SPRINGFIELD - Dr. Karl McDermott, a vice president at National Economic Research Associates, has been named the first Ameren Endowed Professor in Business and Government at the University of Illinois at Springfield. He assumed his duties on April 1.
Dr. Karl McDermott is the first Ameren Endowed Professor in Business and Government at UIS.
The professorship was established through a $500,000 gift to UIS from the Ameren Corporation and will be housed within UIS' College of Business and Management.
Dr. McDermott's duties will include teaching, conducting research, and facilitating lectures and seminars for corporate, political, and civic leaders. His work will involve collaborations with a variety of scholars in the social sciences and business.
Gary Rainwater, chairman, chief executive officer, and president of Ameren Corporation, said that the gift recognizes UIS' "forward-thinking approach. Like UIS, Ameren is focused on the future," he said. "This endowment reflects our interest in supporting higher education and the development of business and government leaders in Illinois. As Ameren professor, Dr. McDermott will play a key role in educating Illinois policy-makers about the significance of state regulation in creating a favorable business climate, in Illinois or any other state."
Ron McNeil, dean of UIS' College of Business and Management, noted, "Dr. McDermott's expertise and experience reflect both the intention and spirit of this professorship. All of us at UIS, and especially in the college, are grateful to Ameren for the opportunity to add a professional of his caliber to our faculty."
UIS Chancellor Richard Ringeisen said, "We are deeply grateful to Ameren for their generosity and vision, which will help the university to produce future leaders in the corporate and public spheres."
At NERA, McDermott specialized in public utility regulation and directed and participated in projects related to energy and telecommunication. He has testified before a number of state legislatures and regulatory commissions, as well as the FCC and FERC.
McDermott was a commissioner with the Illinois Commerce Commission during the time when the state's restructuring law was being negotiated. He has lectured extensively on regulatory reform and restructuring in this country, as well as in Eastern Europe and South America. He also has extensive teaching experience, including a stint on the faculty at Michigan State University's Institute for Public Utilities, and he served as president and chairman of the board for the Center for Regulatory Studies, Inc. He has been a research scientist at the Argonne National Laboratory and is widely published in professional journals.
McDermott earned the Ph.D. in Economics at the U of I in Urbana-Champaign, the M.A. in Public Utility Economics at the University of Wyoming, and the B.A. in Economics at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
This is the second endowed professorship within UIS' College of Business and Management, the other being the National City Distinguished Professorship in Banking and Finance.
Ameren Corporation provides energy services to approximately 2.4 million electric customers and nearly 1 million natural gas customers over 64,000 square miles in Illinois and Missouri.A formal investiture ceremony, honoring both Dr. McDermott and Ameren, is tentatively planned for September.