Began in 1966
Retired in 1997
I arrived on the Sacramento State College campus in early September of 1956 as a freshman after serving four years in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean Police Action era. Little did I know that I was about to spend the next half century connected to the college/university. I am one of the few people who was a freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, graduate student, assistant professor, associate professor, professor and the university's first Director of Research and Sponsored Programs. Along the way I served on the senate, its executive committee, as its vice-chair and head of both the Economics Department and the International Affairs Graduate Program. I was honored to give a Livingston Lecture and was a recipient of a Distinguished Faculty Research Award. My work at our university enabled me to qualify to receive Fulbright Lecturing Awards to Liberia and Zambia and a Senior Fulbright Research Award to the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore. The latter assignment permitted me to take a job in Viet Nam where during the mid-l980s I was the first post war American economist to teach at what was then Ho Chi Minh City University in "old" Saigon. My course was half of a jointly offered certificate involving that instituton and CSUS. My first day of class drew about 70 students in a classroom designed for 50. So we moved to a bigger room that accomodated 70 students but we had 90 sitting in chairs, on the floor and hanging through windows. The next day we moved to the campus "theatre" where we managed to deal with over 100 students. I was lucky to have three young women from the newly created English Department to act as my language assistants. I fell in love with Viet Nam and with the Vietnamese and returned several times on U.S. Embassy lecturing tours to universities in HCMC, Hanoi, Danang and the Mekong region. The experience was terrific and it culminated when I managed to host (along with the CSUS Economics Department) a Visiting Vietnamese Fulbright Scholar.
Something truly astonishing happened when I was teaching at HCMCU. Keep in mind that it was during the mid 1980s when the U.S. had no formal relations with Viet Nam. The war was not a distant memory and ours was the first joint U.S. and Vietnamese academic program following the war's end. On the last day of class I was presented with copies of the certificate that I was invited to sign (I did so as a representative of President Gerth but obviously I didn't have enough time to get his permission to do so). I was extremely suprised to note that the certificate was printed with a red, white and blue background (rather than the red and gold colors of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam). The red, while and blue document said a great deal about how the Vietnamese were beginning to warm to Americans--as they later did to President Clinton, his and our First Lady Hilary upon their visit to the country. Another great story that occured a few years later was when President Clinton assigned Pete Peterson to be our first Ambassador to Viet Nam--during the war Ambassador Peterson lost a leg, was imprisoned, learned Vietnamese, and came to love the people--particularly one who he married and with whom he had a wonderful family.
After retiring from CSUS I taught for a number of years for the Institute of International Studies in both Bangkok and Chiang Mai, Thailand. I taught for the past 13 years at the University of Hawaii's main campus at Manoa on the island of Oahu. During 2011 my course focused on the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group prior to its summit which was held in Honolulu during November of that year. My course was part of a UH Manoa "APEC Studies Certificate" and 16 of the 31 students in the class gained certification. Nine of them became APEC Interns and worked with the U.S. host delegation during the summit. They were suprised when the delegation arranged for them to have a private meeting with President Obama. By the way, the President has a close tie to UH Manoa where his father received a BA in Economics (the department in which I will continue to teach) and where his mother earned a BA and a PhD in Anthropolgy.
CSUS has been a wonderful journey for me. Let me conclude by making the most important point about my life and CSUS: it happened in 1969 when I taught a course in which one of my students was Ms. Lee Chi Ming Dana a foreign student from Hong Kong. For the past 41 years she has been Dana Curry.