Economist Ken Kriz brings his talents to Wichita State
Ken Kriz’s work has taken him to far-off countries, immersing him in their cultures as he learned everything he could about foreign economies. Now, Kriz has brought his knowledge and talents to Wichita State.
Kriz recently accepted the position of Regents Professor of Public Finance in WSU’s Hugo Wall School of Urban and Public Affairs. He comes to WSU from the University of Nebraska-Omaha (UNO), where he was professor of public finance and economics.
But before that, he spent several years in Europe. From 2004-2005 while at UNO on a Fulbright Scholarship, Kriz lived in Estonia. Despite the difficulty of being separated from his family, the time in Estonia made a lasting impact on Kriz.
“Living there was a tremendous learning experience,” he said. “I often tell people that I really had no way to put into context the institutions that define the U.S. public finance system until I saw first-hand the structure and workings of another system.”
Kriz then received a grant from the European Union to help develop Ph.D. programs in public administration and public finance in Estonia, the Czech Republic, Poland and Latvia.
From 2006-2008, he would spend three weeks in the United States and one week in one of those countries.
“This was a terribly exhausting period for me, but I learned so much about the management and development of academic programs in the transition countries,” he said.
Kriz said he was drawn to his new job at Wichita State because it’s one of the top positions in his field – a position of high visibility in the Kansas university system.
He hopes to help continue to grow the academic reputation of the Hugo Wall School, develop cutting-edge research in the field of public finance, and generate research on topics of interest to stakeholders.
As for why he was eager to come to Wichita, it’s pretty simple:
“The original Pizza Hut and Shocker basketball.”