Economist to receive Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Service
Susan Feigenbaum is no stranger to service. Since joining the University of Missouri–St. Louis in 1988, she has voluntarily served on a number of committees and in other capacities to always look out for the best interest of UMSL faculty, staff and students.
Because of her dedication to helping others, it’s no surprise that Feigenbaum, professor of economics at UMSL, will receive the 2014 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Service. She will be presented with a plaque and $1,000 honorarium during the annual State of the University Address on Sept. 17 in the J.C. Penney Building at UMSL.
“Susan is among the best examples of superior service this campus has ever seen or is likely to ever see in the future,” said David Rose, professor of economics at UMSL. “Service comes naturally to Susan. It is a product of deeply held moral values that make serving others a joy for her. In our view this is the deepest virtue. Susan’s efforts and her attitude are examples for the rest of us.”
Feigenbaum has been a fixture on the University of Missouri System Employee Retirement and Benefits Committee for more than 20 years.
“I always felt a personal responsibility to use my professional expertise in health-care finance to assure that benefit programs are structured in an appropriate way,” she said. “From my perspective, appropriate is defined not only by the incentives created to promote the efficient use of health-care resources but, more importantly, by the fairness in cost-sharing between employees and the university especially with respect to our lowest-paid employees.”
She’s also served on an ad-hoc committee to study possible changes to the pension plan for new employees and was a governor-appointed member of the Missouri Consolidated Health Care Plan Board of Trustees, the oversight committee for state employee health and pension benefits, for five-years.
Eight years ago, she was instrumental in the establishment of a collaborative venture between the College of Optometry at UMSL and the Pepose Vision Institute to provide free eye surgery to low-income people and first-responders at the college’s East St. Louis clinic. The program has since delivered more than $750,000 in free care with optometry students receiving training in all aspects of pre- and post-operative care.
Feigenbaum served as chair of the Department of Economics for five years and received a National Science Foundation grant to establish the first discipline-specific computer lab – the Laboratory for Quantitative Analysis, oversaw a five-year review of the department and capitalized on a short-term University of Missouri System grant that matched endowment funds for scholarships, raising more than $22,500 in endowments for the department in less than six months. She has participated in a number of five-year reviews for various units on campus and has served on numerous recruitment committees at both the University of Missouri System and campus level, participating in the selection of the system president, vice president for academic affairs, UMSL vice chancellor for advancement and UMSL associate vice chancellor for marketing.
Feigenbaum is past president of the board of Circus Harmony, a city-based social youth circus organization and has previously served as a member of the police and strategic planning commission in Town and Country, Mo. She currently serves as a member of the board of Lifelong Vision Foundation
She is an expert in health-care economics, economics of science, industrial organization and regulation, statistics and econometrics, economics of public choice and the nonprofit sector.
Feigenbaum earned her bachelor’s degree in economics from Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., and doctoral degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin in Madison.
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