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Georgia State University

President’s Speaker Series: A Conversation with Paul Courant

Flyer for Paul Courant event at GSU on 2/22/12

In a 2008 presentation, Paul N. Courant said, “Once upon a time, printing was expensive, and publishers, librarians and tenure committees were happy. Now it is essentially costless and everyone is miserable.”

Anyone who cares about the future of scholarly information should be interested to hear Courant’s ideas. He is the University Librarian and Dean of Libraries at the University of Michigan, an expert on the economics of universities, libraries and archives and a prolific scholar in economics and public policy. As Provost at the University of Michigan, Courant was crucial to negotiating a contract with Google, allowing them to digitize the contents of the university’s library for what is now known as Google Books.

Continuing a series of talks from provocative intellectuals like Arizona State’s Michael Crow, Paul Courant will participate in a conversation with President Becker on the future of scholarly information on February 22, 2012. Beginning at 2:00 p.m., the event will be located in the Speaker’s Auditorium at 150 Student Center, Georgia State University.

Beyond his role at the University of Michigan’s library, Courant is also Harold T. Shapiro Collegiate Professor of Public Policy, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Economics, Professor of Information, and Faculty Associate in the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. From 2002-2005 he served as Provost and Executive Vice-President for Academic Affairs, the chief academic officer and the chief budget officer of the University. He has also served as the Associate Provost for Academic and Budgetary Affairs, Chair of the Department of Economics and Director of the Institute of Public Policy Studies (which is now the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy).

Courant has authored half a dozen books, and over seventy papers covering a broad range of topics in economics and public policy, including tax policy, state and local economic development, gender differences in pay, housing, radon and public health, relationships between economic growth and environmental policy, and university budgeting systems. More recently, he is studying the economics of universities, the economics of libraries and archives, and the changes in the system of scholarly communication that derive from new information technologies.

Paul Courant holds a BA in History from Swarthmore College (1968); an MA in Economics from Princeton University (1973); and a PhD in Economics from Princeton University (1974). He rides a BMW R1150R motorcycle.