Distinguished Economics and Demography Professor Retires After 34 Years of Service

Distinguished Economics Professor Carl P. Schmertmann, Ph.D., will retire after the Spring 2024 semester following over 34 years of service at Florida State University.  

Headshot of Carl Schmertmann, Ph.D., wearing glasses and a gray jacket.

Dr. Schmertmann has held the title of William J. Serow Professor of Economics since 1999. This title honors William J. Serow, Ph.D., a Professor of Economics at Florida State University from 1981 until his untimely death in 2003; he served as the CDPH’s Director from 1990 to 2003 and dedicated an important part of his professional life to the preparation of students for careers in applied demography. 

Dr. Schmertmann served as CDPH’s Director from 2018 to 2022, and prior to that as Associate Director from 1998.  

“During most of my term as Center Director, we were dealing with an unexpected global pandemic. I’m proud of the resilience and resourcefulness of our students, faculty, and staff under those difficult circumstances. They adapted and thrived,” said Dr. Schmertmann.  

Before he arrived at FSU, Dr. Schmertmann earned his B.S. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1981. He worked as an Assistant Analyst for the Congressional Budget Office before earning his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California-Berkeley in 1988. 

Dr. Schmertmann joined the Department of Economics as an Assistant Professor in August 1990. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1996, and again to Full Professor in 2003.  

In addition to his involvement with Economics and Demography at Florida State, Dr. Schmertmann is also a member of the American Economic Association, the Population Association of America, the American Statistical Association, and the Southern Demographic Association. He served as President of the Southern Demographic Association in 2002. 

Dr. Schmertmann has been a prolific researcher. His research interests include demographic methods, economic demography, and migration econometrics. He also served as Editor-in-Chief of the academic journal Demographic Research from 2012 to 2018. 

During the 2011-2012 academic year Dr. Schmertmann took a sabbatical, during which he worked as a visiting researcher for the Max Plank Institute for Demographic Research. The Institute, located in Rostock, Germany, brings together esteemed demographers to investigate the structure and dynamics of populations.  

Throughout his career, he has also had a particular interest in Brazil, and he is fluent in Portuguese. In 2022 he was honored with a Fulbright Scholar Fellowship to study life expectancy and healthcare in Belo Horizonte. He had the opportunity to collaborate with the Federal University of Minas Gerais, where he had completed his post-doctorate work years earlier. 

Students, faculty, staff, friends, and family gathered on April 7 to honor Dr. Schmertmann at CDPH Director John Taylor, Ph.D.’s home in Tallahassee. 

View the full album and download original resolution images on our Flickr! 

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