Brock Blomberg, the 17th President of Ursinus College, is a passionate advocate for the liberal arts. A macroeconomist with expertise in the economics of terrorism, Blomberg’s scholarship has forged connections between economics, politics, and philosophy.
Blomberg continues to embark on a brisk course of strategic change for the college. His vision for Ursinus, however, has always reinforced the college’s long-held mission to “enable students to become independent, responsible, and thoughtful thinkers through a program of liberal education.” This is captured in Ursinus150, the college’s current strategic plan—a bold and imaginative roadmap for the college focused on three core principles: to provide students multiple paths to success, to make them architects of their own education, and to prepare them for leadership in an increasingly diverse, interconnected, and globalized world.
Blomberg has led the college through its first campus master plan in nearly a generation. Under his guidance, the college also exceeded expectations for the historic “Promises to Keep” comprehensive campaign, raising more than $107 million in gifts. During that time, Ursinus completed the $29 million Innovation and Discovery Center— an interdisciplinary environment that infuses policy, entrepreneurship, and science. The Schellhase Commons was opened in the summer of 2020 along Campus Drive and serves as a welcome gateway for Ursinus that features a café, the college bookstore, and the new admission center. Both are award-winning venues.
An enthusiastic supporter of Collegeville and the surrounding community, Blomberg has partnered with local leaders to revitalize the neighborhood surrounding Ursinus. Those efforts resulted in the college being recognized as the “Large Business of the Year” by the Perkiomen Valley Chamber of Commerce. The college proudly generates an estimated $57 million of income for Montgomery County, Pa.
Since arriving as president in July 2015, Blomberg has championed the college’s three interdisciplinary Centers: U-Imagine, the Parlee Center for Science and the Common Good, and the Melrose Center for Global Civic Engagement. He created the Philadelphia Experience, which allows Ursinus students to take a full semester of coursework with Ursinus faculty members while living and completing internships in Philadelphia. He created the Institute for Student Success, focusing on retention and academic support. He continues to build an inclusive campus climate, appointing a Presidential Adviser for Inclusion and Equity, strengthening the college’s commitment to recruiting and retaining students from underrepresented groups, and launching the college’s Institute for Inclusion and Equity to coordinate programming and dialogue around diversity and social justice.
The college’s distinctive academic curriculum, “Ursinus Quest: Open Questions Open Minds,” has been updated in partnership with faculty. It has received national attention and is lauded for providing a national model for higher education.
He has published over 30 articles and book chapters in such top economics journals as the American Economic Review, Journal of Econometrics, Journal of Law and Economics, Journal of Monetary Economics, Journal of International Economics, Journal of Public Economics and the Review of Economics and Statistics. His research shows that terrorism has a modest but statistically significant impact on the economy and trade is one area particularly sensitive to attacks. He estimates the cost of the September 11 attacks to be approximately $60 billion. The responsiveness of policy-makers and the resiliency of the United States economy are two reasons these impacts are not larger.
Before arriving at Ursinus, Blomberg was dean of the Robert Day School of Economics and Finance at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, Calif., where he also served as the Peter K. Barker Professor of Economics and the George R. Roberts Fellow. An internationally known scholar and author of more than 40 articles and book chapters, Blomberg is a political economist with deep roots in national and global economic policy. He was on the faculty at Wellesley College and served as a visiting scholar at Harvard University’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs before arriving at Claremont McKenna in 2003.
Blomberg was a senior economist for the President’s Council of Economic Advisers under President George W. Bush, and was the U.S. Representative to the Economic Committee for Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation. He also served with such organizations as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Blomberg served in the military for eight years. He is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Tampa and received his master’s degree and doctorate in Economics from Johns Hopkins University.