Robert O Zimmerman, PhD

Professor Emeritus, Economics

I was born in Cleveland, Ohio. In my pre-college years, I lived with my family in Hiram, Ohio, Portage County, home of Hiram College. When it was time for me to go to college, my parents insisted that I “get out of town” and not go to Hiram College like most of my high school classmates. I went to Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio. There I majored in Economics. In my senior year, the Department Chair nominated me for a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship; I received an honorable mention and was recruited to graduate school by Buffalo, where I received my MA and PhD in Economics. I began my full-time teaching career at Franklin College (Indiana) in 1964. Here is a diversion: My high school was too small to have a football team; I didn’t do well in basketball, so I became the “one man track team.” But I loved football, and I loved the Cleveland Browns. In 1952, the Browns started summer training camp at Hiram College. I befriended the players, coaches, and Paul Brown and finessed a job as locker boy for the next six years in Hiram and at the Cleveland Municipal Stadium, until I went to college. Someone must have thought I knew something about football, because I was intramural player and coach in college. At Franklin College I was assistant coach for two years, and because of my interest in the sport and Paul Brown, I bought season tickets to the Cincinnati Bengals. I looked for a job, and was offered one here at Xavier. So I took a cut in rank, gave up tenure, and moved here in 1970. During my 33 years at Xavier, I served as Department Chair twice, and served as the Associate Dean in the College of Business for 7 years. While here, during sabbaticals, I taught in Wuhan and Tianjin China, and Singapore. I also was a Consultant/Evaluator for The Higher Learning Commission, which took me to places like Rotterdam, New Delhi , South Africa, China, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. Upon my retirement from Xavier in 2003, I taught short term MBA courses for Dominican University (Illinois) for the next four years in Torun, Poland and Brno, Czech Republic. No one has ever said they felt sorry for me.


  • BA, Ohio Wesleyan University
  • MA and PhD, SUNY at Buffalo