Dr. David Tufte has been teaching for the past 27 years and continues to learn every step of the way.
Tufte earned his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in economics, all from the University at Buffalo in New York. From there he was hired as a visiting assistant professor at the University of Alabama, then spent a short time at the University of Utah before deciding to move back to the South. At University of New Orleans, Tufte became a tenured assistant and associate professor of economics.
“At the University of New Orleans, I published materials, taught in their Ph.D., international, and executive programs, chaired a couple of Ph.D. dissertation committees, and served as director of the Ph.D. program,” said Tufte. “I was also invited to teach at the school across town, Tulane University, where I taught for three semesters in two different departments.”
Looking for a new challenge after working at the University of New Orleans for eight and a half years, Tufte applied at Southern Utah University and was hired as associate professor of economics.
At SUU, Tufte teaches the following classes:
- ECON 2010: Principles of Microeconomics
- ECON 2020: Principles of Macroeconomics
- ECON 3020: Macroeconomics for Business Decision Making
- ECON 3510: Essentials of Finance
- ECON 6100: Spreadsheet Engineering Craft
- ECON 6200: Managerial Economics
Since he has been at SUU, Tufte has ran into a few quirks that can only come from this campus.
“This is the first time I’ve worked at a residential school. It’s interesting seeing students around town,” said Tufte. “Also, for a sizeable population in the region, SUU has no competitors. This means that if there’s an amazing student who doesn’t want to be too far from home, we’re the best option.”
In his years of teaching, his all-time top students have all been from SUU. Tufte said that being a good student is a crafted skill; a student becomes a better test taker by taking tests and assessing what is giving them trouble.
“The people who practice the craft of being a student tend to excel in a wide variety of subjects,” said Tufte. “If it looks easy for them, it’s because they are like the metaphor of the duck serenely gliding across the pond because they’re paddling hard underneath.”
Tufte has never focused on awards or recognition. He grew up being taught to mitigate the valleys rather than accepting the peaks. He likes the form of recognition that comes when students or colleagues ask him to teach a class that no one else can – or is willing to – teach. His hard work and dedication to teaching has allowed him to earn tenure not once, but now twice.