Clinical Professor of Finance
Co-director, Iowa Center for Wealth Management
Ph.D. in Economics, Duke University, 1975; M.S. in Computer Science, The University of Iowa, 1967; B.S. in Mathematics, Stanford University, 1966
You can come home again. John Spitzer is proof. He's done it several times.
An Iowa City native, Spitzer's professional career has provided great fodder for his work in the classroom. After high school in Iowa City, he left to attend Stanford and earn his degree in mathematics. He returned to Iowa to earn an M.S. in computer science but left again.
In the years since he earned his M.S., Spitzer worked as a computer programmer and then went on to earn a Ph.D. in economics from Duke University. He joined the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C., and worked there for several years as a senior economist.
He later joined Fannie Mae, the government-sponsored enterprise geared toward providing liquidity, stability, and affordability to the U.S. housing and mortgage markets. While at Fannie Mae, he served as the vice president of corporate planning.
A career shift took him to Salomon Brothers where he was a leader in the area of securitized assets. Experiences, like those he had at Salomon Brothers, help Spitzer provide a framework for the material he covers in class.
"I'm able to use real-life examples that I know intimately well," he explains. "It provides a unique perspective in the classroom because I’ve been in the field."
His career took him to San Francisco where he worked for the San Francisco Home Loan Bank for several years. But, as his parents' health declined, he found himself returning to Iowa City frequently and developing relationships with the leadership of the Tippie College.
Eventually he returned to Iowa City full time and began working on some of the College's executive education programs. Today, he is a popular finance professor among students as is witnessed by the numerous student awards he has received.
"Teaching is a good fit for me," he states. "I like the personal interaction. I believe in the value of education, and I enjoy learning things myself. The students help me see something new each time I teach."
The Tippie College of Business is a great atmosphere for Spitzer. He loves the people that work here and comments on how everyone in the College does their part to support the College’s teaching mission.
"From the people who provide computer support to the people that make the floors sparkle—everyone adds their contribution. There’s a strong sense of pride in the work that we do. That makes it a great place to be."