October 1, 2019 at 9:15 pm

Homecoming 2019: Alumni Meet the New Dean, From Münster to Athens

President M. Duane Nellis and Dean Florenz Plassmann greet alumni.

President M. Duane Nellis and Dean Florenz Plassmann greet alumni.

Alumni and friends stopped by along the 2019 Homecoming parade route to meet the new dean of Arts & Sciences, Dr. Florenz Plassmann, at the college’s tent on Oct. 12.

Plassmann, who came to Athens in 2019, provided some insights into his favorite things as alumni get to know him.

Dean Florenz Plassmann at Homecoming 2019, standing by table display in OHIO sweatshirt

Dean Florenz Plassmann at Homecoming 2019

Meet-the-Dean Questionnaire

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in the German town of Münster—famous for being the town where the treaty was signed in 1648 that ended the 30-year war. The town is not the origin of the well-known “Munster cheese”–the word Münster simply means “monastery,” so the name of the Munster cheese simply indicates that the cheese was originally produced in a monastery.

What was your first job?

After high school, I spent 15 months in the German army as a draftee. Upon release I wanted to become a bank teller, but no bank offered me a job. So, I did the next best thing—I studied economics, first in Münster and later at Virginia Tech, became a professor at Binghamton University, and ultimately a dean at Ohio University.

What is your favorite thing to do on the weekends in Ohio?

Walking the Trace Trail in Strouds Run State Park from my house to Dow Lake.

What is your favorite…

  • Color? Green—even before coming to OHIO
  • Food? Pizza, although I do my very best to eat  vegetables and fruit instead.
  • Food in the Athens area? I get my weekly supply of brussel sprouts from Seamans.
  • Sport? I grew up in Germany—do you have to ask?
  • Sports Team? Preussen Münster. Don’t ask which sport.
  • Bands? Being a child of the eighties, it’s Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, and Akcent.
  • Movie? “Groundhog Day.”  It’s the ultimate feel-good movie.
  • Book? The Hornblower saga by C.S. Forester. Could there be anything better than being a sea captain?

One thing that excites you about being part of Ohio University?

There are a gazillion things that excite me about being here. The number of things that DON’T excite me can be summarized by the circular symbol that Arab merchants brought to Europe around 1200.

Homecoming 2019 logo--1804 and So Much More

More About Dean Plassmann

Plassmann joined Ohio University in July 2019, after spending 20 years at Binghamton University, one of SUNY’s four research centers. At Binghamton, he served as Associate Dean of Harpur College of Arts and Sciences, as department chair of the Economics Department, as director of the doctoral program in Philosophy, Interpretation, and Culture, and as the inaugural faculty director of the Office of University-Wide Courses. He also served as program director of the Economics Program at the National Science Foundation.

Plassmann earned his Ph.D. in Economics from Virginia Tech in 1997 and holds faculty appointments as professor in the departments of economics and political science.  His research interest is in collective decision making, and he has published scholarly articles in the areas of voting mechanisms, public choice, law and economics, urban economics, environmental economics, econometrics, computational general equilibrium models, as well as the history of economic thought. Plassmann has served on over 25 doctoral committees, and he is a recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s award for excellence in teaching.

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