LUMS academic celebrates 50 year anniversary at Lancaster


Economics departmental colleagues

Congratulations to Emeritus Professor Vudayagi Balasubramanyam (pictured front row centre with Departmental colleagues) who has recently celebrated 50 years of working at Lancaster University.

Professor Geraint Johnes of the Department of Economics provides a fascinating insight into his career to date:

"Baloo's impact on the Department of Economics in particular and on LUMS more generally has been immeasurable. He joined the university in 1969, having completed his doctorate at the University of Illinois. Along with other Indian economists, notably his former teacher Jagdish Bhagwati, Baloo was a strong advocate for free trade as a route to development - an economic strategy that has proved spectacularly successful for India. His early writings on this issue were often in book form - his 1984 volume on 'The Economy of India' being notable. His subsequent work on foreign direct investment and economic growth - encapsulated by his 1996 paper in the Economic Journal (which has been hugely influential, receiving well over 2000 citations) - extended this interest in the links between economic development and international integration. 

Baloo served an extended term as Head of Department, and subsequently for many years as associate dean for teaching. He successfully restructured the department, driving forward the research mission and focusing activity in specific areas in which Lancaster could excel. He has always been thoroughly committed to the Management School, eschewing the economist's innate tendency to withdraw within a silo, and embracing the opportunities to learn from - and contribute to - other disciplines. Ideas have always been his currency - they buzz around him like a swarm of bees - and his energy has always been phenomenal. This extended to his teaching, for which he was much loved by students (who, across several generations, nicknamed him the Bombay Express). It extended also to his activities after formal retirement - including the foundation of a vibrant British Northern Universities India Forum - involving managing a series of annual conferences, seminars, lectures, and editing further books.

As a leader, mentor and colleague, Baloo has always been phenomenally supportive and caring. Indeed he is the epitome of a great leader. When he was head of department, I called him 'Boss'. I still do. "

On this achievement, Professor Angus Laing, Dean of LUMS, said:

"Many congratulations on achieving the half-century, a feat which I think will take some beating. I can only guess at the changes which you have seen in the University and Department over that time. What is consistent is the commitment to excellence in teaching and research. It is a commitment in which you played an important role and which has stood the University in good stead in its first fifty years. Many congratulations on reaching this landmark and I look forward to your ongoing contribution to the School."

We would like to congratulate Baloo on this significant milestone and thank him for his immense contributions to the School over the past 50 years. We look forward to the continuation of his excellent work in the coming years too.

Those featured in the photo are as follows - back row l-r: Oliver Westall, Harvey Armstrong, John Payne, Bob Rothschild, Robert Read, Maurice Kirby, Nick Snowden, Paul Ferguson, Tin Nyguyen, Gerry Steele, Geraint Johnes and Jim Taylor. Front row l-r: Janet Parker, Wendy Constantine, Baloo, Jill Johnes and Mary Rose.

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