Dr. Michael D. Steinberger

Dean and Chief Academic Officer

As the school’s dean and chief academic officer, Michael is responsible for all phases of the academic program including design of the curriculum, selection of the faculty, and student life. He joined his current credit union in 1989, and has served with WCMS since 2006. Michael also serves on the Supervisory Committee of First City Credit Union in Los Angeles, and on the board of TRUST for Credit Unions in Washington, DC.

Michael graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with degrees in Economics, Political Science and Statistics. He received Highest Honors in each of his three degrees, was awarded the Department Citation Award in Statistics, and was admitted to Phi Beta Kappa as a Junior. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a focus on Labor Economics and Macroeconomics. Michael came to Pomona College in 2004 and has previously served as Chair of the Department of Economics. He is also affiliated as a Public Policy Fellow and researches at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Michael’s research is in the areas of wage inequality, political economy, credit unions and the financial services industry. Michael’s credit union research focuses on the influence of economies of scale and scope on credit union ROA and survival. His wage inequality research explores the change in mobility and the distribution of wages in the United States during the past 40 years. These projects examine the fall in the gender wage gap, differences in black/white educational attainment and wages, trends in college completion and subsequent wages, and measuring how the introduction of computers has changed the wage structure. He is concluding a project, funded through research grants from the US Census and National Institutes of Health, comparing the wages, employment rates and hours worked of married and cohabiting couples. Michael’s political economy research looks at intra-governmental grants, infrastructure investment and taxation. Michael’s research has been cited by the US Supreme Court, and he has made research presentations at several government agencies, including at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Michael appears regularly before credit union audiences to speak on the state of financial markets and the national economy. He is also very interested in consumer finance and retirement planning and introduced a course, Personal Financial Decision-Making, with Pomona College’s Career Development Office to help prepare graduating seniors for life after college.

A talented teacher, Michael first taught at the college level while still an undergraduate at Berkeley, where he was a Teaching Assistant for an introductory statistics course. He continued his teaching through graduate school and is widely acclaimed among Pomona College students for the enthusiasm, drive and humor he brings to the classroom. In his very first year of eligibility, Michael was awarded the Wig Distinguished Professor Award for Excellence in Teaching, Pomona’s highest honor for exceptional teaching, concern for students and service to the College and community. He continued his streak of winning the award every time his name appears on the ballot by receiving his second Wig award in May 2013.