Dr. James Otteson, Philosophy and Economics Scholar, Directs Schottenstein Honors Program

Jun 22, 2007 — A new professor will be taking the reins at the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program at Yeshiva College in the fall.

As part of an ambitious hiring initiative to strengthen the quality of the Yeshiva College faculty, James Otteson, PhD, chair of the Department of Philosophy at University of Alabama, has been recruited to head the program.

Dr. Otteson initially will devote himself to directing the honors program, said Joanne Jacobson, PhD, associate dean for academic affairs at Yeshiva College. Dr. Otteson will also have a joint appointment in the philosophy and economics departments, where he will teach later in the year.

“Yeshiva University is dedicated to providing the country’s best overall education to students interested in both aspects of its Torah Umadda [the combination of Jewish studies and secular learning] mission, and the honors program will play a central role in helping YU to reach its highest potential,” Dr. Otteson said.

Dr. Otteson received a BA from the University of Notre Dame and a PhD from the University of Chicago. He has been teaching at the University of Alabama since 1997, chairing the philosophy department since 2005. He specializes in the history of modern philosophy, political philosophy, ethics, and Adam Smith, the founder of modern economics. He has written several books and edited numerous articles.

Dr. Otteson will build on the work of Will Lee, PhD, who directed the Schottenstein Honors Program for the past six years. Department heads and program chairpeople at Yeshiva College are limited to serving two three-year terms.

“Dr. Lee did a tremendous job shepherding the students in the honors program,” said Yeshiva College Dean David Srolovitz, PhD. “We are happy that the college will continue to benefit from his expertise.”

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