Faculty Profile: Dr. David Flynn

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

College of Business & Public Administration


Dr. David Flynn completed his undergraduate degree from Boston College and his Ph.D. at Indiana University – Bloomington. Dr. Flynn has been working for the Economics Department at the University of North Dakota ever since and is Economics Department Chair. The topics Dr. Flynn is currently researching include the success of North Dakota's economy as well as small business survival in rural South Dakota.

As the rest of the United States is coming out of an economic slump unevenly, North Dakota has consistently grown over the past decade. Dr. Flynn states that "North Dakota is an incredible outlier" in the current economic situation within the country. Part of North Dakota's success is due in part to commodity prices doing well and good times in related industries. In addition, the state's banks and consumers were far more conservative in the time frame when the housing market tumbled. "Consumers in North Dakota did not have drastically impaired balance sheets," says Dr. Flynn. North Dakota is unlike states like California and Nevada, where people are struggling to pay any of their bills, let alone their mortgages. Because North Dakota did not have many of these problems, the state could capitalize on many existing and new opportunities. Another area in which Dr. Flynn is researching is how the boom in western North Dakota translates to opportunities and threats for the rest of the state.

Dr. Flynn is also completing research with a friend from the University of Nebraska – Omaha. The two decided to meet in the middle of North Dakota and Nebraska and research the survival of rural businesses in South Dakota. An interesting finding of theirs is that many of South Dakota's rural businesses seem to survive more than urban businesses in particular sectors. One would think an urban business would be more likely to survive, and Dr. Flynn and his colleague are still investigating the reasons behind small businesses' survivals.

Dr. Flynn has enjoyed his time both researching and teaching at UND. In the classroom, Dr. Flynn has enjoyed seeing students come to realize their skill sets and adding to their skill sets. "The gain students can make at UND is pretty amazing," says Dr. Flynn. "It is nice to see students come into their own."