Economics prof. Keith Gilsdorf interviewed by Kare 11 about low unemployment rate

Professor Keith Gilsdorf on Kare 11Cory Hepola from Kare 11 spoke with Augsburg economics professor Keith Gilsdorf to discuss the country’s current unemployment rate, which is the lowest it has been since 2000. Unemployment topped out at 10 percent in October 2009, and ever since it has been on a steady decline.

“I don’t think that you can think of it as a permanent kind of place where the economy is going to continue that for a long period of time,”  Gilsdorf said. “It’s a tight labor market and there’s going to be pressure for employers to try to attract workers to their business, and at some point they’re going to have to offer higher pay.”

Watch full report on the Kare 11 website.

KSTP interviews Augsburg prof. about 25 School Districts Still Negotiating Teacher Contracts

Andrew Aoki speaks with KSTPKSTP spoke with Augsburg political science professor Andrew Aoki about Minnesota school districts that have teachers working with expired contracts. Teachers are strictly working their contract hours and are no longer staying late after school or grading papers and responding to emails at home, KSTP reported.

He says the pressures around organized labor is likely a concern for teachers unions.

“You only have to look to Wisconsin to see there are some real pressures on the unions,” Aoki said.

Watch the report on the KSTP website.

Economics professor Jeanne Boeh discusses vacation day usage on WCCO

Jeanne Boeh on WCCO
Jeanne Boeh on WCCO

When WCCO reporter Christiane Cordero wanted to know why Americans are taking more vacation, she interviewed Augsburg economics professor Jeanne Boeh.

“The unemployment rate is at a 17-year low” said Boeh, chair of Augsburg’s business administration department. “It’s even lower in Minnesota. People are feeling more confident.”

WCCO reported that a recent study by the U.S. Travel Association found that the average number of vacation day usage among Americans has hit a seven-year high, at 17.2 days. Most days off are being used for chores.

The study also found that 52 percent of Americans have vacation time left at the end the year. Why? “Some of those are self-employed,” Boeh told WCCO. “Think about it. If you’re just starting a business, if you go off for two weeks, you lose two weeks of income.”

Watch full video on WCCO’s website.

Augsburg psychology professor Bridget Robinson-Riegler talks with the Pioneer Press about TV’s “Reminiscence Bump”

The Pioneer Press reports that there is no question the ’00 are back in television. Given the high demand for reboots, relaunches and remakes, Ross Raihala, of the Pioneer Press, interviewed Augsburg psychology professor Bridget Robinson-Riegler about what she describes as a “reminiscence bump.”

“Most memories come from age 10 to age 30 or so,” said Robinson-Riegler, in the article. Many network executives are of an age where some of their most potent memories formed around the turn of the century, thus the oncoming tide of ’00s throwbacks, she told the Pioneer Press.

Recent hit television revivals include Trading Spaces, Will and Grace, and Queer Eye and movie sequels such as Super Troopers 2 and Incredibles 2.

“One of the main things nostalgia does is help people find meaning in life and to connect with other people,” Robinson-Riegler said. “When you’re connected to other people, life has meaning. Nostalgia makes people feel protected, loved and happy. People even feel physically warmer.”

Read the full article at the Pioneer Press here.

Augsburg Names Inaugural Professor of Choral Leadership and Conducting, Advancing Music Education in a Pluralistic World

Kristina Boerger head shot
Kristina Boerger

Augsburg University has named Kristina Boerger the inaugural John N. Schwartz Professor of Choral Leadership and Conducting, beginning fall 2018.

The Schwartz Professorship supports Augsburg’s 21st century choral program—combining music reflective of a pluralistic society, superior choral performance standards, and the University’s commitment to civic engagement and inclusion. Boerger, who most recently served as director of choral activities at DePauw University, will lead a creative and visionary program that honors Augsburg’s legacy of engaging music majors and students from across campus, forging innovation in choral music education.

“Kristina Boerger has collaborated with leading composers and artists in creatively advancing the field of choral study and performance,” said Augsburg University President Paul C. Pribbenow. “Her work has garnered national recognition, and we’re excited to have her join Augsburg this fall.”

Boerger holds degrees in music education and conducting from the University of Illinois; has worked in public school, collegiate, and professional settings; and spent a number of years working in New York, where her work received favorable reviews in The New York Times. In addition to conducting, she’s performed with numerous groups as well as being a soloist. Boerger also has founded choirs and is deeply committed to the values of inclusion, access and equity, musics of diverse cultures, and commissioning original works.  

Augsburg undertook an international search to fill the Schwartz Professorship. Named for alumnus John N. Schwartz ’67, the professorship will initially be supported by an operational fund that provides for creative choral activities. Like many Augsburg choir alumni, Schwartz was not a music major. He majored in business but found meaning in the choir and has been singing his entire life.

Augsburg Mourns Campus Pastor Emeritus Dave Wold

Pastor Dave in a suitPastor Dave speaking at commencementAugsburg Campus Pastor Emeritus Dave Wold passed away on Thursday, April 12. Following is the message sent this morning, Friday, April 13, from Augsburg President Paul C. Pribbenow.

Dear Friends,

It is with great sadness that I share the news that Pastor Dave Wold passed away last night. Pastor Dave served Augsburg for three decades — 1983 until he retired at the end of the 2012-13 academic year — and was named Campus Pastor Emeritus by the Augsburg Board of Regents in recognition for his many contributions to our campus life and faith community.

One of Pastor Dave’s gifts was that he knew everyone’s name. He knew each of us. It’s hard to imagine how he was able to personally connect with so many people, but he did, and the breadth of his pastoral care strengthened and supported generations of Auggies. He touched thousands of lives and is beloved by alumni and Augsburg community members around the world.

Pastor Dave was also quick witted and loved to craft words and music. I’m sure everyone who knew him can recall how he loved to share jokes as a way of engaging with people. He lent those talents for words and music to the leadership of our Advent Vespers services over the years. He also wrote hundreds of light-hearted parodies, using familiar tunes as a unique means of sharing messages about faith.

Of course, we all know Pastor Dave’s passion for athletics and for working with young people. He was director of youth ministries for the American Lutheran Church (prior to the formation of the ELCA), founded the Holy Hoops congregational basketball league, and supervised many intern pastors. And, while the number of athletic games and matches he announced may not be known, our memory of his distinct announcer voice will not fade.

Our prayers and sympathies go out to Cathy Wold, Dave’s wife, and his family. Pastor Dave was a fiercely committed husband, father, and grandfather. We will share information about memorial services once those plans are confirmed. This morning, those on campus are invited to gather in Hoversten Chapel following our daily chapel service (10:55 a.m.), for a brief time of remembrance, prayer, and song.

I was honored to work with Pastor Dave for seven years, to sing with him before many an athletic contest, and to have him as my pastor on campus.  I join Dave’s many friends and colleagues in mourning his death and the loss of a good and faithful servant.

Faithfully yours,

Paul

 

News reports: Augsburg professor challenges Economist ranking Minneapolis third most expensive in North America

 

Jeanne Boeh talks to Kare11
Jeanne Boeh talks with Kare11

When The Economist named Minneapolis the third most expensive city to live in North America, just after New York and Los Angeles, reporters from Kare11, Fox 9, and WCCO turned to Augsburg University Professor of Economics Jeanne Boeh for answers. Kare 11’s Gordon Severson questioned the ranking, given that the latest U.S. Census data listed Minneapolis as the 46th most populated city. The Economist study analyzed 150 items such as food, utility bills, rent, and private schools, but left out the cost of owning a home.

Boeh, also chair of the Business Administration department at Augsburg, argues that the study isn’t exactly accurate. “It doesn’t really reflect the average experience of the people who are living here right now,” Boeh tells Kare 11. “If I go to San Francisco, which technically we’re supposed to be more expensive than, the average cost of a house is well over half a million dollars. So, it doesn’t really make sense that Minneapolis would cost more to live in.”

While the study’s measures may be more applicable for high-end executives who travel internationally, Boeh says it’s not an accurate representation when it comes to the average Minnesotan.

See full story on the Kare 11 website.

Related articles: WCCO, Fox 9

See full report from The Economist on The Economist website.

Star Tribune interviews finance professor Marc McIntosh about new Hagfors Center

Marc McIntosh, Finance professor

In a recent Star Tribune article, reporter Neal St. Anthony spoke with Marc McIntosh, professor of Finance at Augsburg University, about the new home for the business department at the Norman and Evangeline Hagfors Center for Science, Business, and Religion.

“It brings alive the course materials,” McIntosh said about the building’s state-of-the art technology. “This building is not just about studying stock-and-bond markets. … We’re active, including working with small business owners from Somalia and Ethiopia. We also work in the area of financial literacy. And also what really separates us is our diversity.”

The article also highlighted other attributes of Augsburg. “The university is best known for its inner-city location, solid academics and presidential recognition for community service; to say nothing of its MIAC-championship basketball team playing in the NCAA Division III tournament this weekend,” St. Anthony wrote.

 

Read full article on the Star Tribune website.

Adjunct Faculty, Leah Phifer, Appears on the Cover of TIME Magazine Among Other Women Running For Office

Cover of TIME magazine
Photo-illustration by Sean McCabe for TIME. Photos courtesy of the subjects or shot for TIME.

“The Avengers: First They Marched, Now They’re Running,” reads the headline across the cover. This year, a record number of women are running for office, and among them is Leah Phifer, adjunct faculty at Augsburg University, where she teaches Politics and Policy of Immigration, Introduction to American Government and Political Methodology.

Pifer is running for the DFL nomination for the 8th district seat of the U.S. House. Leah has served Minnesotans through her work at the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Homeland Security and has also worked for the FBI, enforcing laws written in the name of national security.

“Of course, electing more women in Congress would not necessarily lead to an instant federal paid-family-leave plan or national child care. Female lawmakers of both parties tend to elevate issues that men ignore.” states Charlotte Altar, the author of the TIME magazine article. “Women have a long way to go to get to parity in American politics. They hold less than 20% of seats in Congress, just 25% of those in state legislatures and only six of the nation’s 50 governorships.” adds Altar.

Leah’s picture is just below the “T” in “The Avengers.” Part of the word “First” is directly over her hair. This appears in the January 29, 2018 issue of TIME.

Read full article on the TIME website

Political Science Professor, Andrew Aoki, tells Fox 9 the Government Shutdown has Minimal Impact in Minnesota

Fox 9 logoThousands of federal employees were furloughed across the country due to the government shutdown that began on Friday, January 19. Fortunately, things do not look so bad for the state of Minnesota.

“We have fewer things that are funded by the federal government, in fact we tend to send in more than we get back from the federal government.” Andrew Aoki, political science professor at Augsburg University explains. However, the shutdown has affected both the Mississippi National River Visitors Center and the Science Museum, as both had to close.

Read full article on the Fox 9 website