Howard University Graduate School
Office of the Interim Dean


Message from the Interim Dean          |           Biography                     

Dr. Charles L. Betsey, Interim Dean of the Graduate School, is also a Professor of Economics, and Co-Director of the Center on Race and Wealth funded by the Ford Foundation. Dr. Betsey is a former Chair of the Department of Economics at Howard University and an internationally recognized economist. He assumed the position of Interim Dean of the Graduate School on August 31, 2009, succeeding Dean Orlando L. Taylor, who retired earlier this year.

As dean, Dr. Betsey leads the efforts to support and enhance graduate education at Howard University. With an enrollment of 1,100 students, 30 Master’s, 28 Ph.D., and 9 M.D./Ph.D. programs, the Graduate School is the nation’s largest on- campus producer of African-American Ph.D. recipients.

Dr. Betsey has an outstanding record of scholarship and teaching at Howard University at the undergraduate and graduate levels and his research interests are wide ranging. He has served on numerous university-wide committees, including the presidential search committee, the budget advisory committee, advisory boards, and special national and international programmatic initiatives.

Dr. Betsey served as chair of the Department of Economics from 1990-1996 and as interim chair from 2003-2005. Dr. Betsey’s teaching and research reveal his special interests in the development of underrepresented communities as well as the broader society. For example, he regularly teaches upper division undergraduate courses on black community economic development and labor economics. He also teaches graduate courses in human resources and health economics. He has been associated for several years with the Charles B. Rangel Scholars Program conducted under the auspices of the Ralph Bunche Center for International Affairs teaching a course in political economy to students interested in careers in the Foreign Service. His current research interests include consumption behavior and wealth accumulation of African Americans, and pay and compensation policies in various labor markets, including the market for college faculty.

His recent publications include an edited volume, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (Transaction Press), “Faculty Research Productivity: Institutional and Personal Determinants of Faculty Publications,” and “Income and Wealth Transfer Effects of Discrimination in Prison Sentencing.” He is regularly invited to present his research at the annual meetings of the Allied Social Science Associations and the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM). Dr. Betsey has served as a member of the Board of Editorial Advisors of the Review of Black Political Economy. He is a member of the American Economic Association and the National Economic Association, where he served as president from 1991-1992. He was elected to the National Academy of Social Insurance in 2008.

His professional activities at Howard also include his leadership as Center Director and Co-Principal Investigator of the Howard University Center on Race and Wealth. The Ford Foundation-sponsored center investigates issues of wealth disparities across racial groups to disseminate research findings and to train researchers in the field.

Dr. Betsey began his career as a Labor Economist in the Office of Economic Opportunity, Executive Office of the President, where he served from 1971 to 1973. His duties included conducting research and monitoring a research grant awarded to the National Bureau of Economic Research.

He subsequently held faculty appointments at the University of Massachusetts at Boston and the University of the District of Columbia. He has been an adjunct faculty member at George Washington University and the University of Maryland.

Dr. Betsey has served in research and/or policy positions in all three branches of the federal government. From 1976-77, Dr. Betsey held the position of Labor Economist in the U.S. Department of Labor in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy, Evaluation, and Research, where he assisted in various studies including analyzing the labor market implications of the Carter Administration welfare reform proposal and the impact of minimum wages.

From 1977-79, Dr. Betsey was Principal Analyst for the Congressional Budget Office where he authored a report on the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA).

In 1986, as Associate Research Director and Senior Research Economist for the United States Sentencing Commission, he assisted the Commission in assessing research on various issues in criminal sentencing. He also designed and implemented the Commission’s data collection system to monitor the nationwide application of federal sentencing guidelines.

From 1979-81, Dr. Betsey served as Executive Director of the Urban Policy Analysis and Research Unit of the National Urban Coalition. In this position, he was the Principal Investigator on a project funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Ford Foundation, and the Carnegie Corporation. The project was devoted to analyzing various policy proposals, including public service employment, welfare reform, and alternative policies to stimulate employment. He also was responsible for developing an internship for minority students in conjunction with Atlanta University.

From 1981-84, he was a Consultant to the Urban Institute, where he was the Principal Investigator on studies sponsored by the Rockefeller and Alfred P. Sloan Foundations. The studies addressed the employment and career mobility of minorities and women in the public sector; federal, state and local government. He also consulted on various studies, including an econometric analysis of the effects of participation in Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) programs on the employment and earnings of youth and the economically disadvantaged; and a study of racial differences in adolescent fertility.

From 1984-85, he served as Study Director for the National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences, directing the assessment of evaluations of the Youth Employment and Demonstration Projects Act (YEDPA). He organized a major conference on youth employment focusing on the committee's report.

Dr. Betsey served as Labor Economics Fellow for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission from September 2005 to August 2006, consulting on a variety of research issues and designing a study of federal sector equal employment outcomes.

Dr. Betsey earned his B.A. in Economics and Spanish Literature and his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Michigan.


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