The Joseph P. Farry Professorship

"Joe is one of the people who noticed me and changed my life. He encouraged, supported and challenged me. He had an ability to help students discover and explore the subtlety and nuances of ideas. He is a master teacher, a great mentor, he provides wise counsel, and that's just the truth." -Dan Whalen

Dr. Farry is a successful proponent and user of collaborative learning; his earliest classes here were taught more as discussion-based seminars than the traditional lecture prevalent in higher education in those years. He has led his students in dialogue with the great minds and with each other, drawing them into full intellectual engagement and moving their learning beyond what was safe and comfortable and on to new heights they may not have dared reach for.

Endowed professorships have long been recognized as both a hallmark of academic quality and a means by which a university honors its most esteemed scholars and teachers.  Professorships are reserved for scholars of national stature, with highly distinguished records of teaching, research and publication.  They constitute a time-honored way to recruit or retain scholars with exceptional records of achievement.


Louis Johnston is associate professor of Economics and holds the Joseph P. Farry Professorship at Saint John's University.  He earned his B.S. at the University of Minnesota (1983), and his M.A. (1987) and PhD (1990) at the University of California, Berkeley (all in Economics).

 Johnston specializes in macroeconomics and economic history.  His most recent projects focus on analyzing the evolution of Minnesota's economy and how Minnesota became "above average" over the past 60 years. 

Johnston is special contributor to the 4th, 5th, and 6th editions of Principles of Economics by Robert H. Frank and Ben S. Bernanke (McGraw-Hill / Irwin, 2009, 2012, 2014), with responsibility for developing and writing all of the macroeconomics chapters.

Johnston writes a twice-monthly column on economics and the economy for called "Macro, Micro, Minnesota," and was a regular guest on Minnesota Public Radio's Midday program. His micro-blog is available at

Join the McCarthy Center for a celebration with Professor Johnston, Professor Farry, and Gary Eichten '69 on February 26, 2014 at St. John's University. More information to come!

MPR News Presents...

Johnston, Farrell MPR Photo/Tom Weber

Chris Farrell and Louis Johnston: the economy at year's end

Listen MPR News Presents for December 20, 2013

Economics professor Louis Johnston and MPR's economics commentator Chris Farrell review the state of the economy at year's end, in an event sponsored by the McCarthy Center at St. John's University on December 19, 2013. MPR's retired host and editor-at-large Gary Eichten is the moderator.


  • Louis Johnston: Professor of economics at St. John's University and the College of St. Benedict and he is the Eugene J. McCarthy Center's new Joseph P. Farry professor. He also writes a regular column for MinnPost.
  • Chris Farrell: Economics Correspondent for American Public Media's Marketplace program, Economics Commentator for Minnesota Public Radio, and a columnist for Bloomberg Business Week Magazine.
  • Gary Eichten: Moderator. MPR editor-at-large, and retired host.