In Memoriam: Ronald G. Cummings

Departmental News

Posted: September 14, 2020

It is with heavy heart that the Department of Economics at UNM is sharing the sad news that Dr. Ronald G. Cummings (or Ron to many of us) passed away on Wednesday, September 9, 2020. He was 85 years old.

Ron was a long-time faculty member, as professor and Chair of the Department of Economics, until retiring from UNM in 1993. After continuing to work for a number of years on the faculty at Georgia State University's Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Ron retired back to New Mexico and reconnected with the Department of Economics at UNM by occasionally teaching graduate level class in Experimental Economics. A few years back, he was a guest honor at our graduation ceremony.

A leading national and international figure in environmental and natural resource economics, Ron was instrumental in strengthening the field in our Department, and worked on numerous New Mexico topics. With more than a dozen published papers in the flagship economics journal AER, and countless more in various reputed outlets to his credit, Ron also pioneered work in the intersection of experimental and environmental economics. As Department Chair at UNM, Ron also helped reform our graduate program and was a constant source of excellence in teaching and research.

Finally, as an avid fan and season ticket holder for UNM's Lobo basketball team, Ron was famous for holding pre-game gatherings at his home and for providing free tickets to many faculty and friends. Ron was also well known for being a great cook and an amazing host. The Department of Economics extends our deep condolences to his family.