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.
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
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
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
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.