Message From the Director
American consumers today face a dazzling array of financial products and services. But, not a day goes by without a headline story that highlights the perils for those who make uninformed choices when it comes to borrowing, saving and investing. Over the past decade more than 10 million American households filed for personal bankruptcy. Many more have wrestled with loan delinquencies and the threat of a mortgage foreclosure, always against the backdrop of the growing urgency to set aside funds for retirement. Researchers have established strong causal links between household financial distress and marital problems, extended illness, declining work performance, family discord and diminished quality of life. How much of this could be prevented by educating young people how to manage their finances and make informed choices as they move into adult life? That question inspired the creation of the Take Charge America Institute here at the University of Arizona. Interdisciplinary research programs and a strong tradition of community and national outreach made the Norton School for Family and Consumer Sciences the ideal host.
The TCAI has established an aggressive set of research-based outreach programs to tackle the challenge. I’m delighted to be a part of the University’s effort to build the Institute into a nationally recognized intellectual hub for developing effective financial education programs and policy.
Since the early 1990s, I’ve conducted research projects on the impact of credit market regulations and the pros and cons of putting regulatory limits on financial products in ways that help consumers make good credit choices. A powerful lesson emerges from that work: neither regulation nor market competition is sufficient to prevent consumers from making poor financial decisions in today’s complex markets for financial services. Consumers simply need better preparation in order to help themselves. The TCAI offers an exciting chance to take the insights from cutting-edge research on consumer decision-making and incorporate them into financial education outreach programs that help consumers of all ages to improve their skill and confidence in managing their financial affairs.
Director’s bio:Michael E. Staten
Dr. Michael E. Staten holds the Take Charge America Endowed Chair in the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Arizona. He is also director of the Take Charge America Institute for personal financial education and research. Staten is recognized nationally as an expert on retail credit market policy issues and has testified often before Congress and various state legislatures. Over the past 20 years Dr. Staten has designed and conducted research projects on a wide range of policy-oriented issues involving consumer and mortgage credit markets, initially as director of the Credit Research Center at Purdue University (1988 – 1997), and later as Distinguished Professor and Executive Director of the re-located Credit Research Center at Georgetown University (1997 - 2006), and the George Washington University School of Business (2006-2007). He has published numerous articles on retail financial services in academic journals and edited volumes. He has made invited presentations at workshops and events sponsored by the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Reserve Board, and Washington, DC think-tanks including the American Enterprise Institute and the Brookings Institution.
Dr. Staten brings to Tucson an active personal research agenda that includes projects that examine the causes and consequences of personal bankruptcy and mortgage foreclosures; the rehabilitative effects of credit counseling on long-term borrower behavior; the accuracy of credit reporting; the impact of financial education mandates and programs on financial behavior of young consumers; and the pros and cons of improved loan disclosures and regulatory limits on loan products in helping consumers to make good credit choices.
Dr. Staten received his Ph.D. in economics from Purdue University’s Krannert Graduate School of Management in 1980. He has taught undergraduate and graduate economics courses at the University of Delaware and Purdue University. At the University of Arizona he teaches courses in retail financial services and consumer behavior. He currently serves as a trustee for the American Financial Services Association Education Foundation, and is on the Advisory Council for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. He served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Purdue Employees Federal Credit Union from 1995-1997.
Contact Dr. Mike Staten - firstname.lastname@example.org