University of Southern California

USC Taps Leading Interdisciplinary Scholar
Mathew D. McCubbins Joins Faculty as a Provost Professor
December 10, 2009 • by News at Marshall

USC has recruited Mathew D. McCubbins, a nationally recognized interdisciplinary scholar at the University of California, San Diego, to join the faculty in January as a Provost Professor.

McCubbins will share appointments at the USC Marshall School of Business, the USC Gould School of Law and USC College. He has been a Visiting Professor of Law at USC since 2006 and is co-director of the USC-Caltech Center for the Study of Law and Politics.

"Mathew McCubbins is a truly interdisciplinary scholar who has made seminal contributions in several fields," said USC Provost and Executive Vice President C. L. Max Nikias. "Having a scholar of his stature join our faculty increases the university’s prominence and adds breadth to our innovative research."

McCubbins is a distinguished professor in political science at UC San Diego, where he holds the Chancellor’s Associates Endowed Chair. He is a foundational figure in the study of government regulatory agencies, the organization and behavior of legislatures, and the use and abuse of the popular initiative. He also has made important contributions to understanding communication in organizations and is regarded as one of the founders of the Positive Political Theory of the Law.

"Mat's addition to the USC Marshall faculty gives us one of the world's leading experts on regulatory agencies and the political economy of government, which are increasingly important for business and the economy," said USC Marshall dean James G. Ellis. "We are particularly pleased that he joins the faculty during this historic moment in the global economy and within the crucial intersection of business and government."

McCubbins is a well-known scholar and a highly respected teacher. In 2008, he earned the Chancellor’s Associates Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching, which is given annually to one member of UC San Diego's 3,300 faculty. At USC, he will spearhead an effort to create an innovative new Ph.D. program that involves political economy, economics, law, and cognitive and computational science.

A highly sought-after dissertation adviser, McCubbins has mentored many students who have gone on to prominent careers. He also has supervised 20 undergraduate honors theses, most of which won departmental thesis prizes.

"Mat embodies the aspiration of the University of Southern California," said USC Law dean Robert K. Rasmussen. "He has made important contributions across a number of areas. The fact that he received appointments in the Marshall School of Business, the College and the Gould School of Law is testimony to the fact that he is viewed as one of the nation’s leading scholars in business schools, political science departments and law schools. In the law, Mat’s work on statutory interpretation and law and politics is required reading for any serious scholar in the field. We are a better law school, and a better university, with Mat as part of our intellectual community."

USC College dean Howard Gillman added: "Mat McCubbins is one of the great social scientists of our generation. He's also an institution-builder. He will have an enormous impact across the university, but I am especially excited that the College community will benefit from his leadership in fields such as political science, economics and cognitive science."

McCubbins earned a Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology and is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and a former fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the behavioral sciences.

He is the co-author of six books, editor or co-editor of eight additional books and the author or co-author of nearly 100 scholarly articles. He has published under the nom de plume of McNollgast with co-authors Roger Noll and Barry Weingast.

McCubbins has delivered papers at more than 33 invited seminars or conference panels in the past four years in fields such as political science, economics, neuroscience, philosophy, public policy and law.

His research has been published in political science, economics, law, policy and biology journals, with seminal contributions on the regulation of administrative agencies, political organization and communication in organizations.

His work has been cited more than 4,000 times, according to the Social Science Citation Index, and another 1,300 times in law journals. He is also cited about 8,000 times in Google Scholar. He has been a principal or co-principal investigator on nearly $3 million in grants and senior personnel on more than $10 million, with the latest grants coming from network science in the engineering division of the National Science Foundation. He is already working with computer scientists at USC on additional grant applications.

He has served as a co-editor of the Journal of Law, Economics & Organization for eight years. He currently serves on the board of the Society for Empirical Legal Studies, as co-editor of the Journal of Legal Analysis (published by Harvard Law School) and as co-network director for the Political Science Network within the Social Science Research Network.


About the USC Marshall School of Business
Consistently ranked among the nation's premier schools, USC Marshall is internationally recognized for its emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation, social responsibility and path-breaking research. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, one of the world's leading business centers and the U.S. gateway to the Pacific Rim, Marshall offers its 5,700-plus undergraduate and graduate students a unique world view and impressive global experiential opportunities. With an alumni community spanning 123 countries, USC Marshall students join a worldwide community of thought leaders who are redefining the way business works.