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Release: Immediate

First UI Global Scholar to discuss research on changing Asian economies

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The first University of Iowa Global Scholar, William Albrecht, will present the results of his research on Asian economies at the Inaugural Global Scholar Lecture and Reception April 22 at 7 p.m. in the Atrium of First National Bank, 204 East Washington Street. The event is free and open to the public.

The title of Albrecht's speech is "Do Financial Markets Matter? Some Lessons From Asia ," or, "How to Turn a Tiger Into a Stray Cat." The event is co-sponsored by the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council and UI International Programs.

Albrecht, a professor of economics in the UI College of Business Administration, spent one semester of each of the last two academic years conducting research on development of futures and options exchanges in Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand (often referred to as Asian Tigers). His research focused on three areas: the interaction between government and the private sector in developing these exchanges; the role of futures and option exchange in financial development; and the role of financial markets and institutions in economic development.

While in the four countries, Albrecht interviewed government officials and many financial market participants to get their perspectives on these three issues. In the year between Albrecht's two visits, the economic and financial situation in each country, except Taiwan, changed dramatically. Thus, on his second visit much of the conversation during the interviews dealt with the reasons for this change. Albrecht's lecture will outline the conclusions he has reached concerning the causes of the economic and financial crises in the erstwhile "Asian tigers."

The evening will begin with a reception followed by Albrecht's lecture and a question and answer session. For more information or accommodation, please contact Marie Williamson at 335-2651.

The Global Scholar Award was created in 1996 to provide tenured faculty members with established records of research and teaching and with an opportunity to consider their research and teaching in relation to significant global trends. The awards are intended for scholars who have not focused their teaching or research internationally, and who now seek to expand their work to include global trends.

Recipients of the Global Scholar award are released from half their usual teaching, advising, administrative and service obligations for two consecutive years. The award takes the form of a developmental assignment for one semester each year, part of which will be spent in one or more foreign countries. Albrecht was named the first Global Scholar in 1996. The 1997 recipient was Malcolm Rohrbough, UI professor of history. This year's recipient is Kristine Fitch, UI associate professor of communication studies.

The Global Scholar Awards are administered by the Office of the UI Associate Dean of International Programs. For more information, call Elizabeth Swanson at 335-0349, visit her in Room 227A in the International Center or email her at

UI International Programs consist of a number of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate provost and dean of International Programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and community and promote global scholarship, research and teaching.