Labor economist Rodney Andrews dies aged 47

Labor economist Rodney Andrews, who was widely known in the economics research community for his expertise on health policy, public finance and labor, has died at the age of 47.

He was Vibhooti Shukla Professor of Economics and Political Economy at The University of Texas at Dallas, and his recent research had focused on the economics of education, with a particular focus on issues of access and success in higher education.

After joining UT Dallas in 2009, Andrews helped to lead the university’s Texas Schools Project, which uses microdata from the state’s school system to host a variety of research projects.

Andrews was a mentor to many colleagues and students, and over the course of his career was a principal adviser to many PhD candidates. 

Colleagues from UT Dallas and across the economics community have shared their memories of him, and celebrated Andrews’ generosity of spirit and contribution to the profession. 

Dean of the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences at UT Dallas Jennifer Holmes said: “Dr. Andrews was an energetic scholar who worked on one of the most important issues in education. He worked to understand which interventions worked best to create opportunity.”

She added: “He was an exemplary friend and mentor. His loss as a colleague and scholar is immeasurable.”

Director of the Texas Schools Project at UT Dallas Trey Miller, said: “Dr. Andrews was a great mentor to many colleagues and students over the years.”

He added: “In his capacity as director of the UT Dallas Education Research Center, he collaborated with researchers and students nationally to craft a research agenda utilizing Texas’ unparalleled education data for the improvement of education in the state.”

In a note on Twitter, Columbia Univerisity Professor Liz Ananat said: “Rodney Andrews embodied everything that is good in economics, and everything that is good in the world. The most loving and proud father, husband, grandfather, you can imagine, the funniest and most honest friend, and the fiercest scholar.”

Andrews served as co-editor of Economics of Education Review, was on the editorial board of Education Finance and Policy and was a faculty research fellow at the nonprofit National Bureau of Economic Research.

In addition to his children, Taylor, Radha, Rodney and Brendan, and his granddaughter, Fallon, Andrews is survived by his wife, Tanya.

A memorial service for Andrews will take place at noon CDT on May 20 at Union Springs Baptist Church in Rutledge Georgia. A livestream will be available on the day of the service.

Colleagues from the economics research community have also established a GoFundMe campaign to assist Andrews’ family, which may be accessed here.