Maintaining Perspective

PROVO, Utah – May 18, 2018 – Magic happens in Todd Mitton’s office: financial derivatives finally click for struggling students, and groundbreaking research findings are discovered. The Ned C. Hill Professor has had a successful eighteen-year teaching career, which can be attributed to his positive attitude and perspective.

“Todd is the consummate BYU professor, and we are blessed to have him at BYU,” says Andrew Holmes, Finance Department chair. “He is nationally recognized for his research, selfless in his service to the BYU community, and tremendous in the classroom.”

Mitton first stepped foot in a BYU classroom as an undergraduate student pursuing his passion in economics and finance. He graduated with a BS in economics in 1990 and an MBA in 1993. Upon graduating, Mitton took a job at a consulting firm in Salt Lake City, and after a few years, he decided it was time for a change.

“Becoming a professor was always in the back of my mind,” Mitton says. “I decided to give it a try, so my wife and I packed up and moved to Boston.”

For the next few years, Mitton studied financial economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He graduated with his PhD in financial economics in 2000 and immediately took a teaching job at BYU Marriott, where he’s been ever since.

“The students I work with are uniformly terrific,” Mitton says. “I try to put myself in the mind of the student and think of ways to explain this that would be relatable to them.” 

That mindset has enabled Mitton to influence hundreds of students, but his impact extends beyond the Tanner Building. He is also a dedicated researcher to a variety of financial topics. His favorite? Finding ways to alleviate poverty around the world. 

“How to help poor economies is an important question that lots of people study,” Mitton says. “If I can contribute anything to that field of study, it would be well worth it.”

Mitton spends copious time reading other studies and thinking of questions that those researchers haven’t answer. Then he gets to work, tackling the next step. His research has been published in top-tier financial journals and has earned him many accolades.

Despite his professional achievements, Mitton notes that his family will always be his greatest priority. His wife gave birth to triplets while he was in graduate school; two of the three children were born with disabilities, so much of his life has been dedicated to their care.

“That keeps things in perspective,” Mitton says. “Being a professor has been a great job. I feel lucky to work at BYU, but work is only a small part of life.”

Professor Todd Mitton
Todd Mitton has taught finance at BYU Marriott for eighteen years.

Media Contact: Jordan Christiansen (801) 422-8938
Writer: Maggie Kuta