Dr. Thomas Gjerde received his bachelor of arts degree in economics from Buena Vista University, a small liberal arts school not far from his hometown in Iowa. He worked for several years as an account representative for a company that distributed music, books, and videos to Walmart and Target stores. Gjerde returned to school, earning a Ph.D. in economics from Purdue University.
After working for six years on a management track and not feeling challenged or fulfilled, he decided to pursue a different calling—a career in academia. Since, Gjerde has taught over 4,000 business school students at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, Purdue University, and most recently, Butler University.
Gjerde’s teaching philosophy is built around exploring the operational challenges of companies worldwide through application and simulation as opposed to normal lecturing. Gjerde will help develop and implement a new curriculum in the Clark H. Byrum School of Business where students will work with actual businesses to explore and solve problems. His research typically involves organizing and analyzing large data sets; in May 2011, he traveled to Chile to present the results of an analysis of the Chilean stock market to the head of Chile’s version of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.
Gjerde is excited to be part of the team in the Clark H. Byrum School of Business.