PULLMAN, Wash. — Associate Professor Harry J. Turtle is the new chair of the Department of Finance, Insurance and Real Estate in the Washington State University’s College of Business and Economics.

The previous chair of the department, Professor Hal S. Kerr, returned full-time to his teaching and research duties as of the start of the spring 2003 semester.

Turtle, who teaches finance and international business courses, has been on the WSU faculty since 1997. He formerly taught at the University of Manitoba. His Ph.D. in finance is from the University of Alberta. His research interests are in international finance and investments.

He currently has two forthcoming articles: “The Dual Contributions of Information Instruments in Return Models: Magnitude and Direction Predictability” and “A Barrier Option Framework for Corporate Security Valuation.” The articles are scheduled to appear in the Journal of Empirical Finance and the Journal of Financial Economics, respectively.

Kerr has been with WSU for 25 years, having served for 16 of those as department chair. During that time, he developed and promoted strong academic programs in finance, insurance, and real estate. All were “extended statewide in the spirit of the land grant institution,” he says. Kerr also initiated the program in international business at WSU and forged strong alliances with foreign universities. He has served the WSU and the Pullman communities in numerous capacities, including as a commissioner for the Pullman Care Community. That organization oversees the community’s new $18 million hospital.

Profiles on Turtle and Kerr are available online at www.cbe.wsu.edu/directory.

The Dept. of Finance, Insurance and Real Estate is an academic unit within the business college. Turtle oversees the activities of its 13 faculty members, one staff person and five graduate students in addition to FIRE’s programs for undergraduate and graduate students. Highlights of the department include popular portfolio management projects–one where students direct the investment of $1 million of university funds, plus another in cooperation with the investment firm, D.A. Davidson. All FIRE students benefit from industry partnerships with the department. They get hands-on experience through internships and they enjoy high rates of placement upon graduation. There are about 200 undergraduate majors in finance, risk management/insurance, and real estate. Students in the department can study also for an MBA specializing in finance, and a Ph.D. concentrating in finance.