Professor Khemraj excitedly shared, “my next book will be called Inside and Outside Assets: Studies in Cryptocurrencies, Fiat money, and Central Bank Bills. Everyone talks about bit coins, stable coins, and ether, but no one explains what it means from an economic standpoint. I will try to analyze it from a monetary standpoint, what does it mean for economic stability, what does it mean for growth?”
William and Marie Selby, longtime Sarasota philanthropists endowed this position. Endowed Chair positions provide flexibility for faculty to try new ideas or pursue unexplored paths critical to innovation. Dr. Khemraj became the chair in 2012 after Professor Fred Strobel retired. As chair, Khemraj has a very active research agenda centering on issues of monetary economics, exchange rate policies, and central banks and how should they work in developing economies. He is also active in public service, writing a column for a newspaper in Guyana, called the Stabroek News, and working with civil society activists there on environmental activism.
What does Dr. Khemraj love about teaching at New College? “Students are generally curious. That’s a big plus. Over the years, I’ve had the experience of a student taking a standard class, and they will say they want to learn more about a particular topic and that’s when we would design a tutorial. It’s much more than individualized learning.”
Dr. Khemraj enjoys the small class sizes at New College and the relationships he’s built with students. “I’ve taught in those 400 student-scenarios, but I never got to know the students. Students would ask for me to write a reference, and I couldn’t write one. If you have 400 students in a class and the exams are multiple choice, what skills are you developing, other than test taking skills? My assignments tend to be writing intensive or data intensive meaning they have to use a data set to come up with an analysis based on what you see or observe. The way we do it here at New College, students are always doing things, constantly developing skills.”
Some of his classes have become staples at New College, such as Econometrics and Political Economy. He proudly points to the impact he’s had on students over the years. “Quite a few of them are economists and some have even started businesses. I can’t believe I have a few graduates who are now assistant professors, close to associate professors. I am not that old!”