Past Faculty and Staff

Retired / Past Faculty and Staff



James Buchanan 1919-2013

James Buchanan was the cofounder, along with Gordon Tullock, of public choice theory. Dr. Buchanan was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in economics for "his development of the contractual and constitutional bases for the theory of economic and political decision making." Buchanan spent much of his academic career in Virginia with tenures at the University of Virginia; Virginia Tech, where he established the Center for Study of Public Choice; and here at George Mason University, where he served as the advisory general director of the Center for Study of Public Choice, and as a distinguished professor emeritus.


Jo Ann Burgess

In her tenure at GMU, Jo Ann served as the Archivist/Librarian of the Buchanan House collection of Buchanan's papers, books and memorabilia. She also played an important role as the Center's Visiting Scholar Facilitator in administering and coordinating with the Office of International Programs and Services to secure appropriate paperwork and forms required for the visiting scholar's entrance into the United States. Jo Ann also served as the center's videographer, and captured many historic moments, such as the last debate between James Buchanan and Gordon Tullock in 2006 and Dr. Buchanan's last visit to Fairfax in 2012. She retired in the summer of 2014.


Janet Byrd 1951-2006



Betty Tillman 1927 - 2013

Betty Hall Tillman worked for economist James Buchanan for 46 years. He hired her in July 1961 to work at the Thomas Jefferson Center for Political Economy at the University of Virginia (UVA) in Charlottesville, VA. They later moved the center to Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA and he took her with him. In 1983 they then moved the Center to GMU. Betty did not retire until 2007 at the age of 80. Known as the "First Lady of Public Choice." or "Momma Betty," she enjoyed making the Center a family atmosphere and was an inspiration to everyone who met her.


Gordon Tullock 1922-2014










Jane Perry

For ten years, Jane Perry shared duties of providing administrative support to resident Carow Hall faculty, as well as for the daily admin operations and coordination of Carow Hall. She enjoyed welcoming and assisting faculty, students, visiting scholars, and other visitors at the Center for Study of Public Choice. 

Jane was the staff administrative and logistical coordinator for each of the weekly Public Choice Seminar Series presentations, held during the fall and spring semesters. Additionally, she assumed the duties of facilitating the visits of the Center's visiting scholars, upon the retirement of administrative colleague Jo Ann Burgess in 2014.

She was the Center's resident proofreader, and her proofreading skills were in demand for various projects throughout the year, including numerous professional journal articles, book chapters, and other works authored by Center faculty.

Jane retired in Fall 2016.