Association for University
Business and Economic Research

A national association of regional
economic research centers

Leadership

AUBER Officers

John Deskins

President

West Virginia University

Deskins serves as Assistant Dean for Outreach and Engagement, Director of the Bureau of Business and Economic Research, and Associate Professor of Economics in the College of Business and Economics at West Virginia University. He leads the Bureau’s efforts to provide rigorous economic analysis and macroeconomic forecasting to leaders across the state. Full bio.

Juliette Tennert

President-Elect

Utah System of Higher Education

Juliette is a seasoned economist and public finance professional with over a decade and a half of experience on Utah’s Capitol Hill and the University of Utah campus. She has served as the state budget director and chief economist for Governor Gary Herbert, chief economist for Governor Jon Huntsman, and a fiscal analyst for the Utah State Legislature.  Juliette comes to the Utah System of Higher Education from her most recent post of chief economist and a founding managing director of the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute in the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah.

Juliette holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Chicago, a master’s degree in economics from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada. She is also an adjunct instructor of economics and public finance courses at the University of Utah.

Brian Lewandowski

Vice President

University of Colorado Boulder

Brian is Associate Director of the Business Research Division at the Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado Boulder. Brian provides regional business and economic information and education, including economic and revenue forecasts, policy studies, economic impact analyses, and data workshops. Brian has 13 years’ experience conducting economic studies at CU Boulder. Prior to CU, he worked in both the private sector and government. He is currently the President of the Denver Association of Business Economists.

Hicks

Michael J. Hicks

Secretary-Treasurer

Ball State University

Michael J. Hicks, PhD, is the George and Frances Ball Distinguished Professor of Economics and the Director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at Ball State University. He previously served on the faculty of the Air Force Institute of Technology’s Graduate School of Engineering and Management and at research centers at Marshall University and the University of Tennessee. Full bio.

Patrick Barkey

Past President

University of Montana

Patrick Barkey has served as Director of the Bureau of Business and Economic Research since 2008. He has been involved with economic forecasting and policy research for more than 30 years in both the private and public sectors. Before coming to Montana, he served as Director of the Bureau of Business Research at Ball State University in Indiana for 14 years. Full bio.

AUBER Directors

Rajeev Dhawan

Georgia State University

Dr. Dhawan wears a dual hat as the Zwerner Chair of Economic Forecasting and as Director of the Economic Forecasting Center at the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. As director of one of the country’s premiere forecasting centers, Dhawan develops forecasts for the U.S., Southeast regional and local metro Atlanta economies. These forecasts are regularly published and presented to business executives and the media at the Center’s popular, well-respected quarterly forecasting conferences. Full bio.

Vanessa Fry

Boise State University

Dr. Fry is Interim Director at the Idaho Policy Institute (IPI) where she leads students, staff, and faculty in providing innovative and objective research to help public, private, and nonprofit leaders overcome challenges and navigate change. She serves as Associate Research Professor in the School of Public Service where she teaches the MPA Capstone and co-teaches the Vertically Integrated Project Housing Opportunities for All. Dr. Fry is also an Adjunct Faculty Member at Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco where she received her MBA in Sustainable Management. Vanessa also holds a BA in Biology and Fine Art from Wittenberg University in Ohio and a PhD in Public Policy and Administration from Boise State. Full bio.

Robert Godby

University of Wyoming

Rob is currently Acting Associate Dean of the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources, Deputy Director of the Center for Energy Regulation and Policy, and associate professor in the Economics Department at the University of Wyoming. Additionally, he serves as an adjunct faculty member with the MBA program at Pforzheim University in Germany. Outside of his academic duties, he was appointed in 2019 to serve on the State of Wyoming’s Consensus Revenue Estimating Group.

Jennifer Green

Jacksonville State University

Jennifer is Director of the Center of Economic Development and Business Research where she has worked for 10 years. She is responsible for leading the center’s community and economic development activities and outreach to 11 counties in Jacksonville State University’s regional footprint. She is also responsible for cultivating grants and contracts to fund economic development research opportunities.

Bruce Kellison

University of Texas - Austin

Kellison is Director of the Bureau of Business Research, an applied economic research unit of the IC2 Institute at The University of Texas at Austin. He is former editor of Texas Business Review, a bi-monthly journal that disseminated business research to a wide readership of policymakers and business leaders. Under his leadership, the Bureau has won a number of research grants and contracts from a variety of sponsors, including the National Science Foundation, NASA, and the State of Texas.

James McCafferty

Western Washington University

James serves as Co-Director for Western Washington University’s Center for Economic and Business Research. He seeks to broaden the connections between the University, the College of Business and Economics, and the community through student internships, classroom-based projects, and consultative projects. James has an MBA from Western Washington University, a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism/Public Relations from University of Oregon.

Valorie Rice

University of Arizona

Valorie is the Business Information Specialist for the Economic and Business Research Center at the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management. She is involved with many of the department’s research projects including the Making Action Possible (MAP) Dashboard. Valorie’s forte is demographic and economic data for Arizona, particularly Census Bureau information, and writes articles on demographic issues for the Center’s publications.

Eric Thompson

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Dr. Thompson is the Karl H. Nelson Associate Professor of Economics and the director of the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Thompson’s research examines the sources and consequences of state and local economic growth and the economics of infrastructure. Through his work at the Bureau, Thompson provides economists with practical opportunities to conduct applied economic research and trains economics and business students to conduct applied research on timely economic and business topics.

Treyz

Fred Treyz

Regional Economic Models, Inc.

Frederick is CEO of Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI). Treyz holds a Ph.D. in Regional Science from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in economics from Princeton University. He has more than 15 years of experience in applied urban and regional economics, including work in transportation, productivity, tax analysis, and economic impact analysis. Full bio.