Louis Maccini, Economics professor at Hopkins since 1969, reflected positively on his time at Hopkins and also commented on his post-Hopkins plans in an interview with The News-Letter. After his departure from the University, Maccini plans to live in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
“We have a place in Ann Arbor as well as in Baltimore,” he said. “My daughter and son-in-law have faculty positions at the University of Michigan there.”
Maccini already had the opportunity to get to know people in the Ann Arbor community, for he spent time at the University of Michigan while he was on leave from Hopkins. Maccini plans to stay in Ann Arbor but doesn’t doubt that he’ll stay connected to Hopkins.
“What retirement means to me is giving up my tenured position to gain more free time in my personal life,” Maccini said. “I’ve been here –it’s a nasty number– I’ve been here 44 years, so rationally it makes sense to leave but emotionally it’s difficult.”
The way in which Maccini will stay involved with the University remains an open question. It’s possible that he’ll continue to teach in some way.
“My main connection to Hopkins is through the students,” he said.
On Dec. 7, a retirement event was held in Maccini’s honor. Members of the faculty, Maccini’s dissertation advisor, some of his co-authors and former students were in attendance.
Through the Center for Financial Economics, Maccini has managed to reconnect with former students from the seventies or eighties. Formers students Chuck Clarvit, member of the Board of Trustees, and Jeff Aronson, the newly appointed Chair of the Board of Trustees, attended the event.
“I can say I taught the Chair of the Board,” Maccini joked.
Alan Blinder, a co-author of the course text for Elements of Macroeconomics, also attended the event.
Dale Mortensen, Maccini’s dissertation advisor at Northwestern University and a recent Nobel laureate, appeared at the conference. Mortensen was his advisor, as Maccini described, when he was a young guy two years out of graduate school.
“He talked to me often about problems I was having with my doctoral thesis. That’s how research goes,” Maccini said. “At the time I couldn’t do anything but say thank you. I paid him back by spending a lot of time with my own Ph.D. students.”
Maccini referred excitedly to these connections as ‘intergenerational mentorship.’
“That’s how research progresses,” he said. “You work with people who are on the frontier of research and progress on your own from there. The memories I have of working with graduate and undergraduate students are enjoyable and rewarding for me and the University.”
Maccini has undeoubtedly forged strong relationships with his students and his mentors over the years, but he has also gained experience working in administration at Hopkins.
“Having been here for over forty years, I’ve become friends with a lot of the faculty,” Maccini remarked. “Here, many are too involved with research to find time for socializing. You meet people through serving on committees and working with deans.”
The Economics department has grown and changed a great deal during Maccini’s time at Hopkins. One of the biggest changes was the development of a Financial Economics minor.
“It didn’t exist ten years ago,” Maccini said. “We hope to keep moving ahead in the future.”
In Maccini’s time at Hopkins, not only has the Economics department changed, but the physical campus has transformed as well. There used to be a road through campus, Maccini explained, which brought a lot of traffic into campus.
“Now you can be on campus, and you don’t know you’re in a big city. Campus becomes an intellectual enterprise,” Maccini said. “The scenic quality of the campus has changed. It has become much more of a college campus since I first arrived.”
Maccini finds that leaving will be difficult because of his long history with the University.
“It makes it difficult to leave a place. But it’s not so much all the buildings. I’ve been here longer than half of the buildings,” Maccini said. “It’s the graduate and undergraduate students. To me, that’s what the University is.”