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The University of Alabama

UA’s Schlesinger Receives Honorary Doctorate from German University

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Dr. Harris Schlesinger, the Frank Park Samford Chair of Insurance at The University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Commerce, has been awarded an honorary doctoral degree by The University of Konstanz for his outstanding contributions to the theory of risk and insurance.

Since 1997, Schlesinger has been a two-month visiting professor at the department of economics, University of Konstanz for most every year, with few interruptions. The honorary doctorate is in recognition for his ongoing commitment to the University of Konstanz and for his outstanding scientific achievements.

In bestowing this award, the University of Konstanz said that Schlesinger has demonstrated a high commitment to the university in both his teaching and his research. Schlesinger regularly teaches a half-course on insurance management.

“For the members of the department of economics, it also is a pleasure to do research with Harris Schlesinger,” said Guenter Franke, professor and spokesman for the department. “Not only is Harris’ commitment to his students very important, but he also adds value for our Ph.D. students and for my colleagues.”

“Harris Schlesinger is one of the world’s leading economists in the area of risk and insurance,” said Dr. J. Barry Mason, dean of the UA business school. “His work abroad, as well as at home, has been invaluable in creating a more global understanding of the issues facing the insurance industry.”

Schlesinger has a long list of publications in top journals, such as the American Economic Review, Econometrica and the Journal of Finance, and he has won a number of awards.

According to Franke, Schlesinger’s visiting professorships, such as at the Science Center in Berlin and at universities in Berlin and Munich as well as at universities in Belgium and France underscore his reputation. In addition, Schlesinger has held the presidency in all of the major societies for insurance economics.

Schlesinger earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in both mathematics and economics as well as a Master of Arts degree in mathematics at the State University of New York.  He earned a Master of Science in mathematics at the University of Illinois, as well as his doctorate in economics, with a dissertation on the topic of insurance.

After graduation, he was first an assistant professor of economics at Vanderbilt University and then an associate professor of finance at the University of Illinois.  Since 1987, Schlesinger has been a professor of finance and economics, as well as the Frank Park Samford Chair of Insurance, at The University of Alabama.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.