Carlos Carrillo López Faculty Focus: Tim Query | New Mexico State University - BE BOLD. Shape the Future.
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Faculty Focus: Tim Query

Tim Query has spent the past 16 years at New Mexico State University teaching a mix of insurance and risk management classes in the College of Business.

Query is the second faculty member from NMSU’s Finance Department to hold the Mountain States Insurance Group Endowed Chair, established in 2003 through a $1 million gift from the Albuquerque-based Mountain States Insurance Group. Query took over the role when he arrived at NMSU in 2006, following the retirement of Barry Smith, a former finance professor and department head.

As chair, Query plays a leading role in overseeing NMSU’s risk management and insurance (RMI) program, which allows undergraduate students to supplement their major field of study with specialized expertise in risk management and insurance. The program consists of three pathways: an 18-credit RMI minor open to most students, an RMI concentration for finance majors, and an actuarial science and insurance emphasis for math majors.

Query said the program saw several years of significant growth in the early 2000s, but enrollment began stalling around the time of the Great Recession. The program is now starting to see a turnaround.

“We’re actually looking to expand into other areas beyond the College of Business,” he said. “A vast majority of our risk management minors come from the College of Business, and we’d like to expand more into math as well as criminal justice, which would tie into insurance fraud, and engineering, which would tie into loss control.

Query teaches several courses in the RMI program. His classes focus on employee benefits, life and health insurance, and business risk management. On top of teaching, he also regularly publishes articles on a variety of insurance-related topics.

“This endowment encourages research, but it’s a little different. I work on academic research, but I also conduct more practical research that’s more in tune with what the insurance industry is looking for,” he said. “So, I not only publish articles in academic journals, but I also write for industry publications.”

Query started his career as a securities broker in Indiana. After earning a master’s degree in financial management from Indiana State University, he began teaching at ISU in 1991. By 1994, he was working on a Ph.D. in risk management and insurance at the University of Georgia in one of the top-rated RMI programs in the nation. He earned his Ph.D. in 1999 and landed a teaching job at Illinois Wesleyan University. He stayed at the small liberal arts university until he learned of a job opening at NMSU.

“I thought NMSU was doing some interesting things. I was looking for a challenge at the time – and the weather didn’t hurt either,” he said. “I’d been to about 38 states at the time, but I hadn’t been to New Mexico. When I came for the campus visit, I thought worst-case scenario I could at least check off another state on my list. But that was 16 years ago, and I haven’t left.”