There is great news to celebrate in the 2018 Australian Research Council ERA quality rankings – we rated "well above world standard" (the top ranking) in all categories: economics overall, economic theory, applied economics, and econometrics. Moreover, Monash is in the top-50 in a variety of international rankings this year: ARWU 42, QS 45, Tilburg 33, RePEc 38. While one should be suspicious of the quirks of any ranking, doing well in so many with such different methodologies gives a robust signal of quality.

Our journey over the past decade is remarkable. Ten years ago, we likely would not have been in the top 100 internationally in any ranking. The initial ERA in 2010 rated us 2 (below world standard) in theory, 3 (at standard) in applied, and 4 (above standard) in econometrics. To move from that to the top rating of 5 (well above world standard) in all categories in less than a decade is a testament to everyone’s hard work, excellent recruiting, good working conditions, and support from the Faculty and University.

Of course, what really matters is that we do research that matters. If we continue to focus on that, the rankings will follow.

Krisztina Orban has formally accepted a lectureship with us.

Krisztina is currently finishing her PhD at University of Chicago. Her primary research fields are Industrial Organization, Productivity, and Corporate Finance. She is an exciting and outstanding recruit. The department feedback to the selection panel was overwhelmingly positive.

Krisztina has been offered the opportunity of a two-year postdoctoral research fellowship at the NBER, and she will formally commence at Monash following that. She plans to take an adjunct appointment with us during the postdoc period and visit Monash during the winter.

Competition to recruit Krisztina was intense, and she had several other strong offers. The active engagement of so many of you in recruitment made the difference. She recognises the exciting place Monash is to do research, and a large part of that is the great colleagues here.

Thanks to those involved in various stages of selection: Anke, Arthur, Choon, Giovanni, Michelle, Phil, Pushkar, Russell. There is a lot of hard work behind the scenes to make this happen. Even with an ad going up in mid-December we had about 300 applications, nearly 20 interviews, and then of course the campus visits. The support of our professional staff both in the department and in HR was great -- again there is a huge amount of essential professional work required that few see.

It was an unusual and challenging recruiting year, as we had to adapt on the fly to changing circumstances. Thanks to everyone's flexibility and hard work, we have a great outcome.

Professor Michael Ward