Dr. Niemi is the dean of the Edwin L. Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University and holds the Tolleson Chair in Business Leadership. His areas of expertise are economic growth, economic forecasting, and American business history. Dr. Niemi graduated cum laude from Stonehill College with an A.B. degree in economics. He earned the M.A and Ph.D. degrees in economics from the University of Connecticut. Before coming to SMU, Dr. Niemi served as dean of the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia from 1982-1996.
Dr. Niemi is an active teacher and scholar. He has taught more than 15,000 students and consistently has been recognized for distinguished teaching. Dr. Niemi has written six books and more than 200 articles for leading academic journals and business periodicals.
Since arriving at the Cox School of Business, Dr. Niemi has increased the school’s national and international visibility. Cox's BBA, MBA, Professional MBA, and Executive MBA programs are ranked among the best in the world by Business Week, Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, Financial Times, and the Economist. Dr. Niemi is an effective fund-raiser, and he has increased the school’s endowment from $78 million to more than $160 million. The new endowment funds have created ten new endowed faculty positions, seven new endowed centers and institutes, and sixty new endowed scholarships. In addition, he has raised $19 million to support the construction of the James M. Collins Executive Education Center.
Dr. Niemi is active in the business community and speaks to numerous civic and business groups across the nation. He also serves as a guest columnist for Dallas CEO magazine. He served as economics editor and wrote a monthly column for Georgia Trend magazine from 1985 to 1996. In 1992, he was named the best regular feature writer in the nation by the Association of Area Business Publications. Dr. Niemi serves on the Board of Directors of the Sanders Morris Harris Group, Inc. (SMHG). He also serves on the advisory boards of TXU and Bank of Texas.
Dr. Niemi is involved in the community and serves on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the World Affairs Council of Dallas, the International Advisory Council of the Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce, the Associates Board of Children's Medical Center, the Advisory Council of The Catholic Foundation and the President’s Council of the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts. Dr. Niemi also serves on the Board of Trustees of Stonehill College.
Dr. Niemi has worked extensively in business school and university accreditation. He serves on the Pre-accreditation Committee of the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business, and he has chaired or served as a member on Accreditation Review Teams to more than twenty universities including Emory, Washington University, DePaul, Vanderbilt, Claremont, William and Mary, North Carolina, South Carolina, Wake Forest, Florida, Texas, Colorado, Syracuse, Monterrey Tech (Mexico), INCAE (Costa Rica), University of Monterrey (Mexico), the Autonomous Technological University of Mexico, and IESA (Venezuela). He recently completed three year terms on the Board of Governors of the American Association of University Administrators and Beta Gamma Sigma.
Dr. Niemi and his wife Maria have two grown children, Albert III and Edward Charles.