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OU Economics Professor Greg Burge to Receive Medal for Excellence

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OU Economics Professor Greg Burge to Receive Medal for Excellence

February 15, 2024

NORMAN, OKLA. –  The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence is honoring University of Oklahoma economics professor and department chair Greg Burge with the Medal for Excellence in Research University Teaching.

“Dr. Burge’s personal touch and sustained engagement work miracles,” said colleague Qihong Liu, who noted that rates of student failure — measured by the number of D’s and F’s — fell by more than half during the first year Burge started teaching OU’s Principles of Macroeconomics introductory course.

Burge, a Florida State University alumnus, has taught at OU since 2006. In 2018, he received OU’s General Education Award for his impact on the university-wide general education program, an award he said made him proud as it “connects directly to OU’s goals related to improving student success and retention.”

Greg Burge.

His former students have also noted his care for each student, saying he worked out a deal with a textbook manufacturer to give them the textbook for free if they needed support.

“While this situation occurs only a handful of times each year, on many occasions, I’ve seen tears in students’ eyes after they learn I’ve arranged this deal with the publisher,” Burge said. “My goal is that those students would feel just as supported in their educational journey as other students with access to more resources.”

Burge also developed and led the Economics in London program, which the OU Dodge Family College of Arts and Sciences named the Program of the Year in 2017. In this program, former students said he continued his care for students, going out of his way to make them feel comfortable in a foreign country.

During 2023, Burge led the local organizing committee for the esteemed Chinese Economists Society North American Conference. This gathering attracted over 100 scholars to the campus and, as Liu emphasized, presented students with a significant educational opportunity.

Burge said some of his most prized possessions are the more than 100 handwritten thank you notes his former students gave him.

“I believe educators can tap into something very powerful when they truly care about their students’ goals,” Burge said.

Burge and the other Medal for Excellence recipients will be honored at OFE’s 38th annual Academic Awards Celebration on Saturday, May 4, at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in Norman. Each educator will receive a $5,000 cash prize and an etched glass “Roots and Wings” sculpture, according to OFE.

“Each of these public school educators has made an indelible impact on their students, school and community,” said Elizabeth Inbody, OFE executive director. “We are honored to make them the recipients of the Medal for Excellence, one of the state’s most prestigious teaching awards. We hope that their passion and innovation will inspire and encourage others in their support of public education.”

The celebration is open to the public. To learn more about the event or register to attend, visit OFE.org.

About the University of Oklahoma

Founded in 1890, the University of Oklahoma is a public research university located in Norman, Oklahoma. As the state’s flagship university, OU serves the educational, cultural, economic and health care needs of the state, region and nation. OU was named the state’s highest-ranking university in U.S. News & World Report’s most recent Best Colleges list. For more information about the university, visit ou.edu.


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