Named Professorships

Richard A. Jensen

Richard A. Jensen

Gilbert F. Schaefer Professor of Economics

The Gilbert F. Schaefer Professor of Economics, Richard A. Jensen, has served as a professor of economics since 2000. His primary research interest is the commercialization of innovations emerging from the research of university professors. He has published numerous articles on this topic, including one in the American Economic Review, the premier journal in economics. This research has formed the basis for his consultations with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation for Entrepreneurship, and the Office of the Provost and the Board of Directors of Innovation Park at Notre Dame.

His other research interest is the bioeconomics of invasive species. He is co-Principal Investigator on a team of 24 economists and biologists who are funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The goal of the project is to estimate the potential damages to the Great Lakes regional economy that could result from invasions by several species (including Asian carp), and to conduct benefit-cost analysis of a variety of policies that local governments could use to address these threats, ranging from doing nothing to mitigating post-invasion damages to attempting to preclude invasion.

Professor Jensen served as chairperson of the Department of Economics from 2001 to 2014. During this period he led a modernization and revitalization of teaching and research in economics at Notre Dame. He coordinated the recruitment of more than 30 new economists and substantive revisions of both the undergraduate and graduate curricula, including the creation of a new major in International Economics. As a result, the department’s ranking among all economics departments in the U.S. has risen from the fourth quartile to the first quartile during this period.            

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This professorship was established by prominent businessman Gilbert F. Schaefer (’25). A former president of the Notre Dame Club of Detroit, he sponsored the first radio broadcast of Notre Dame football games in the area, an event that would lead to the worldwide broadcasting of games.