Finance professor selected to teach in Fulbright Scholar Program

Before accepting an appointment in the Fulbright Scholar Program, Marietta College's Dr. James Falter had just one request.

"I wanted to know I was going to be safe. I know I'll be away from my family and there will be language and cultural barriers, but since Albania is in a state of transition from decades of communist control, I needed to know how safe I would be working there," said the associate professor of finance.

Falter's concerns were quickly subdued when he attended a conference sponsored by the US State Department last summer, where he learned from members of the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES) that Americans are welcomed to Albania.

"They told me that the people in Tirana will treat me with the greatest respect and that I will be extremely secure," Falter said.

Falter travels to New York University-Tirana in the fall of 2008 to teach Investments and research financial markets and institutions in the region. "I worked about eight years on getting this opportunity and I'm pleased to finally get a chance to go. I love teaching internationally. In fact, I taught in Romania this past summer."

Falter anticipates this experience to be his most challenging as Albania has had open universities for only the past decade. "Infrastructure, systems (legal, regulatory, etc) and businesses are still being formed in Tirana and there is some anxiety. I'm going to focus on fundamental financial management and investments analysis since this is what they need the most."

Falter said he was flattered to receive the Fulbright Award, especially since very few are awarded in the business field.

The Fulbright Program, America's flagship international educational exchange program, is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Since its establishment in 1946, hundreds of thousands of U.S. faculty and professionals have taught, studied or conducted research abroad, and thousands of their counterparts from other countries have engaged in similar activities in the United States. The program operates in more than 150 countries worldwide. Each year, the traditional Fulbright Scholar Program sends some 800 U.S. faculty and professionals to lecture, do research or participate in seminars, and some 800 foreign faculty come to the U.S.

Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. Among the thousands of prominent Fulbright alumni are: Muhammad Yunus, managing director and founder, Grameen Bank, and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006; Javier Solana, foreign policy chief, European Union; Ruth Simmons, president, Brown University; and Craig Barrett, chairman of the board, Intel Corp.

"I am very pleased about Dr. Falter's Fulbright. Faculty who teach or do research abroad help us move toward the goal of internationalization," said Marietta Provost Dr. Rita Smith Kipp. "He will come back with a broader perspective on his field of expertise, and I know that will inform his work in the classroom."

Falter's research is focused on investor behavior in financial markets, stock market efficiency and financial institutions. He has several articles published in annual proceedings of the Midwest Finance Association, Southern Finance Association and the Southwest Finance. Additionally, he has served as topic chair and on the program committee for the Midwest Financial Association. Additionally, he serves as a reviewer for McGraw-Hill Publishing on the topic of "Behavioral Finance" and "Investments" on books pertaining to corporate finance and investments.