Money Sense

Episode 104 – May 2, 2014 – “How Debt and Credit Work”

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Credit and debt look different today than they did in previous generations, something both Jeff Sanson, Indiana Council for Education Executive Director, and P.N. Saksena, Indiana University South Bend Assistant Dean and Director of Graduate Studies, agree on. During this episode of Money $ense, host Anthony Contrucci poses many questions to Sanson and Saksena, including the difference between good and bad debt, how to determine if the use of credit is appropriate, how to stay out of the debt trap, and  more. With an introduction by Rob Ducoffe, Dean, Indiana University South Bend.


P.N. Saksena

Assistant Dean, Director of Graduate Studies and Professor of Accounting

Indiana University South Bend

P.N. Saksena earned his bachelor’s degree and certification in accounting in India.  He gained experience in public and private accounting before moving to Georgia where he earned his master’s and Ph.D., in accounting.  He has been at Indiana University South Bend for 19 years, enjoys his roles as professor and mentor, and has received over 20 teaching awards, including the President’s Award for Teaching.  P.N. and his wife, Monica, will celebrate 25 years of marriage this year; they enjoy working out, eating healthy and have been debt free for over a decade.  They live in Mishawaka with their two boys and dog.


Jeff Sanson

Executive Director

Indiana Council for Economic Education

Jeff Sanson is the fourth Executive Director of the Indiana Council for Economic Education (ICEE) in its 60-year history.  In this position, he oversees a network of 11 university centers for economics education located throughout Indiana.  Each year the ICEE network provides professional development and programs to 1,000 Indiana teachers and youth educators on a variety of economic and financial education topics.  The ICEE is also the presenter of K-12 programs such the Indiana Stock Market Game; the Indiana Economics Challenge; the Personal Finance Challenge; the Economic Concept Poster Contest; and presents the annual Olin Davis Award to Indiana teachers that demonstrate exemplary teaching of economics.  The ICEE is an affiliate of the national Council for Economic Education.  ICEE also partners with other organizations such as the Indiana Secretary of State, the Indiana Council for the Social Studies, Indiana Business Educators, Family and Consumer Science Educators, and the Indiana Jump$tart Coalition as well as the Federal Reserve Banks of Chicago and St. Louis’s  education outreach committees to promote economic and financial literacy.

Jeff is a graduate of Purdue University.  He is currently completing a PhD in Learning Design and Technology at Purdue University.  His research interests include the design of distance learning environments for teacher professional development and technology integration in economics and social studies.  Jeff has designed and developed an online professional development course on teaching personal finance.  He has also made numerous presentations to K-12 teachers on effective strategies for enhancing instruction with technology in the areas of personal finance and economics.

Rob Ducoffe

Rob Ducoffe


Professor of Marketing

Indiana University South Bend

Rob Ducoffe was appointed dean and professor of marketing in the School of Business and Economics at Indiana University South Bend in 2005 where he has led the School in strategic planning, recruitment of new faculty, expansion of partnerships with the community, and strengthening of its already strong academic reputation.  Under Dr. Ducoffe’s leadership the School of Business and Economics has been ranked four consecutive years as a “best business school” by The Princeton Review.  Graduates of both the undergraduate and the MBA programs have repeatedly performed better than students from over 90 percent of business schools in the U.S. on the Educational Testing Services (ETS) standardized business field test.  Endowments have been built to support initiatives including the CTS Center for Experiential Education and the Frank K. and Marsha Martin Scholars Program and corporate partners sponsor the Lake City Bank Entrepreneurship Lectures Series, the NIBCO IT Management Series, the Leading in the 21st Century Speaker Series, and the KemKrest Entrepreneurship Competition.

Previously, he was associate dean and professor of marketing at the Zicklin School of Business, Baruch College, City University of New York where he worked for 15 years.  At Baruch he headed up the Zicklin School’s successful preparations for re-affirmation of AACSB business accreditation, and led the creation of a full-time MBA program, an accelerated part-time MBA program, an internship program, an English communication immersion program, a preliminary program for entering MBA and MS students, and a revised core curriculum for full-time MBA students.  He helped build the case for differential tuition for the School’s MBA program which funded the competitive hiring of full-time faculty as well as staff in various student services areas.

Dr. Ducoffe won the President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1995.  His research has appeared in a wide range of publications and he was ranked 12th in research productivity in specialized advertising journals in the 1989-96 period.  Before entering academia, he worked in radio sales and in account management with several Canadian advertising agencies on national and international accounts.

Rob regularly reviews business school strategic planning as a part of the accreditation process for the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), and was a member of the team evaluating the president of Baruch College, City University of New York.  He served on the board of the KemKrest Corporation in Elkhart, led IU South Bend’s annual United Way campaign from 2006-2008, and currently serves on the boards of the Michiana YMCA and the Jr. Irish/NIFA Soccer Club.

He lives in Granger, Indiana with his wife, Sandy, and their five children.

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