Education is not just about economics for Sam Houston State University professor William Green. Instead, it is about having a passion for learning new things and teaching students to look at the world from a different perspective.
After 29 years on the faculty at SHSU, Green is the chair for the department of economics and international business while also serving as the mayor for the City of Huntsville since 1995.
Green attended three different colleges while working on his degrees, starting at Abilene Christian University and then transferring to Lamar University in Beaumont where he obtained a bachelor’s of business administration degree in economics.
From there, Green went to Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge where he received his master’s and a doctorate in economics.
Green said it was almost accidental that he decided to major in economics because it was not until his junior year that he had an economics class; however, he enjoyed the subject, and wanted that for his field of study.
“Up until that time I really did not have a major and I was really unsure as to what I wanted to do, but after having my first economics class I decided ‘this is what I want to do and this is what I want to major in,'” Green said.
Green said he enjoys walking and playing golf in his spare time, but he enjoys learning first.
“I get a lot of enjoyment out of seeing what my students learn,” Green said. “I enjoy learning information that I teach, so always learning new things is part of the joy and also I enjoy when I see that students are learning things and beginning to understand concepts and ideas that they were not made aware of before.”
Jenny Yates, a senior who has taken an introduction to economics class with Green, said he was able to relate the class material easily to the students because of his personal life experiences.
“(Green) would tell us about his experiences that related to the subject, which was helpful as far as relating the material to the class,” Yates said. “He was passionate about his teaching style because he could relate to the subject matter.”
M. Douglas Berg, SHSU economics professor, said after knowing Green for seven years he has found him to be civic-minded, outgoing and good at looking out for other people’s interest.
“I think he is a valuable member of the Bearkat community here,” Berg said. “He has been here for a long time and I think he has been an instrumental part of the team of leaders on campus who helped the College of Business and the university to grow in stature.”
Green can take a part of the credit in leading the university and the college in that direction, Berg said.
“I have found that he is very good at looking out for the student’s interests, I have always found that to be true,” Berg said. “I have heard him advise students and I have heard him in meetings and discussions and often time he is pretty good at taking into consideration all sides and I think he really tries to be fair.”
Berg said students could walk away from Green’s class with a better view of how things work in the world, while also gaining a better idea of how international trade works.
“Whether you are trying to improve something in the department or trying to balance objectives against resources, I think he does a good job of teaching that,” Berg said.
Understanding the world from an economic perspective is one of the many things Green said he would like students to gain after taking one of his classes.
“You can look at things around you in a variety of ways and I would hope that as (students) view things that happen in the world, and as they observe events as they live their lives, that they can see things in a more analytical way, and look at this from at least one perspective, from an economic perspective,” said Green.