Dr. Karl A. McDermott (at left) has been named the first Ameren Distinguished Professor in Business and Government at the University of Illinois at Springfield. Dr. McDermott received the honor from Dr. Ron McNeil, Dean of the College of Business and Management, and UIS Chancellor Richard Ringeisen during an investiture ceremony held September 25 on campus.
"Our strategic plan is carrying us forward with confidence and purpose as we pursue our three primary goals – academic excellence, enriching individual lives, and making a difference in the world," said Chancellor Ringeisen. "It is occasions like this one, the investiture of one of our distinguished professors, that have helped us reach this point and that will assure our success in realizing our vision. The Ameren Professorship in Business and Government symbolizes how far we have already come."
Dr. McDermott's special area of expertise is public utility regulation. He most recently served as vice president of National Economic Research Associates and before that he was a commissioner with the Illinois Commerce Commission, where he initiated an investigation of alternative restructuring options.
Prior to joining the ICC, Dr. McDermott taught economics at Illinois State University, where he was co-founder and president of the Center for Regulatory Studies and helped establish a public utility program. He has been a senior research associate at the National Regulatory Research Institute at Ohio State University, as well as a consultant to a number of entities, including Argonne National Laboratory, the Illinois Legislature, and the Illinois Department of Energy and Natural Resources. McDermott is widely published in professional journals and has lectured extensively on regulatory reform and restructuring, in this country and abroad. He has also assisted a number of Eastern European countries in their efforts to develop regulatory structures and privatize and restructure utilities.
Thanking Ameren for its generosity in providing funds for this endowed professorship, Chancellor Ringeisen noted, "The leadership of Ameren Illinois Utilities have demonstrated by this endowment their belief and confidence in this institution. They understand that you cannot have a great community without a great university, and you cannot have a great university without a great community. Today we honor Ameren, and we are grateful that you share our vision."
Ameren Illinois Utilities President and CEO Scott Cisel and Commissioner Robert Lieberman of the Illinois Commerce Commission also took part in the ceremony.
Investiture as a named professor is one of the highest honors that a faculty member can receive. This is the second endowed professorship within UIS' College of Business and Management, the other being the National City Distinguished Professorship in Banking and Finance.
Ameren Illinois Utilities serve 1.2 million electric customers and nearly 850,000 natural gas customers over 43,700 square miles in Illinois. Its parent company, Ameren Corporation, is among the nation’s largest investor-owned electric and gas utilities.