The Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER), later renamed the Gibson D. Lewis Center for Business and Economic Development (CBED), was created as an auxiliary unit of the College of Business Administration (COBA) in 1977, under the advice of Dean Bobby K. Marks. From its inception, the CBED was expected to serve as a public service extension of COBA by assisting individuals, businesses, local governments, and nonprofit organizations in Walker and regional counties in data collection and analysis.
In 1984, under the directorship of Dr. William B. Green, the CBED created the Journal of Business Strategies, a semi-annual periodical designed to address practical problems faced by decision makers in the world of business. An important objective of JBS is to attract quality articles and to position JBS as a relevant publication appealing to both practitioners and academicians within the business community. Articles are double blind reviewed by selected members of the Editorial Board. In its twenty nine-year existence, the Journal has published over 300 articles from some 600 authors. During this twenty-nine year period the Journal has been edited by Drs. Susan Simmons, George Greenwade, Roger Abshire, JoAnn Duffy, and William Green. Special Issue guest editors include Drs. Douglas Kline, Sanjay S. Mehta, and Hiranya Nath. Currently all issues of the Journal have been digitized and are available on the CBED Website.
In 1991 the CBED created and began publishing a Research and Instructional Development Working Paper Series and has subsequently published 168 working papers that are available on the CBED Website.
Beginning in the late 80’s under the directorship of George Greenwade, the CBED became a center of world-wide attention with the creation of the Economics Gopher. This feat placed Sam Houston State University as one of the most important internet sites in the world. A 1994 issue of PC Computing magazine depicting a “map” of the important internet sites showed Sam Houston State University’s Economic Gopher as the premiere Internet site in the world for economic information. With the advent of the Web, much of this information resource was converted to a Web server that kept Sam Houston in a leadership position of the emerging Internet technology.
During the 90’s as the internet began to grow in use, so did the list of programs that were publicly available for use. A specific family of text processing packages based on a language known as TEX had, and still has a strong group of users. However, the problem of locating and identifying the various software versions was difficult. With the cooperative efforts of individuals at Aston University (England), Cambridge University (England), Heidelberg University (Germany), and the University of Mainz (Germany), Dr. Greenwade designed and developed the “mirroring” process to ensure that each archive possessed the same files as the other and each possessed an authoritative copy from the author. From this project, the Comprehensive Tex Archive Network (CTAN) was created and Sam Houston State University and the CBED played a major role as the primary host for North America.
The focus of the CBED in recent years has been the publication of the Journal of Business Strategies, gathering and publishing International, State, Regional, and Local demographic and economic data on the CBED Website, and using RIMS II and IMPLAN input-output models to measure the impact of various economic entities.