered at the meeting -

 important information and timetables for all econ majors

 the upcoming comprehensive major exams for seniors

 preparation for graduate study in Economics, Law, Business, Finance, and other areas

 the election of the Economics student representative(s) (2 total)

 information on graduating with honors

 other matters that may arise.

Please note - 2 senior class representatives will be elected at the mandatory meeting on Oct 30. The senior class representatives will be the main informational contact for the senior class. They will be responsible for providing information about Department events, they will plan Department parties, and they will be responsible for getting the senior class picture taken among other duties.  To be a senior class representative, a senior economics major must be nominated before the Oct 30 meeting. Nominations by any senior (and self-nominations as well) may be made at any time until midnight on Tuesday Oct 29, 2013 by sending the nomination to the Department Chair ( There will be a vote at the meeting (no nominations from the floor.)
A Note - the Department of Economics is undergoing a search for a new economics faculty member. There will be student members of the search committee (4?). These students will be selected by the faculty after they have submitted an application form. In the past, these students were the senior representatives. This will no longer be the case.  Senior representatives could be on the search committee but there is no necessity to do so.
Special Lectureships and Programs in Economics
1) The Genevieve Patterson Perry Endowment for the Study of Economics

2) The William Allen-Boeing Lectureship and Student Investment Endowment

This Endowment also makes possible the formation of the Whitman Investment Company (WIC) (see, a student-run group charged with the responsibility of managing a large portion of the William Allen-Boeing Endowment. Students gain practical experience in finance enhancing their classroom learning in Economics and other courses.
3) The Classical Liberalism Speaker Series

This speaker series is shared by the Departments of Economics, Politics, and the Environmental Studies Program.

4) The Whitman College Working Paper Series

The Whitman College Economics Department Working Paper Series was launched in the 2006-2007 academic year, and is overseen by its student editorial board and its advisor, Pete Parcells. The Series features papers by Whitman students and faculty and Whitman symposium contributors. See the links to the Working Papers on the Economics Department webpage.
Graduate Programs, Grants and Other Career Opportunities

The Economics Department posts news of internship, job and graduate study opportunities on the department listserv, the webpage, Facebook, Twitter, and generally places fliers received from employers and graduate schools in the Economics Resource Room located in Maxey 227. (The Career Center offers a range of services for students seeking internships and jobs). Students interested in graduate study in Economics, should contact any of the Department faculty.

Job Opportunities in the Department of Economics

The Economics Department hires a few students each year as assistants. Duties may include photocopying, library errands, filing, book ordering, updating of bibliographic files, and data entry and analysis. Familiarity with MSWord, Excel and/or Economics and Statistical software is a requirement for some of these positions, and there may be a preference for economics and economics-combined majors for some positions. Wage rates depend on worker experience and duties involved. The typical period of employment is from late August to late May. If you are interested in these positions, please speak to individual faculty members. Be aware that if they've not already done so, student workers will need to fill out I9 and W4 forms and present two original pieces of identification.