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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

More brain drain? UF loses renowned economist

Another day, another loss of academic star power for one of Florida's state universities.

UF economics professor David Figlio, also a research associate at the NY-based National Bureau of Economic Research, is leaving the Gainesville public research institution after a decade to take a post at Northwestern University. He'll first go on a research sabbatical, said UF spokesman Steve Orlando.

An international expert in education and public finance, Figlio is famous for studies like the one in 2002 showing that schools loaded students up on high caloric food on standardized test days so that they would perform better.

Another study examined whether teachers show negative bias to black students with ethnic names or names that suggest low-incomes, such as those beginning in "Da-" or ending in "quan."

Academic and economics journals regularly turn to his work, and newspapers including the Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal quote him for his expertise.

And when they do, "UF" is before his name, which lends the university some prestige and national attention. No more. Soon the benefit goes to Northwestern.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:42am]


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