Dr. Kevin Quinn Promoted to Full Professor

By Sebastian Roelands

Kevin Quinn has been with the Department of Economics for twenty-five years.  Most of you tell the “Quinn” stories about how he continually gets chalk on his back or how interesting his office is decorated.  However, as most of you know, Dr. Quinn is so much more:  highly intellectual, immensely funny, and highly engaging as a professor and colleague.  He recently advanced to full professor, a promotion well-deserved due to his service to the University, his research, which includes articles on history of thought and teaching economics, and teaching a variety of courses for the Department.

On the teaching side, the two courses that are closest to Professor Quinn’s heart are Game Theory and History of Economic Thought.  Game Theory explores how economic decision-making is conducted by individuals and firms.  Dr. Quinn’s enthusiastic presentation of economic theory helps students get through the math associated with the course.  The History of Economic Thought course focuses less on numerical methods and more on economic thought and philosophy. One way in which that shows up is in the fact that students are required to write more essays for this course than many do over their entire college career. Other courses that Kevin teaches regularly are Macroeconomics and Money & Banking.

When it comes to research, Dr. Quinn is passionate about and active in the fields of Economic Philosophy and History of Economic Thought. Hearing him talk about these fields and how he bridges them in his research is nothing short of fascinating. As he talks about Adam Smith and Hume’s economic philosophy in the context of Enlightenment, versus Kant and Hegel’s economic thinking originating from German Idealism, one can see the high level of intellectual engagement that is required for working in the field.  The work requires extensive reading, not only in economics, but in philosophy, and sometimes other social sciences.

In his spare time, Kevin loves spending time with his family, playing the acoustic guitar (“not well,” he says, but then again, he is probably just being modest), and reading, especially philosophical works and historical novels. About reading, he shared a funny anecdote from his days in graduate school: he imposed a reward system on himself, that he would only allow himself time at night to read Marcel Proust’s “Remembrance of Things Past” after meeting his daily goal for progress made on his dissertation.

It is only fitting that Dr. Quinn has finally received the recognition he deserves in his promotion to full professor. So, the next time you see him, be sure to congratulate Dr. Quinn on his past year’s accomplishments, if you haven’t yet!