Economics Professor Recognized as Professor of the Year

Joe McKinney
Joe McKinney (r) receives the award from James Bennighof. Photo courtesy of Matthew Minard/Baylor Marketing & Communications.
June 17, 2014

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Media contact: Lori Fogleman, (254) 710-6275

WACO, Texas (June 17, 2014) – Picking one professor out of the fold to be recognized with “Of The Year” status takes long hours of poring over dozens of nominations and remarkable achievements. Joe McKinney, Ph.D., professor of economics in Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business, recently received a major university honor and was selected to receive the 11th Cornelia Marschall Smith Professor of the Year Award.

James Bennighof, Ph.D., vice provost of academic affairs, presented McKinney with the award, commenting on his many achievements both for and outside of Baylor.

“With respect to this year’s award recipient, as one nominator wrote, ‘[the candidate] provides exemplary performance in all areas—research, teaching and service—to [his department, his school], Baylor University and the Waco community,’” Bennighof said.

McKinney has been with the university for 38 years. In this time, as observed by his students and colleagues, he has taught with clarity and a compassion for his students that has stayed with them for years. Further, as stated in nominations, McKinney’s extensive research and “work [in his area of study] has resulted in over sixty peer-reviewed articles, six edited books and government documents, and numerous invitations to testify before various government agencies on high-profile policy issues.”

The nomination process requires letters from both the nominator and the candidate, as well as curriculum vitae from the candidate. In addition, the nominator can choose to include a letter noting on the service and dedication of the candidate for review.

“Endorsements of his work, just for the purposes of consideration for this award, came from distinguished professors, senior fellows at research institutes and officers of professional societies in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ukraine and Kazakhstan,” Bennighof said.

The Cornelia Marschall Smith Professor of the Year Award was inaugurated 10 years ago and stands to recognize someone who makes significant contributions in his or her area of study by teaching, research and service.

“Each award winner receives a commemorative plaque as well as a cash award of $20,000, and the winner then presents a lecture on a topic of his or her choosing in the fall semester following the presentation of the award,” Bennighof said.

Dr. Joe McKinney is an obvious fit into the mold of the award’s qualifications. But more than that, and perhaps most admirably, he carries himself with a subdued knowledge about how much he impacts those around him.

Dr. Bennighof said about the nomination process “that the selection committee and [he] encountered repeatedly in reading about this man’s work how humble he is.”

Our professor of the year award is named in honor of Dr. Cornelia Marschall Smith. Dr. Smith was an alumna, professor, and chair of Baylor’s Biology department. (She also wrote several books in the 1980’s on Robert Browning and his poetry, from her office in the Armstrong Browning Library.)

Previous recipients of the award have been Professor Thomas Hanks of the Department of English, Professor Robert Baird of the Department of Philosophy, Professor Kevin Pinney of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Professor Ann Rushing of the Department of Biology, Professor Wallace Daniel of the Department of History, Professor William Hillis of the Department of Biology, Professor Joyce Jones of the Keyboard Division of the School of Music, Professor Robert Darden of the Department of Journalism, Professor Roger Kirk of the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, and Professor Bill Bellinger of the Department of Religion.

by Rebecca Flannery, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805


Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.


Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business provides a rigorous academic experience, consisting of classroom and hands-on learning, guided by Christian commitment and a global perspective. Recognized nationally for several programs, including Entrepreneurship and Accounting, the school offers 24 undergraduate and 13 graduate areas of study. Visit and follow on Twitter at

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