Economist Thomas Marschak, UC Berkeley researcher and teacher for 60 years, dies at 93

Professor Emeritus Thomas Marschak, an economist who influenced generations of students during almost 60 years of active research and teaching at Berkeley Haas, passed away Jan. 31 at his Oakland home. He was 93.

Professor Tom Marschak (Photo: Jane Scherr)

Marschak, the Cora Jane Flood Research Chair Emeritus, was known for his dry humor, his generous mentorship, and his research into the design of efficient organizations.

“In so many ways, Tom was way ahead of his time,” said Professor Rich Lyons, UC Berkeley Associate Vice Chancellor for Innovation & Entrepreneurship and former dean of Berkeley Haas. “When you think about the center of gravity of his work—the informational and incentive aspects of the design of efficient organizations—you realize quickly that these topics are becoming ever more important.”

As a member of Haas’ Economic Analysis & Policy Group and Operations & IT Management group, Marschak continued his boundary-spanning research into his 10th decade. Just two weeks before his death, he had a paper accepted to the Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics.

“Tom was one of the sharpest, most insightful, and most admirable economists I have ever seen,” said Dong Wei, PhD 20 (economics), an assistant professor of economics at UC Santa Cruz who co-authored the recent paper with Marschak. “He had a tremendously successful academic career, and at the age of 90, he was still developing novel research ideas, conducting economic analysis with advanced mathematical tools, and writing academic papers with extreme rigor and clarity.”

“In so many ways, Tom was way ahead of his time. When you think about the center of gravity of his work—the informational and incentive aspects of the design of efficient organizations—you realize quickly that these topics are becoming ever more important.” —Professor Rich Lyons

Fleeing Nazi Germany

Marschak was born in Heidelberg, Germany, in 1930. His father, Jacob, who was Jewish and from Kyiv, Ukraine (then part of Russia), was a notable figure: As a 19-year-old student opposed to Lenin and the Bolsheviks, he served as labor secretary in a separatist republic in the Caucasus that lasted less than a year. When the Bolsheviks prevailed, Jacob Marschak—who went on to become a prominent economist—fled to Berlin. There, he met Tom Marschak’s mother Marianne, a journalist who earned her PhD and became an influential psychologist, developing the Marschak Interaction Method for observing the relationship between caregivers and children.

Although Tom’s early life in Germany was sunny, the looming threat of Nazism cast a shadow. In 1933, when Tom was 4 years old, his father insisted they flee to the United Kingdom. It was a prescient move as the family escaped the horrors of the Holocaust.

Marschak spoke about his father’s foresight in an oral history he recorded in 2005. “That was amazing foresight because all the other Jewish people with that kind of position said, ‘It’ll pass, it’s nothing, it’s a civilized country,’” Marschak said in the oral history. “He knew better.”

Tom Marshak in Canada in 2017. (Photo courtesy of Merideth Marschak)

In England, Jacob Marschak was made a fellow of All Souls College at Oxford University while young Tom and his sister were put into school—taught in English, a language he had to learn quickly. In 1939, as the war spread, the family decamped to the United States. As they were not British citizens, and Germany had withdrawn citizenship from Jews, they were stateless for a time. Still, with the help of Tom’s father’s academic friends, they settled in New York, where Jacob Marschak took a position at the New School for Social Research.

In 1943, the family moved to Chicago, where Marschak went to University High School—an experimental school attached to the University of Chicago where students could graduate high school in 10th grade and get a bachelor’s degree by 12th grade. The Marschak home during that period was host to a circle of prominent émigrés, including Leo Szilard, the physicist who discovered the nuclear chain reaction process; atomic physicist Hyman Goldsmith; violinist Isaac Stern; and Edward Teller, the father of the hydrogen bomb.

By age 17, Marschak was a college graduate, with honors. He landed on economics as his field of study and headed to Stanford for his doctorate, followed by a job at RAND Corp. in Santa Monica under Charlie Hitch (later president of the University of California).

In 1960, he was hired as an associate professor at Berkeley Haas. “Things were very different then,” he recalled later. “You dressed in a white shirt and a tie, I can’t believe that. I was one of the very first to grow a beard—almost unheard of.”

Marschak lived in Berkeley with his first wife, Dorothy, and their children Debbie, Madeline, and Timothy. In 1968, Marschak’s life was scarred by tragedy when his eldest daughter Debbie, age 10, died in a car accident.

In 1979, he remarried, and he and his wife Merideth had sons Anthony and Daniel. He was a devoted and deeply involved father. “He took us to film festivals, summer backpacking and river trips, enrolled us in summer programs, monitored our education, and kept us in close contact with his side of the family,” recalled daughter Madeline Marschak. “He offered all four of his children unconditional love and support equally. …Tom Marschak was my hero and the best father anyone could hope to have.”

Academic boundary spanner

Academically, Marschak made his mark in economics theory, studying information gathering, information technology, and network mechanisms—complex work that was ahead of its time, Lyons said.

“Tom was an intellectual boundary-spanner from the get-go, having spanned two academic groups at Haas and having spanned in his work even more areas than these two groups traditionally have done,” Lyons said. “His work covered IT, data science, use of data to drive enterprise value: These are some of the defining issues of our current time.”

Marschak was the co-winner of the Koç University prize in 1996. He was an elected fellow of the Econometric Society and the recipient of both a Fulbright-Hays research award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Ford Foundation faculty research fellowship.

“Much of Tom’s work addressed foundational issues of organizational design, such as how the degrees of hierarchy or decentralization affect an organization’s communication costs and ability to achieve its objectives,” said Professor Emeritus Michael Katz, Sarin Chair Emeritus in Strategy and Leadership. “Although this work was abstract, it has important implications for business organizations.”

‘Dry and delicious humor’

A woman with short gray hair and black dress smiles at the camera. A man in suit jack sits at a table holding an hor d'oeuvres on a skewer.
Tom Marschak with Merideth in 2017. (Photo courtesy of Merideth Marschak)

His colleagues at Haas remember him as a generous instructor with a wry sense of humor. “Tom taught microeconomics to a generation of Haas undergraduates,” said Professor Emeritus Jonathan Leonard, George Quist Chair in Business Ethics. “If you could get him to raise an eyebrow, you knew you had said something interesting.”

Merideth Marschak also recalled her husband’s “dry and delicious” humor, as well as his love for outdoor hiking adventures and walking the Bay Area hills up until his last months. He was “unbeatable at trivia and could summon up historic facts and arcane knowledge on request” and also loved to cook for friends and family. “A crowded dinner table was the best fun,” she added. He was delighted when he became a grandfather at age 88.

“He was incredibly generous with his insight and his kindness,” Merideth Marschak said. “He taught us all the value of slowing down, enjoying life, and keeping an open mind.”

Marschak is survived by his wife, Merideth; his children, Madeline, Timothy, Anthony, and Daniel; his granddaughters Lucy and Alice; and nieces Emily and Julie Jernberg. He was predeceased by his sister, Ann Jernberg.

Marketing Professor John G. Myers, a longtime Haas leader, dies at 89

John G. Myers, right, teaching an executive education class (Haas file photo)

Professor Emeritus John G. Myers, a faculty leader whose warm personality, scholarship and mentoring, and expertise in the science of consumer behavior made him invaluable at the Haas School of Business for decades, passed away on October 14, 2022, in Oakland, Calif. He was 89.

John G. Myers (Haas file photo)

Myers, who first arrived in Berkeley and joined the business school in 1964, was one of the early trained behavioral scientists in marketing studies. His fascination with the factors that affect people’s choices—and how to use evolving technologies to define, measure, and analyze those factors—drove his many scholarly pursuits and advisory activities, and ultimately his leadership at Haas.

Myers personified the concept of belonging in the Haas School community and UC Berkeley, said former Haas Dean Rich Lyons, professor and chief innovation and entrepreneurship officer for UC Berkeley.

“John understood belonging so deeply and what it meant to belong to this place, to have an identity that was fundamentally connected to this place,” Lyons said.

Canadian heritage

John G. Myers on a visit back to his hometown of Penny, British Columbia (Photo courtesy of the Myers family)

Myers was born on July 22, 1933, in Vancouver, British Columbia, and began his education in a one-room schoolhouse in the town of Penny, where his father owned a lumber mill. At a young age, he went to boarding school in Victoria. Despite being two years younger than his classmates and the smallest boy on the teams, he was a versatile athlete who played rugby, cricket, and soccer. He graduated with a bachelor’s in forestry and commerce from the University of British Columbia, where he was involved in campus journalism and athletics. He went on to earn an MBA in 1958 from the University of Western Ontario, where he discovered his love of teaching. In 1966, he received his PhD in business administration and marketing as well as a master’s in sociology from Northwestern University.

Myers was unreserved in his dedication both to Haas students and administration. In the 1980s, he served as associate dean of academic affairs, associate dean of curriculum, and associate dean of the graduate school. He chaired the Marketing and International Business Group from 1974 to 1977 and was director of the PhD Program from 1982 to 1985. He also served as a member of the ASUC Store Operations Board.

His Haas colleagues remember him as a calming force. Despite his imposing frame and intellect, Myers put people at ease with his easygoing personality and sense of humor. “He was just like a big teddy bear. He was warm and safe and friendly. He got along with everybody,” said David Aaker, the E.T. Grether Professor Emeritus of Marketing and Public Policy.

Through his love of evolving technologies, Myers worked to establish the first Haas computer lab in the basement of Barrows Hall and designed and developed the school’s mainframe and PC-based computer information system.

Research on consumer behavior

Among Myers’ areas of research were promotional incentives, e-commerce consumer behavior, and consumer indecision, as well as the management of brands and trademarks in Russia. In an article published in the Journal of Consumer Research in March 1998, Myers and Michal Strahilevitz, PhD 93, examined how a company’s promise to donate to charity could drive consumers to purchase certain products.

A 1974 Haas newsletter featuring a profile of John G. Myers

Myers co-authored with Aaker, and later Rajeev Batra, “Advertising Management,” an influential textbook widely-used in graduate business schools internationally and now in its fifth edition. He also taught advertising management in Russia and France and served as vice president of the Education Division of the American Marketing Association and president of the Association of Directors of Doctoral Programs in Business.

Myers served as a consultant to a wide variety of public and private organizations on marketing and advertising issues, and as expert witness on numerous public policy cases. He was proud of his work on the board for the National Junior Tennis League of San Francisco and Oakland for under-resourced youth.

Dedicated mentor and community builder

Myers was passionate about creating a sense of community at Haas, hosting parties for PhD students and serving on numerous student thesis committees. His devotion to Haas marketing students continued after his retirement in 1994 with the report “Four Decades of Berkeley Marketing PhDs.”

Kay Lemon, PhD 94, recalled how welcoming Myers and his wife were in the early 1990s when Lemon and her husband first arrived at UC Berkeley. Her first teaching experience was as Myers’ graduate student instructor.

“John was a great mentor to me. He provided strong support, insights and encouragement throughout my career,” said Lemon, who now holds the Accenture Professorship at the Boston College School of Management “He was one of the kindest and most generous individuals I’ve known.”

In 2010, Myers spoke about his teaching career in an interview with St. Michaels University School in Canada, which he graduated from in 1947. “One of my teaching styles was to constantly challenge students to think. This was not very popular with some students. It was easier to spend time in lecture dreaming about other things or just automatically taking notes without much thinking,” he said.

While his classroom could prove rigorous, Myers had kind words for struggling students. “If any doctoral student was discouraged about their coursework, or dissertation, they knew John would be encouraging,” said Strahilevitz, now a professor of marketing at Saint Mary’s College of California.

While hitchhiking in Sweden, John Myers advertised his Canadian heritage on the chance it would improve his chance of a ride. He carried the same briefcase throughout his career. (Photo courtesy of the Myers family)

Always the consummate host, Myers and Arlyn, his wife of close to 60 years and a UC Berkeley College of Chemistry emeritus lecturer who also earned her PhD from Northwestern, hosted generations of Haas students, faculty, and their families. They started traditions of hosting PhD students in the early 1980s and Haas emeriti faculty in the late 1990s. Their house, with its view of the Bay, was “the go-to place,” said Prof. J. Miguel Villas-Boas, the J. Gary Shansby Professor of Marketing Strategy.

The late Haas Dean Raymond Miles, in comments prepared for Myers’ retirement, highlighted Myers’ love of bringing happiness to others by playing Santa at Haas holiday parties.

Myers’ son Shawn D. Myers earned his MBA at Haas in 1999. “My father was an immeasurable influence on all those who were lucky enough to spend time with him. As a father and grandfather, he was quick with a joke, able to captivate with a story, and always there to support us through difficult times. He helped to shape so many people in his personal and professional lives, and we will endeavor to carry his spirit of generosity and joy with us forever.”

Myers is survived by his wife, Arlyn; their children Karlyne M. Reilly (husband Jay G. Reilly) of Potomac, MD, Shawn D. Myers (wife Jennifer B. Myers) of Redwood City, Calif., and Amanda J. Myers of Coconut Grove, FL; and grandchildren Jordan A. Reilly, Megan B. Reilly, John (Jack) R. Myers, and Katherine C. Myers.

John and Arlyn Myers Marketing Award

The family suggests that those wishing to honor Myers may do so by donating to the John and Arlyn Myers Marketing Award at the Haas School of Business established by the family in his honor: To make a gift online, please note “In Memory of Professor John Myers” on the donation form (choose any fund). Donations may be made by check to “UC Berkeley,” with a note “Myers Fund/Haas,” and mailed to UC Berkeley Gift Services, 1995 University Ave, Suite 400, Berkeley, CA 94704-1070.

Nobel laureate Oliver Williamson, pioneer of organizational economics, dies at 87

Prof. Oliver Williamson
Prof. Oliver Williamson

Oliver Williamson, a UC Berkeley and Haas School of Business professor for nearly three decades whose elegant framework for analyzing the structure of organizations won him a Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, passed away on May 21, 2020 in Oakland, Calif. at the age of 87. His death followed a period of failing health.

“Williamson’s work permanently changed how economists view organizations,” said Prof. Rich Lyons, who was dean of the Haas School when Williamson won the Nobel and is now UC Berkeley’s Chief Innovation and Entrepreneurship Officer. “Yet for all of his intellectual creativity, I most often think of Olly as a person who lifts others. The ripple effects that he has had on his field through his students and colleagues could well be as large as the enormous impact his own work had.”

Williamson, the Edgar F. Kaiser Professor Emeritus of Business at Haas and Professor Emeritus of Economics and Law at UC Berkeley, received the most prestigious prize in economics in 2009 for his insights into what’s known as the “make or buy” decision. This is the process by which businesses choose whether to outsource a process, service, or manufacturing function or to perform the work in-house.

Williamson’s path-breaking contributions to economics were deep and boundary-spanning. They included seminal work that laid the foundation for the now-burgeoning fields of organizational and institutional economics. Traditional economic approaches of the early 1970s did not allow for analysis of governance within organizations. By showing that economics could illuminate the costs and tradeoffs that parties make in transactions, Williamson’s work brought governance and the management of relationships into economic theory.

His multidisciplinary approach to analyzing organizational structures was unconventional in economics at the time—he described it as a melding of soft social science with abstract economic theory. He looked not only at formal firm structure but at culture and social norms. Prof. Ernesto Dal Bó, the Phillips Girgich Professor of Business, called Williamson’s work “a fountain of vocation-shaping epiphanies.”

“After reading his work, we could no longer think of markets, organizations, and legal or political institutions in the same way. And so we didn’t,” Dal Bó said. “His insights are now part of the common sense of social scientists.”

Williamson’s theories gave rise to a new wave of empirical literature that tested his method of analysis in a wide range of industries, and shaped fields as diverse as public policy, law, strategy, and sociology. His “transaction cost” approach has since shed light on thinking about the design of joint ventures, long-term contracts, and bureaucracy more generally. His influence can be seen around the world, from electricity deregulation in California to investment in Eastern Europe to human resource management in the technology industry.

A simple analysis with broad reach

Oliver Eaton Williamson—known as “Olly” to his friends, colleagues, and students—was born in Superior, Wisconsin on September 27, 1932. The son of two teachers, he formed lifelong friendships with his Superior Central High School Class of 1950 classmates, holding four reunions per decade and annual poker weekends. He received his B.S. in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1955, an MBA from Stanford University in 1960 and a PhD from Carnegie Mellon University in 1963.

Williamson began his teaching career at Berkeley, where he was an assistant professor of economics in the undergraduate program. In 1965, he moved to the University of Pennsylvania, where he taught and held various leadership roles until he joined the faculty at Yale University in 1983.

Prof. Oliver WilliamsonBerkeley Haas Prof. Emeritus Pablo Spiller said that when Williamson recruited him to the economics department at Penn 40 years ago, “I didn’t realize that he was also recruiting me to his view of economics. The latter was done in subtle and not so subtle ways: his penetrating questions at seminars, written comments on papers, remarks in conversations, or over dinner,” he said. “While naturally a shy person, Olly was not shy to help a colleague see the light.”

In 1988, Berkeley lured Williamson back by appealing to his interdisciplinary interests and offering him appointments in not only business and economics but also the law. While at Berkeley, Williamson created a world-renowned PhD workshop known today as the Williamson Seminar on Institutional Analysis. He retired from teaching in 2004.

Williamson’s work on new ways of analyzing markets and business enterprises evolved from a paper written in 1937 by Ronald Coase, also a Nobel laureate. Building on Coase’s work, Williamson studied economic organization through the lens of transaction costs, exploring how different attributes of transactions were better suited to different types of organizations. It helped explain why some companies grow, creating management structures controlling different areas, while others remain independent.

“I originally thought of ‘make-or-buy’ as a stand-alone problem,” Williamson once said. “But now I think of it as being an exemplar. If you understand make-or-buy, which is a simple case, you can understand more complex cases.” These include joint ventures, labor contracts, antitrust, and industry privatization. Hundreds of economists and policymakers have since applied his framework to situations other than outsourcing, including the boundaries between public and private sector activity.

Path-breaking books

Williamson’s contributions to economics were widely recognized through awards, fellowships, and no fewer than 11 honorary doctorates from universities worldwide. Two of Williamson’s five books, Markets and Hierarchies: Analysis and Antitrust Implications (1975) and The Economic Institutions of Capitalism: Firms, Markets, Relational Contracting (1985) are said to be among the most cited in the social sciences.

The Nobel Prize, which Williamson shared with political scientist Elinor Ostrom of Indiana University, marked the apogee of his career. The award—the second Nobel Prize for a Haas economist—came at the height of the global economic crisis. Many observers speculated that Williamson was selected for his work’s application to the financial meltdown and financial regulation. Those close to Williamson, however, said the honor was long overdue.

Prof. David Teece, the Thomas W. Tusher Professor in Global Business, predicted a Nobel for Williamson when he read a draft manuscript of Markets and Hierarchies as a University of Pennsylvania PhD student in 1974.

“I returned to his office three days later and reported, ‘This is a great book. Why has it taken me four years at Penn to discover a framework that addresses deep questions about the business firm and its organization?’” recalls Teece, noting that before Williamson, the economic frameworks and models to understand the business enterprise were “quite frankly pathetic.”

Teece went on to publish collection of essays in honor of Williamson’s book Markets and Hierarchies, entitled Firms, Markets and Hierarchies: The Transaction Cost Economics Perspective, with Glenn R. Carroll in 1999.

Prof. Steve Tadelis, the Sarin Chair in Leadership and Strategy, said Williamson’s work had heavily influenced him as a graduate student and assistant professor at Stanford. They had met and developed a collegial friendship by the time Tadelis joined Berkeley Haas in 2005, eventually authoring two papers together.

“Olly’s relentless drive for uncovering deep insights has always been an inspiration for me,” Tadelis said. “I will deeply miss his intellectual enthusiasm and friendly disposition, and at the same time I feel a deep gratitude for having him be a friend and mentor.

In recognizing Williamson and his work, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences singled out “his analysis of economic governance, especially the boundaries of the firm.”

In an interview upon learning he had won the prize, Williamson said. “All feasible forms of organization are flawed. We need to understand the trade-offs that are going on, the factors that are responsible for using one form of governance rather than another, the strengths and weaknesses that are associated with each of them.”

A passion for Berkeley

Prof. Oliver Williamson with his Nobel coin.Throughout his life, Williamson displayed an uncommon humility even as his celebrity in economic circles grew. Just hours after his Nobel Prize was announced, Williamson was modest about his selection, calling it “undeserved” during a congratulatory toast with hundreds of Haas faculty, staff, and students.

“I would describe myself,” he told the packed room, “as a conscientious teacher who had a lot of students who were tolerant and went on to do good work.”

Williamson was also passionate about Berkeley, calling it a “glorious place” whose commitment to excellence generates “extraordinary energy.” He donated a large portion of his Nobel Prize to Berkeley Haas to create a new endowed faculty chair in the economics of organization. (The Oliver E. and Dolores W. Williamson Chair of the Economics of Organizations is now held by Prof. John Morgan.)

The Haas School also established its highest faculty honor, the Williamson Award, in his name. Williamson was known for embodying the school’s Defining Leadership Principles—Question the Status Quo, Confidence Without Attitude, Students Always and Beyond Yourself.

“I can still hear a piece of advice he gave me when I first became dean that served me on many occasions: ‘When in doubt, decide on the merits,’ Lyons said. “With his own doctoral students, if they expressed doubt in themselves when taking the next step, he would tell them ‘I wouldn’t have suggested you try to do this if I didn’t have confidence that you could.’”

Williamson is survived by his five children and five grandchildren: son Scott (Susanna Krentz), daughter Tamara (Don Mohr), daughter Karen (Robert Indergand), son Oliver Jr. (Anna Suszanowicz), and son Dean (Mihoko Matsue); and grandchildren Kimberly and Kristin Indergand, Claire and Peter Williamson, and Erin Mohr. He was equally proud of his niece, Katherine Frisbie, and nephew, Steven Frisbie (Jennifer). He was predeceased by his wife of 55 years, Dolores Celini Williamson, in 2012.

A family memorial service will be held at a later time. Those wishing to remember Williamson may do so by making a donation to the Northern California and Northern Nevada Alzheimer’s Association.

Downloadable photos of Oliver Williamson are available here:

The Society for Institutional and Organizational Economics, which Williamson co-founded, will be posting a series of short essays honoring his contributions and life:




Former Dean Raymond Miles, trailblazer in strategic management, dies at 86

Raymond Miles, a former Berkeley Haas dean and professor emeritus whose leadership has had a deep and lasting impact on the Haas campus and community, passed away on May 13 in Albany, California. He was 86.

Former Haas Dean and Prof. Emeritus Raymond Miles
Former Dean and Prof. Emeritus Raymond Miles

Miles is credited with growing the school’s thriving alumni network, securing a campus that invites community, and hiring prestigious faculty members who have included two Nobel Laureates. As a scholar, he was a trailblazer in strategic management, defining human resource management styles commonly taught today.

“Ray Miles was an outstanding scholar and a visionary leader. He helped build the fields of organizational strategy and innovation at Berkeley Haas and around the world,” said Former Dean Laura Tyson, distinguished professor of the graduate school. “He represented all of the stakeholders at Haas—the students, the faculty, the alumni, and the business community, and he began the planning and fundraising process that enabled the move of the Haas School to its new complex. He dedicated his professional life to our community and we will miss him.”

Crash course in management

Born in Cleburne, Texas in 1932, Miles got a crash course in business management when he was just 22. Attending the University of North Texas (UNT), he paid for his BA in journalism by working nights for the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe Railroad. There, he said, he learned hard lessons about how managers should best supervise their employees—and how they shouldn’t. Those musings led to a lifetime of inquiry into strategic management, making Miles an early pioneer in thinking about how companies could align their strategies with the goals they were trying to accomplish.

After marrying Lucile Marie Dustin in 1952, and training and serving as an Air Force pilot, he earned an MBA at UNT and then a PhD at Stanford on a scholarship. Eventually, he landed in Berkeley, where he embarked upon a 50-year career in research that helped to crystalize the concept of strategic management. He put his leadership teachings into practice as dean in the 1980s.

The emergence of human resources

When Miles first arrived at Berkeley as a new professor in the Organizational Behavior and Industrial Relations group in the fall of 1963, the concept of strategic management was in its infancy. His 1965 Harvard Business Review article, “Human Relations or Human Resources?” led managers to think differently about how to utilize people in their organizations.

“Ray was one of the early contributors to the idea of human resources as a strategic function,” said James Lincoln, the Haas Mitsubishi Chair in International Business and Finance Emeritus, who worked with Miles at Berkeley’s Institute of Industrial Relations. “Instead of thinking about employees as personnel, he put forth the notion that human assets are as important as the financial and physical assets of a company and need to be managed in a strategic way. Of course everyone thinks that now, but back then, it was new.”

In the next decade, Miles studied how organizations could improve, eventually developing his breakthrough 1978 book, Organizational Strategy, Structure, and Process, written with his former student Charles Snow, PhD 72. They argued there were three distinct types of successful companies, each with its own management style: prospectors, defenders, and analyzers (and one unsuccessful type, reactors). Once a company figured out which class it belonged to, it could design its management structure and processes accordingly. Furthermore, the authors wrote, companies could change over time in response to their environments.

The book has become a classic in the management strategy field and is still regularly cited.

In later research, Miles continued to explore new concepts in the field of management strategy, creating the notion of “fit” that would help companies determine the best company strategy and how to create their structure and process accordingly. “That underlying idea of having the right strategy and structure for the market environment is still front and center of what every business school teaches in MBA courses on strategy and organizational design,” said Glenn Carroll, a former Haas professor who now teaches at Stanford.

Building campus and community

Former Dean Raymond Miles shows off the new Haas campus
Raymond Miles, second from right, shows off progress on the new campus to Haas alum Steve Herrick, BS 60, and other supporters who were active in the building campaign.

Miles proved the validity of his management strategies as dean of Haas between 1983 and 1990. His tenure started at a time of crisis for higher education, with both federal and state funding slashed. At the same time, the business school was bursting at the seams, cramped into Barrows Hall with several other departments. Berkeley’s chancellor, however, was reluctant to include a new building for the school in its capital campaign.

To manage the crisis, Miles expanded the school’s advisory board with dozens of business people who urged the school to raise money for a new building by itself. Miles commissioned former Berkeley architecture chair Charles Moore to design a new building on the site of the old campus hospital that could create community and serve as a bridge to the rest of the university. Moore’s elegant model, with interconnected buildings around a central courtyard and arches connecting it to campus, helped sway the administration. With the help of former dean Earl “Budd” Cheit, Miles secured what was then the largest gift in UC Berkeley’s history to build it.

At the same time, Miles helped grow the Cal Business Alumni Association (now known as the Berkeley Haas Alumni Network) into an active, thriving community and hired the school’s first full-time development director to increase outreach to alumni and bring the vision of a new building to fruition. By the time Miles stepped down in 1990, plans were well underway for the building, which broke ground in 1992 and opened in 1995.

Raymond Miles with Michelle McClellan, former Assistant Dean for Development & Alumni Relations
Miles with daughter-in-law Amy Miles at the 2012 Haas Gala

During his time as dean, Miles also boosted the school’s academic potential and prestige by helping to expand the faculty. He doubled the number of endowed chairs to 24—then about a fifth of the Berkeley campus total—recruiting such luminaries as Nobel Laureate Oliver Williamson.

Miles also advanced the field of business education by supporting new programs to build on the school’s unique interdisciplinary heritage and blending of research and application, which he described as “theory-based professional practice”. The Program in Organizational Strategy focused several disciplines’ research on strategic decisions facing organizational managers. The Program in Entrepreneurship and Innovation focused on the process of developing a business plan and the broader issues of how technological and economic innovation is stimulated or stunted. And the Program in International Competitiveness focused on the need for new strategies in a rapidly changing global economy.

Miles also believed that the business school should not be an island, isolated from the community around it. In 1989, he started the Boost@BerkeleyHaas program—formerly known as the East Bay Outreach Program and then Young Entrepreneurs at Haas (YEAH)—to bring local high school students from families who traditionally hadn’t gone to college to Haas to learn about business and entrepreneurship and get comfortable on campus. The program just celebrated its 30th anniversary. It serves about 140 young people annually, and the overwhelming majority go on to college.

A “powerful people-developer”

Miles with Ann Hsu, MBA 98, the 2012 Raymond E. Miles Alumni Service Award winner, at the Haas Gala
Miles with Ann Hsu, MBA 98, the 2012 Raymond E. Miles Alumni Service Award winner, at the Haas Gala

Former Dean Rich Lyons, the William & Janet Cronk Chair in Innovative Leadership, credits Miles with having a huge influence on him and other Haas leaders.

“Ray was an important mentor to me, and a powerful people-developer more generally. You always had the sense that he had your best interest—and the school’s best interest—at heart. It’s hard to get more ‘beyond yourself’ than Ray,” Lyons said, referencing one of the school’s four Defining Leadership Principles.

Prof. Candi Yano, associate dean for academic affairs and chair of the faculty, noted that until quite recently, Miles continued to come into the office nearly every day and was continuing to publish research articles on organizational strategy and innovation. “He leaves a remarkable legacy,” she said.

In honor of the significant impact Miles has had on Berkeley Haas, the Cal Business Association created the Raymond E. Miles Alumni Service Award in 1990. This award is presented each year to an alumnus who exemplifies superior volunteer leadership.

Miles is survived by his daughter Laura (Jim), sons Grant (Patti) and Ken (Amy), brother Don (Jodi), and seven grandchildren: Justin, Michael, Nathaniel, Anthony, Sarah, Courtney and Brooke. He was predeceased by his wife Lucile in 2014.

A memorial service will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley on Saturday, June 15, 2019 at 2:00 p.m.





Prof. Emeritus Mark Rubinstein, financial engineering pioneer, passes away      

Mark Rubinstein, a finance professor emeritus whose work had a profound impact on Wall Street by forever changing how financial assets are created and priced, died May 9 in Tiburon, California. He was 74.

Rubinstein, who retired in 2012 after nearly 40 years on the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business faculty, was a pioneer in applying mathematical tools to financial markets. He was best known for his contributions in options pricing, as well as the development of the first Exchange Traded Fund (ETF).

Prof. Mark Rubinstein in his home library
Prof. Mark Rubinstein surrounded by his beloved Shakespeare in his home library in 2002 (Photo by Jim Block)

Rubinstein was intellectually fearless and known by his students as a sincere mentor who had extraordinary passion. He was also a quintessential Renaissance man whose curiosity and love of learning led him to acquire an impressive knowledge of Shakespeare, Ancient Greek, and Roman history.

“Mark was unusually honest and open-minded,” said Prof. Terry Odean, a colleague in the Haas Finance Group. “He was one of the few people I’ve known who would actually change his opinion when confronted with new facts or a better argument.”

Simplified options pricing

Rubinstein grew up in Seattle, the son of Sam and Gladys Rubinstein. After earning a bachelor’s degree at Harvard, an MBA at Stanford, and a PhD at UCLA, Rubinstein joined the Haas faculty in 1972.

His research efforts soon focused on options markets, which had just begun trading in Chicago. In 1979, working with John Cox and Stephen Ross of MIT, he developed the Cox-Ross-Rubinstein (CRR) Model, a “binomial” model for valuing a wide range of complex options. The model contributed to the growth of derivatives around the world and remains one of the most important valuation tools on Wall Street. A subsequent book, Options Markets (with John Cox), made option pricing theory accessible to a broad audience.

“His most famous contribution was in simplifying the option pricing model not only to a level that everyone could understand, but also to a point where everyone could use it effectively in the real world,” said Prof. Emeritus Hayne Leland, a finance colleague who worked closely with Rubinstein.

Leland O’Brien Rubinstein’s (LOR) influence

In 1981, Rubinstein joined with Leland and Haas Adjunct Prof. John O’Brien to form Leland O’Brien Rubinstein (LOR). The firm grew rapidly, and in 1987 the three founders were named among Fortune’s “Businessmen of the Year.” LOR developed a risk-hedging algorithm called “portfolio insurance.” To stem losses, the algorithm required selling off assets when markets declined, and portfolio insurance was accused of being a major accelerant of the October 1987 crash— when the stock market fell more than 20% in a day. These events and the role of LOR are recounted in Diana Henriques’ A First-Class Catastrophe: The Road to Black Monday, the Worst Day in Wall Street History.

The market eventually recovered, and the crash may have warded off a real recession by bringing stock prices back down to reality, according a later analysis. Traders today still use strategies that are roughly equivalent to portfolio insurance.

First Exchange Traded Fund

In an effort to protect investors without dynamic selling, LOR then pioneered the SuperTrust, an S&P 500-based fund that traded as a single security—which in 1992 became the first Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) in the United States. Rubinstein and Leland provided the economic arguments that convinced the SEC to give the first exemption to rules in the 1940 Investment Act that had prevented ETFs. These exemptions later became standard, and helped form the regulatory framework for what has arguably become the most important financial innovation in the last quarter century. In the years since, ETF funds’ assets have grown to more than $5 trillion globally.

Founded the Master of Financial Engineering Program

Rubinstein was elected President of the American Finance Association in 1992, and was named as the IAQF Financial Engineer of the Year in 1995. In 2001, he helped to found the Berkeley Haas Master of Financial Engineering (MFE) Program, which was the first such program in a U.S. business school and is consistently ranked #1.

MFE Program Executive Director Linda Kreitzman called Rubinstein a giant in his field. “He had a huge impact on our students’ lives and also our alumni. He was a brilliant, kind person and he’ll be deeply missed.”

An avid student of history, Rubinstein examined the development of modern theories of investment in his 2006 book,  A History of the Theory of Investments:  My Annotated Bibliography. He continued his academic research and mentoring of doctoral students at Berkeley throughout his career, and after his retirement, continued to nurture his intellectual curiosity with research and writing on classical Greece, Rome, and the early history of Christianity.

Rubinstein is survived and dearly missed by his wife Diane, and his children Judd and Maisie.

A memorial service will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 9 at Fernwood Mortuary, 301 Tennessee Valley Rd., Mill Valley.

Leo Helzel, MBA 68, longtime Haas supporter and first entrepreneurship teacher, passes away

Leo Helzel
Leo Helzel, MBA 68, LLM 70

Leo Helzel, MBA 68, LLM 70, an honored faculty member who guided the school’s first forays into entrepreneurship and was a dedicated and generous supporter of Haas for decades, passed away Thursday, March 21, in his home, surrounded by family. He was 101.

Helzel’s history at Haas includes a series of firsts. He taught the business school’s first entrepreneurship class—one of the first such courses offered at a U.S. business school. He was also the first chair of the Haas School Board, which advises the dean, and the first Haas instructor to be honored with an “adjunct professor emeritus” title upon retirement in recognition of his nearly forty years of service.

Helzel was instrumental in establishing the school’s entrepreneurship program. In addition to teaching, he provided the funding to endow the Leo B. and Florence Helzel Chair in Entrepreneurship and Innovation in 1986. He worked closely with then-Dean Richard Holton to create the business school’s Lester Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, which opened in 1991.

Helzel summarized his entrepreneurial verve and lifelong learnings—alongside wisdom from the CEOs of the Gap, Bank of America, and Williams-Sonoma—in his 1995 book, A Goal is a Dream with a Deadline: Extraordinary Wisdom for Entrepreneurs, Managers, and Other Smart People, and donated the proceeds to Haas.

“Leo was one of those people who changed the game whenever he was around, raising standards and pushing people to reach for more together,” said Professor and former Dean Rich Lyons, who worked closely with Helzel on the board and beyond. “He taught me a lot. It’s hard to imagine a stronger exemplar of our school’s defining leadership principles.”

Helzel flew as a navigator on Navy planes during WWII.
Helzel flew as a navigator on Navy planes during WWII.

Helzel was born in New York City on November 1, 1917, to Philip and Hannah Helzel; he had two older siblings, Sylvia and Max. His parents had immigrated from Podhajce, a shtetl that was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, before World War I. He graduated from Townsend Harris, a tuition-free honors school for the City College of New York. He then worked full-time at his uncle’s accounting firm, Gerber & Landau, while attending ROTC and night classes at City College, graduating in 1938.

Called up to serve during World War II, Helzel flew as a navigator on Navy planes and served as a navigation flight instructor. His home base was the Alameda Naval Air Station, and after the war he stayed on in Oakland, launching several successful careers—as an accountant, a lawyer, and an entrepreneur.

In 1946, Helzel founded Leo B. Helzel & Company, now called the RINA Accountancy Corp., in Oakland. Aspiring to become a lawyer, Leo took night classes at Golden Gate University while also teaching tax and accounting there. In 1957, he decided he wanted to concentrate on law full time and left the firm as a partner, but remained as a client. He eventually took a risk on new technology for drilling oil wells and was successful in that arena as well.

Helzel began sharing the knowledge acquired during his multiple careers when he began teaching international business at Berkeley’s business school in 1967. While teaching, he decided to get an MBA, and upon completing the program at age 51 joked that he was “probably the oldest MBA in the books.” He went on to earn his Master of Laws (LLM) from Berkeley Law in 1970.

In 1970, Richard Holton, dean at the time and a friend of Helzel’s, came up with the idea of creating an entrepreneurship course and hired him to teach it. Helzel initially presented a case about a fictitious startup, Miracle Goggles. He later invited entrepreneurs whom he knew to share their stories with his class. Interest in the companies emerging in Silicon Valley was so intense that the course soon had to be moved to an auditorium. The course may have been the first to provide students with direct contact with successful entrepreneurs, according to Business at Berkeley by Sandra Epstein.

“Leo was a thought leader decades ahead of others in bringing real business practices and live case studies into the classroom from the time he began teaching here in 1967,” said his former student Jerry Weintraub, BS 80, MBA 88, and president of Weintraub Capital. “As a depression-era child who came from humble beginnings, Leo took immense pride in Haas—the opportunity this public institution gives to students and the impact education can have on improving the lives of others. Leo has left a legacy as an incredible agent of change in education, philanthropy, and the community through his mentorship and friendship to those of us lucky enough to have known him as a teacher.”

Members of the Helzel family: Florence; Larry, BA 68 (history); and Leo, MBA 68.
Members of the Helzel family: Florence; Larry, BA 68 (history); and Leo, MBA 68

Helzel also taught business law and commercial law at Haas, creating the course called Top Down Law with Adj. Prof. Noel Nellis, JD 66. The course taught business from the perspective of an entrepreneur who encounters legal problems.

“Leo was indeed a friend, mentor, and educational innovator. His leadership role in creating our entrepreneurship program is well known. More subtle perhaps, and one of his biggest innovations at Haas, was recruiting accomplished professionals to join our professional faculty,” said Jerome Engel, founding executive director emeritus of the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship and Helzel’s long-time faculty colleague. “We at Haas will benefit from his foresight, leadership, and generosity for generations. We will miss him. May his memory be a blessing to all of us.”

Helzel gave generously to the Haas School’s original campus that opened in 1995 and to its new building. In return, the Helzel Boardroom and a “Helzel Family” breakout room are named in his honor. He was also a Trustee for Golden Gate University and for the California College of the Arts, served on the board of BerkeleyLaw, and was active in several Bay Area nonprofit organizations.

He is survived by his loving family—his wife of 72 years, Florence; his two children and their spouses, Larry Helzel (Rebekah) and Deborah Kirshman (David); grandchildren Rachel Concannon (Jason) and Daniel Kirshman, MBA 2011 (Jennifer); great-grandchildren Riley and Jacob Concannon and Sienna and Skylar Kirshman; great-nephew Zachary Pine; and several other family members with whom he maintained close relationships.

A private family service has been held.

Contributions in Helzel’s memory may be made to the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art & Life, UC Berkeley, 2121 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 94720-6300;

Peter Thigpen, ethics instructor to generations of MBA students, passes away

Haas Lecturer Peter Thigpen

Peter Thigpen, a former Levi Strauss & Co. executive who taught business ethics to generations of Haas MBA students, passed away in Mill Valley on Nov. 5 after a short illness. He was 78.

Thigpen had taught “Ethics and Responsible Business Leadership” nearly every spring for the past 25 years, first in the full-time program and most recently in the evening & weekend program.

“He was deeply committed to imparting moral goodness on future generations of business leaders,” said Prof. Ernesto Dal Bó, one of several faculty who worked closely with Thigpen on the ethics course.

“He brought a unique perspective from decades as a successful business leader, teaching students how ethics was a crucial element of true leadership—and that business and ethics were complementary,” added Prof. Rui de Figueiredo. “His deep commitment to his students will leave a lasting imprint at Haas.”

Born Sept. 18, 1939 in Pasadena, Calif., Thigpen attended San Mateo High School and Stanford University, graduating in 1961 with a degree in economics. Driven by a deep belief in public service, he enlisted in the Marine Corps Officers program while at Stanford. He rose to the rank of 1st Lieutenant and worked as a radar intercept officer on F-4B fighter jets, catapulting on and off aircraft carriers. After being honorably discharged in 1964, he returned to Stanford to earn an MBA.

Levi Strauss success

Thigpen joined Levi Strauss in 1967, rising through the ranks to become president of the European division. Based in Brussels, he led the brand’s high growth in the region through the 1970s and early 1980s. In 1982, he was named president of Levi Strauss USA, and served in executive roles and on the board until he retired in 1991.

That “retirement” began a new chapter of his life, as an avid volunteer and board member with several organizations, an active family man, and a Haas School lecturer. Prof. Emeritus David Vogel met Thigpen through their mutual involvement in the Aspen Institute, where Thigpen served as a senior fellow and moderator. Beginning in 1992, they created and co-taught the ethics course for several years before it became part of the core curriculum and they each took on their own sections.

Teaching at Haas

“He was incredibly compassionate and cared deeply about the class,” Vogel said. “He told me he felt it was one of the most important things he could do—talking to future business leaders about ethics.”

Vogel was fond of teaching a case that featured Thigpen as a Levi’s Strauss executive facing a moral dilemma. The central question was how much Thigpen should tell a plant manager about a potential plant closing before it was officially announced. In the thick of the debate, Thigpen would walk into the room.

“It always caused an uproar. He would talk personally and passionately, and students were always inspired by his level of personal engagement,” Vogel said.

Prof. Ernesto Dal Bó used the same case and the same trick—but with Thigpen seated quietly in the room throughout the discussion, which usually included its share of critiques. Halfway through, Dal Bó would introduce him, and he’d stand up and give his take on the situation.

“One thing Pete would transmit within the first second was that he was a really good man having to resolve a really difficult situation, which would quickly bring the drama of the case to new heights,” Dal Bó said. “It was fun to watch someone who had such a successful career re-do the case in a very unassuming way—and allow inexperienced people to pass judgement on him. It was an exercise in humility, and a lesson in more ways than one.”

Both Dal Bó and Vogel said as soon as the course wrapped up each spring, Thigpen would reach out to talk about what to update or improve the next year. They’d compare notes and slides, and share good captions or videos or images.

“We all really loved Pete—he was such a gentleman, and was such a pleasure to work with,” said Dal Bó. “Even after all those years he would say ‘I’m coming here to do it better next time.'”

Dal Bó also taught Thigpen’s son Zach, now a 2nd-year student in the full-time MBA program. “He was incredibly proud of him,” he said.

Renaissance man

Described by his family as a Renaissance man, Thigpen was equally comfortable discussing existentialist philosophy as he was analyzing fantasy football; he was a lover of conversation, fine wine, classical music, and golf. He especially embodied the Haas Defining Leadership Principles of Students Always and Beyond Yourself.

“Believe in your heart of hearts that your fundamental purpose, your reason for being is to enlarge the lives of others, your life will be enlarged. And all the other things we have been taught to concentrate on will take care of themselves,” Thigpen was quoted in his obituary.

He is survived by his loving wife Shelly; brothers Steve and Jeff (Mary Ellen); sons Craig (Sarah), Eric, Chad (Althea) and Zach, grandchildren Lucas, Jacob, Camille, and Bryce; and five nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, please honor Pete with donations to Reach Out & Read.

Remembering former Intel CEO Paul Otellini, MBA 74, industry leader with lifelong Haas ties

Intel CEO Paul Otellini
Intel’s former CEO Paul Otellini, MBA 74, was named Haas Business Leader of the Year in 2006.
Photo: Intel News

Former Intel CEO Paul S. Otellini, MBA 74, an innovator who left his mark on the computing industry and inspired a global workforce, maintained a lifelong connection with the school he said laid the foundation for his success.

Otellini died Oct. 2 at his home in Sonoma County. He was 66.

The first non-engineer to lead Santa Clara-based Intel, Otellini guided the company to new heights. During his eight-year tenure as CEO of the semiconductor chip and microprocessor maker, Intel generated more revenue than it did during the company’s previous 45 years.

In 2006, Otellini was named Haas Business Leader of the Year for “innovative new strategies … his ability to lead and inspire a global workforce, and for his unwavering commitment to conducting business with integrity.”

“Paul occupies a very special place in the Haas pantheon. More broadly, he was a great citizen,” says Dean Rich Lyons. “He was also super honest, which is part of why he ascended so far and so fast in the corporate world. We’ve lost an important part of our community.”

Laying the foundation for success

In a 2007 interview with CalBusiness magazine, he credited his Haas experience for laying the foundation for his success. “You learn a very thorough, analytical methodology at Haas,” Otellini said at the time. “That has worked extremely well for me in the high-tech industry.”

Otellini led Intel from 2005 until his retirement in 2013. Current Intel CEO Brian Krzanich called Otellini “the relentless voice of the customer in a sea of engineers.”

Otellini never strayed far from Haas, serving on the Haas School Board from 2002-2003. He and his wife, Sandy, were among the earliest benefactors to donate to the Chou Hall capital fund. The couple made a gift of $1 million to the new building. The $60 million facility, used completely for student learning and interaction, opened in August.

“That very early investment was a vote of confidence, and a lot of other people came into the project because he was in,” Lyons says.

For a guy with a non-technical background to be chosen to lead Intel may have struck some as quizzical. But Lyons says it made perfect sense.

“Paul brought a complementary skillset to a company that, at that time, needed it,” he says. “He had an ability to arbitrage business and technology, to understand two somewhat distinct fields and really pull them together.”

“Obsessed with making things better”

Lyons says Otellini’s work embodied Haas’ four Defining Leadership Principles—Question the Status Quo, Confidence Without Attitude, Students Always, and Beyond Yourself—which were established more than three decades after Otellini left Berkeley.

Otellini and Lyons spoke of the Defining Leadership Principles during their periodic lunch meetings over the past decade. Otellini remarked that the principles existed in his own Haas education more than 30 years earlier, even if they weren’t explicitly stated.

“Paul was obsessed with making things better,” Lyons says. “’Question the status quo’ is something where people are saying, ‘Look, there’s got to be a better way here.’ Paul had that in spades. He was confident, but he was grounded, and that’s why people appreciated him so much.”

Otellini was born in San Francisco on Oct. 12, 1950, and remained a fan of the city all his life, according to Intel’s website. He received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of San Francisco in 1972 before earning an MBA at Haas in 1974.

Generating record revenue as Intel’s CEO

At Intel, he served in many roles, including chief of staff to former CEO Andy Grove, who co-founded Intel and died in 2016.

From 1990 to 2002, he served as executive vice president and general manager of the Intel Architecture Group, responsible for the company’s microprocessor and chipset businesses and strategies for desktop, mobile, and enterprise computing—and as executive vice president and general manager of the sales and marketing group before becoming chief operating officer, a role he held from 2002 to 2005. As CEO, he grew the company’s sales from $34 billion in 2005 to $53 billion in 2012.

Since retiring in 2013, Otellini dedicated time to mentoring young people and was involved with several philanthropic and charitable organizations, including the San Francisco Symphony and San Francisco General Hospital Foundation.

Otellini is survived by his wife, Sandy; his mother, Evelyn; his son Patrick (Marissa), and daughter, Alexis; grandchildren Nico and Mia, all of San Francisco; and brother Rev. Msgr. Steven Otellini, Menlo Park.

In lieu of flowers, the family kindly suggests donations to the UCSF Foundation, with a note “Dyslexia Center in memory of Paul Otellini,” P.O. Box 45339, San Francisco, CA 94145-0339, or donations to the website,  designating “Dyslexia Center” in the “other” gift category.

Legendary professor Alan Cerf, who taught thousands over six decades, passes away

Prof. Alan Cerf teaching in Barrows Hall in 1979.

Accounting Professor Alan Robert Cerf, who taught more than 13,000 students over 62 years at Berkeley-Haas, died August 24, of natural causes at his home in Piedmont. He was 93.

Cerf, BS 44, began his academic career at UC Berkeley in 1956. His research focused mainly on taxation and auditing. Decades after many of his peers had retired, Cerf was still teaching a taxation class to 60 Berkeley-Haas undergraduates last year.

Alan Cerf
Prof. Alan Cerf

Over the course of his Berkeley-Haas career, Cerf held prestigious positions and received several key honors. He served as chairman of the school’s Accounting Group from 1978 to 1982. Cerf was the first director of UC Berkeley’s San Francisco MBA Program, staffed by business school faculty. In 1984, he received the Faculty Excellence Award for Teaching and Research from the California CPA Foundation.

In April 2011, Cerf was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award for distinguished contributions to the Haas accounting program. “I figured out the other day that I’ve taught 13,440 students,” Cerf said at the event, held at the Claremont Hotel.

A strong believer that exercise was a key to a long, healthy life, Cerf was known for assigning a student to lead his classes in a quick round of calisthenics. It was that enthusiasm, energy, and enjoyment for teaching that impressed both students and the faculty.

Adj. Prof. Nora Silver, faculty director of the Center for Social Sector Leadership at Haas, recalled Cerf’s warmth toward her when she joined the school in 2003. “I was a new instructor down the hall from him and he never failed to stop and say hello,” she said. “He’d see me come in from exercising and he gave me an ‘Atta boy—you’ve got to take care of yourself.’ He was just so warm, encouraging and positive, and that just made a difference for me.”

“They were all students of Alan’s”

Prof. Xiao Jun Zhang, chair of the Accounting Group, who has been at Haas since 1998, called Cerf a true legend who taught generations of students with kindness and high teaching standards. Zhang recalled attending meetings of the Berkeley-Haas Center for Financial Reporting and Management with Cerf, who was surrounded by former students.

“What truly impressed me at these meetings was that there were senior partners who were retiring from one of the Big Four accounting firms along with Alan’s undergraduate students who were just entering the profession,” he said. “They were all students of Alan’s.”

During his decades at Berkeley, Cerf was at the forefront of many changes: In interviews, he noted the growth in the number of female students from a conspicuous few in class to many; the expansion of the business school from the College of Commerce during his undergraduate days; and the addition of new programs like the evening MBA, of which Cerf was the first director. In business education, Cerf saw a shift away from studying specialized areas such as accounting and marketing to a broader managerial approach to business education.

“An extraordinary lifetime of contribution”

For his 90th birthday, the Haas community surprised Cerf with a birthday party in the Wells Fargo Room. At the time, Dean Rich Lyons said: “This is an extraordinary lifetime of contribution not just to this institution but to so many people’s lives. He’s advanced the careers and made better lives for an awful lot of our students.”

Alumnus Paul Reshke, BS 82, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, credited Cerf with shifting the direction of his career 32 years ago. He had already landed a job at a big accounting firm when he decided to take Cerf’s tax class during senior year. “Little did I know that class would put a seed in my head, and within five months of starting I moved out of auditing and transferred to tax and ended up making it my career,” Reshke said.

Alan Cerf's surprise 90th birthday party at Haas.
Prof. Alan Cerf’s surprise 90th birthday party at Haas.

Cerf was born in 1924, to Arthur and Addie Zander Cerf in San Francisco. He graduated from George Washington High School in 1941. In 1944, he graduated from the UC Berkeley, earning his degree when the business school was called the College of Commerce and the dean was E.T. Grether.

Cerf served in the US Navy during World War II. When the war ended, Cerf returned to Harvard, where he earned his MBA in 1947. He then worked at an accounting firm and later at his father’s haberdashery. He received his PhD in economics from Stanford University in 1952.

Cerf and his wife, Lila, were married for almost 66 years. Lila was his soulmate, his “sweetheart,” the love of his life, according to the family.

“He was an affectionate father, rare for a man of his generation,” his son Bob Cerf said. “His children and grandchildren could see the love he had for them in his eyes and in his hugs. They could sense his love by the way he listened when he called to check in.”

Cerf was predeceased by his brother, Arthur Cerf MD, who also passed away at 93, as did their father, Arthur Cerf. Cerf is survived by his loving and devoted wife, Lila Spitzer Cerf, his sons Robert, Douglas, Jeffery, Richard, and daughter, Nancy. His grandchildren Elizabeth (Brett) Cerf Weliever, Robert (Rick) Cerf, Warren (Bart) Cerf, Jonathan (Jake) Cerf, Cody Cerf, Ryan Cerf, Emily Cerf, Natalie Cerf, Colbie Atlas, Brynn Atlas and Justin Atlas and his great-grandchildren Grady and Elizabeth (Blakely) Weliever and Elizabeth (Ellie) Cerf. Nieces and nephews Lawrence Cerf, Suzanne Cerf Colvin, Daniel Cerf; and grand-nephews Matt and Michael Colvin and Jordan, Bradley and Josh Cerf; and great-grand-nephews Lev and Shai Colvin.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Cerf’s memory to the Haas School of Business or to UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital.

Haas School of Business
Student Excellence and Support
1995 University Ave., Suite 400
Berkeley, CA 94704-1070

(Note: “In memory of Alan Cerf” in memo line)

Gifts can also be made online or by calling 510-643-9789.

UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals Foundation
P.O. Box 45339
San Francisco, CA 94145-0339

(Note: “In memory of Alan Cerf” in memo line)

Gifts can also be made online or by calling 877-499-UCSF.

The family is holding a celebration to honor Cerf’s life Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017 from 1:30-3:30pm at Sequoyah Country Club, 4550 Heafey Road in Oakland. The family welcomes all who would like to attend.

Memorial for Prof. Emeritus Joseph W. Garbarino, Feb. 20

Labor economist and industrial relations expert Joseph William Garbarino will be remembered on February 20 at at St. Jerome’s Catholic Church in El Cerrito, CA. He passed away on October 18, 2016, at the age of 96.

Garbarino joined the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley, in 1949 as an assistant professor at the School of Business Administration and as a research associate in the Institute of Industrial Relations.

He served 27 years as the director of the Institute of Business and Economic Research, retiring in 1988. Upon retirement, the university honored Garbarino with the Berkeley Citation for Distinguished Achievement and Notable Service.

Garbarino was an early leader in the field of industrial relations, studying wage and income policy, health economics, and faculty and professional unionism. His research found that industries with high wage growth also had high productivity growth, but that this relationship was stronger in heavily unionized industries.

Garbarino’s work also revealed that wage gains were greater in industries with more market power. These insights revealed how labor markets impact product markets.

Garbarino was best known among his peers for his work on faculty unionism, according to former colleagues.

“Joe appreciated the complex internal politics of employee representation,” says Prof. Jonathan Leonard, the George Quist Chair in Business Ethics at Berkeley-Haas. “He found that when faculty unionized, it was often as part of a wider bargaining unit which included a larger number of professional and administrative staff whose interests came to dominate the resulting bargaining.”

Leonard noted the “vision and prescience” that Garbarino showcased in his influential paper “Unionism Without Unions: The New Industrial Relations?”.

“This paper correctly predicted the continued decline of unions, both as a result of direct employer opposition but also because employees could increasingly enjoy many of the benefits of unionism without being represented by unions themselves,” Leonard said.

A San Francisco Chronicle obituary further details Garbarino’s lifetime and accomplishments.

Mortgage and Finance Expert Dwight Jaffee Passes Away

Real estate and finance professor Dwight M. Jaffee passed away peacefully on Thursday, January 28, 2016, in San Francisco, CA, at the age of 72.

He lived in Berkeley, CA.

Jaffee was the Willis Booth Professor of Banking, Finance, and Real Estate, and a member of the Finance Group at the Haas School of Business. He also served as co-chairman of the school’s Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics.

Since arriving at Berkeley-Haas in 1991, he established himself as a respected scholar in mortgage markets, banking, risk and catastrophe insurance, and international trade. Most recently, he testified in front of Congress and the SEC in hearings on Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and the recent banking and housing crisis.

“A major theme of Dwight’s research was the negative impact of federal government policies on the mortgage markets,” said Ken Rosen, chair of the Fisher Center, who with Jaffee authored an early paper published by the Brookings Institution that showed the adverse effect of interest rate ceilings on deposit flows to savings and loans. “More recently, Dwight advocated for the privatization of the residential mortgage market by suggesting mechanisms for winding down the role of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”

Jaffee also expressed those views in a 2010 opinion piece published in the Wall Street Journal.

“Dwight Jaffee was a world-class scholar who made profound contributions to our understanding of contracting under asymmetric information and issues related to the operation of the mortgage and insurance markets that are among the largest capital markets in the world,” said Professor Nancy Wallace, the Lisle and Roslyn Payne Chair in Real Estate Capital Markets and co-chair with Jaffee of the Fisher Center.

“Dwight had a razor-sharp intellect, which he applied with skill and grace in his efforts to affect the public policy debate on questions related to the causes of the financial crisis—which he had anticipated years before its onset,” added Wallace.

Jaffee was an advisor to many central banks throughout Europe. He was the author of more than seven books, including The Impact of Globalization in a High-Tech Economy, co-authored with Ashok Bardhan and Cynthia Kroll and published in 2003, and The Oxford Handbook of Offshoring and Global Employment, which he edited with Cynthia Kroll and Ashok Bardhan and which was published in 2013. He also authored 171 papers in the fields of money and banking, finance, and risk and catastrophe insurance.
“Dwight was instrumental to our school’s preeminence in real estate finance and blazed new trails in related areas as well—such as how markets can and should insure against the risk of catastrophes like earthquakes,” said Haas School Dean Rich Lyons. “On top of all this, he was cherished as a colleague and an all-around good guy.”
In the last few years, Jaffee also examined the role played by capital markets in explaining the collapse of private markets in catastrophe insurance. Following a catastrophic event, whether natural, such as an earthquake, or man-made, such as a terrorist attack, the insurance market needs access to large quantities of capital to pay out on potentially large losses.

Unwilling or unable to meet this requirement, many private insurers abandoned the catastrophe insurance line. Jaffee, in a number of papers, raised the question whether state and federal government play an appropriate role in supporting this market.
“Among his many academic talents, Dwight was a skilled and insightful applied econometrician. His individual warmth and vibrant personality combined to make him a terrific teacher and an even better friend,” said Dan Rubinfeld, the Robert L. Bridges Professor of Law and Professor of Economics at New York University’s School of Law and a faculty associate at the Fisher Center.
Throughout his career, Jaffee received many awards, including the 2007 Robert I. Mehr Award from the Journal of Risk and Insurance. He was an associate editor at Housing Finance Review, the Journal of Economic Perspectives, Journal of Finance, Journal of Monetary Economics, and the Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking.
In the early 1990s, he led a joint project between the Haas School of Business and the Graduate School of Management in St. Petersburg University, Russia, to establish the city’s first post-Soviet era school of business. Prior to joining Berkeley-Haas, Jaffee was a professor of economics at Princeton University from 1968 to 1990.
“One of his greatest passions was his mentorship of countless undergraduate and graduate students at both Berkeley and Princeton,” said his wife, Lynne LaMarca Heinrich, a lecturer and advisory board member of the Center for Social Sector Leadership at Berkeley-Haas. “It’s what led him to establish an endowed fund at MIT. Another was his vibrant and intellectual relationships with so many of his Berkeley colleagues. He claimed, to the end, that he had no remaining bucket list…that he’d accomplished what he had set out to do, and his life was full and meaningful.”
Jaffee’s passion for teaching was central to his life’s work. “I view teaching as a way to transmit research results to young people and maybe even create within them a great desire to understand and carry out their own research,” Jaffee once said in an interview with a Berkeley-Haas news writer. “I think there’s just no doubt the biggest legacy of the school is the students.” Jaffee was named one of the “World’s Best B-School Professors” by the website Poets & Quants in 2012.
“Dwight was instinctively accessible to colleagues and students for interaction and counsel. His advice was thoughtful and incisive,” says Professor Robert Edelstein, the Maurice Mann Chair in Real Estate and also co-chair with Jaffee of the Fisher Center. “On a personal level, he was gracious and jovial, with a wide smile and a kind word.”

Jaffee was born in Chicago, IL, on February 7, 1943, to Gertrude and Woodrow Jaffee. He received his BA (Phi Beta Kappa) from Northwestern University in 1964 and his Ph.D. in Economics from MIT in 1968. Besides his wife, Lynne, Jaffee is survived by his mother, Gertrude, of Boca Raton; his daughter, Elizabeth, known as Betsy, a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State; his son, Jonathan, Assistant Professor of Strategy, Law, & Organizations at the Drucker School of Management, Claremont Graduate University and Haas Ph.D. alumnus; and two grandchildren.
In addition to his academic pursuits, Dwight was known for his connoisseurship of fine wine, love of travel, hiking in the hills of Marin County, and loving friendships.
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that gifts be directed to the Dwight M. Jaffee (1968) Endowed Fund for Graduate Students at MIT, c/o Bonny Kellermann 72, MIT Director of Memorial Gifts, 600 Memorial Drive, Room W98-526, Cambridge, MA 02139, or

Jaffee’s memorial will be held on Sunday, March 13, 2016, at 3 p.m. at the University Club at California Memorial Stadium.

Please RSVP to Linda Algazzali at [email protected] by March 4, 2016.

Dwight Jaffee

Business education and university leader Earl F. Cheit dies at age 87

Earl F. Cheit, former executive vice chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, and dean and professor emeritus at the Haas School of Business, died of cancer at his home in Kensington, Calif., on Saturday, Aug. 2. He was 87.

Cheit, or “Budd,” as he was known by friends and colleagues, joined the business school in 1957 and stayed until retiring in 1991. While there, he served as dean twice (1976-82 and 1990-91) and presided over the school’s growth and modernization. He was a pioneer in the study and teaching of the impact of business on society.

Cheit held key roles at UC Berkeley, including as executive vice chancellor (1965-69), athletic director (1993-94) and trustee of the University of California Berkeley Foundation. He also served as vice president of financial and business management for the University of California system from 1981-82.

Cheit was born in Minneapolis in 1926 as the son of Russian immigrants and grew up in Hague, N.D. He was the first in his family to attend college and became a staunch advocate for higher education.

His academic writing included ground-breaking studies on the economic impact of and compensation for occupational injuries and social insurance. He wrote in the 1970s about the affordability concerns facing universities. He also noted the need to draw more women to management education and careers.

“The impact of Budd's contributions extends well beyond our school and campus. He sowed many seeds of our school's Institute for Business and Society, which helps for-profit and non-profit enterprises magnify their impact on society,” said Rich Lyons, dean of Berkeley-Haas.

“Budd influenced management education more broadly through his research and teaching on the role of business in society and the potential for markets to create a better world,” Lyons added. “We are deeply in his debt and will miss him dearly as a colleague and friend.”

A man of wide interests, Cheit began an association with Cal Performances and Zellerbach Hall during the hall’s construction in the 1960s. During this time, he created and chaired a board that developed a budget for the new facility. In 1996, he was elected founding chair of the Cal Performances Board of Trustees and remained an active member until his death.

Cal Performances Director Matías Tarnopolsky said that Cheit “had an incredible capacity to bring together the visionary and the practical, with his unabashed advocacy for quality and for the essential importance of the performing arts. His voice at Cal Performances’ board and committee meetings often would be the last heard, and importantly so – summing up the issues in an artistic, historical and economic context which simply made sense, and showed us all a clear path to the future. “

In 2010, Cheit received the Award of Distinction in the Performing Arts from the Cal Performances Board of Trustees.  

Cheit attended the University of Minnesota, where he earned his undergraduate Bachelor of Science in Law degree, a J.D. degree from the law school and a Ph.D. in economics. His thesis, “Incentive Effects of Workmen’s Compensation,” disproved a commonly held belief that higher compensation for workers injured on the job would result in “malingering” – employees remaining on worker’s compensation longer than necessary.

After practicing law and labor arbitration, in addition to teaching at the University of Minnesota, Cheit accepted an academic post with the Department of Economics at Saint Louis University.

In 1957, Cheit came to UC Berkeley’s Institute of Industrial Relations to head a three-year research project on occupational disability that was funded by the Ford Foundation. This research was captured in his seminal book “Injury and Recovery in the Course of Employment.”

Cheit’s work at the institute also led him to organize in 1964 one of the first multi-disciplinary academic conferences in the nation on business and society. It resulted in the book “The Business Establishment,” which Cheit edited.

After becoming a tenured professor at UC Berkeley, Cheit helped develop courses in the emerging area of the social and political environment of business. A recipient of the campus’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 1989, he also taught industrial relations, labor law and labor economics classes.

In 1964 at UC Berkeley, during the Free Speech Movement, Cheit was elected to the Emergency Executive Committee of the Academic Senate. The following year, he was appointed executive vice chancellor of the campus. In 1965, he also chaired the Wage Board of the California Industrial Welfare Commission.

While on sabbatical with the Carnegie Commission, Cheit studied the financial situation of 41 U.S. colleges, leading to his book “The New Depression in Higher Education” (1971), which made national headlines and resulted in a two-year follow-up study. He served from 1972–73 as the Ford Foundation’s program officer in charge of higher education.

In 1976, Cheit was named dean of UC Berkeley’s business school during a time of state funding cuts and campus enrollment cutbacks. To transition the school from an academic department to a professional school, he sought to increase the autonomy and standing of the school and to forge closer relationships with the business community, according to a book on the history of Berkeley-Haas written by Sandra Epstein that is due out early next year.

Cheit took first steps toward securing a new home for the business school, which was named for Walter A. Haas Sr., a 1910 graduate of the school and former president and chair of Levi Strauss & Co. In Cheit’s honor, the school named its teaching award the Earl F. Cheit Award for Excellence in Teaching and one of the building’s classroom wings Earl F. Cheit Hall.

Cheit was a family man and avid hiker who also loved the arts, music and sports. In addition to his roles over the years at the university, he served as a program manager for higher education and research at the Ford Foundation and was a Mills College trustee, chairman of Shaklee Corp., director of CNF Transportation Inc., director of Simpson Manufacturing Co. Inc., associate director of the Carnegie Council on Policy Studies in Higher Education and senior advisor for Asia-Pacific relations for The Asia Foundation.

He is survived by his wife of 63 years, June (Andrews) Cheit; four children, Danielle (Wendy) Cheit of Kensington, Calif., David Cheit of Davis, Calif., Ross Cheit of North Kingston, R.I., and Julie Ross of New York, N.Y.; and three grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Haas School of Business or to Cal Performances at UC Berkeley. A celebration of Cheit’s life will take place on campus this fall. A tribute in his memory will be held on Sunday, October 19, from 3:00 to 5:00 PM on the Faculty Glade and Club Lawn on the UC Berkeley campus. More details at

Cheit’s life and work also is captured in an oral history conducted by the Regional Oral History Office at UC Berkeley and available at the Bancroft Library.

Social Entrepreneur Priya Haji, MBA 03, Passes Away

Priya Haji

Haas alumna Priya Haji, MBA 03, the co-founder of Free at Last, World of Good, and SaveUp, passed away unexpectedly on Monday, July 14. She was 44.

Born in Detroit, Haji earned a bachelor’s degree in religious studies and pre-med at Stanford. After earning her MBA at Berkeley-Haas, she pursued her vision of improving economic opportunity and equality by co-founding three companies.

Free at Last is a national model program for substance abuse treatment and HIV/AIDS intervention in the African American and Latino communities. Under Haji’s leadership, the company served 3,000 people per year in East Palo Alto and raised more than $20M in special investments.

World of Good, a retail marketplace and wholesaler of sustainable and fair trade products, improved the lives of thousands of women artisans in 55 countries. It was acquired by eBay in 2010.

SaveUp, where Haji was serving as CEO at the time of her death, is the nation’s first rewards game for saving money and reducing debt.

Haji fully embodied the Haas School’s Defining Principles, especially Beyond Yourself as she was a consistent contributor to the Haas community. Haji shared her wisdom and insight at various events, most recently by delivering a keynote address at the Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) in April 2014. Haji won the GSVC competition in 2005 with her startup World of Good. She also inspired students and served as a mentor for the Young Entrepreneurs at Haas (YEAH) program.

“Like many other Berkeley MBAs in the past decade, I was so inspired by Priya’s vision and leadership,” says Ellen Martin, MBA 07, who met Haji when she served as her Berkeley Board Fellow for World of Good. “She really pushed us all to approach entrepreneurship—not just social entrepreneurship—in an entirely different way. We owe her a huge debt of gratitude for that.”

Haji’s honors include being named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum; a Social Innovation Leadership Award by the World CSR Congress, a non-profit organization whose annual conference celebrates corporate social responsibility; and inclusion in GOOD magazine’s GOOD 100, a list of people driving change in their communities in creative and inspiring ways.

“Priya was such a vibrant force in life—undaunted by challenges, willing to give voice and energy to her ideals and vision,” says Haas Lecturer John Danner, who taught Haji in his “Workshop for Startups” class where she co-developed World of Good. “What a profound loss first to her family but to all of us as well who were touched by her example.”

Haji is survived by two young children: a two-and-a-half-year-old son, Zen, and an 11-month-old daughter, Omi; her parents, Karim and Asha Haji; and a sister, Amina.

A celebration of her life will be held at Haas in the coming weeks. Details will be published as they become available. Friends are encouraged to share memories on a Facebook memorial page:

The Priya Haji Memorial Fund has been established to honor her inspiring life and will support an MBA student focused on entrepreneurship and social innovation. Donate at

Travel Industry Leader Ralph Bahna, MBA 65, Passes Away

Ralph Bahna

Haas alumnus Ralph Bahna, MBA 65, founder of the Club Quarters business hotel chain and longtime chairman of, passed away Monday, Feb. 24. He was 71.

Born in Grand Rapids, Mich., Bahna attended the University of Michigan, where he was a Big Ten wrestling champion for the Wolverines. After earning his MBA at Berkeley’s business school, Bahna went on to drive countless innovations in the travel industry.

Bahna was credited with helping to turn Trans World Airlines (TWA) around by inventing business class while still in his 20s. He then led a turnaround as CEO at Cunard Line in the 1980s and in 1993 founded Club Quarters, private, city-center hotels, which he led until his death. Bahna also was a founding investor in, the “name your own price” travel booking engine, which he had served as board chairman since 2004.

In August 2012, Bahna shared his “secret sauce” for leading change in a rare talk with Berkeley MBA students, building on his work with Dean Rich Lyons on the school’s innovative leader curriculum. Bahna spoke on the difference between “thinkers” and “transactors” and described how to become a “thinker” to solve problems and transform organizations.

“If a person can add another half hour or an hour in a week [to thinking], their power increases immensely,” said Bahna, who had spoken only one other time publicly in the last 20 years.

His recipe for success included the ability to boil down a challenge or course of action very concisely, sales skills to convince others to implement a solution, and determination and tenacity. He noted, for instance, how his efforts to successfully create the predecessor to business class travel at TWA in the late 1970s required him to rewrite a proposal more than 20 times.

Bahna, a member of the Haas School Board, was a generous supporter of Berkeley-Haas as well as the University of Michigan wrestling program. He served on the boards of the King and Low Heywood Thomas Schools and was active in the Young Presidents’ Organization. He supported Columbia New York Presbyterian’s atrial fibrillation research and served on its heart steering committee. He also was involved in developing the Center for Integrative Medicine & Wellness at Stamford Hospital in Stamford, Conn., where he lived.

Bahna is survived by his wife, Dorothy Ballard Bahna; two daughters and a son; and eight grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 4, in St. Cecilia’s Church, 1184 Newfield Avenue, Stamford, Conn. Interment will be private. The family will receive friends from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday March 3, at the Hoyt Funeral Home, 199 Main St, New Canaan, Conn. For online condolences and directions, visit

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Bahna Fund for Electrophysiology/ New York- Presbyterian Fund, Inc. c/o Adele Conner, Office of Development, New York Presbyterian Hospital, 654 West 170th St., NY, NY 10032.

Read an interview with Bahna in the Fall 2012 issue of BerkeleyHaas magazine.

Accounting Prof. Emeritus John Wheeler Passes Away

Accounting Professor Emeritus John T. Wheeler, whose thought leadership in accounting education contributed to the development of management sciences and computer-based business games at UC Berkeley’s School of Business Administration in the 1960s, died Oct. 21 in Oakland, Calif. He was 92.

Wheeler was born in Minneapolis, Minn., and earned his PhD in industrial economics at MIT in 1947. He began his academic career teaching at the University of Minnesota before coming to UC Berkeley in 1954 as a professor of business administration, teaching managerial accounting.

His arrival in Berkeley coincided with a time when business education was gaining popularity at university campuses. In 1947, the Ford Foundation took a particular interest in business education, which the foundation believed was held in low esteem for its lack of scholarship and advanced study, and granted $28 million to five private business schools so they would serve as successful models.

Wheeler evaluated these programs in 1956 and later said, “The purpose of the major institutional grants was to establish centers of excellence which would become standards for developments in other institutions and from which new faculty, research results, and teaching materials would emanate and be spread throughout the schools of business.”

In subsequent rounds, Berkeley’s business school received significant foundation grants to support its faculty research and academic development, including a program of economic advising with the Indonesia Ministry of Finance and of teaching Indonesian students at Berkeley, who later became known as the Berkeley Mafia.

Wheeler also played a role in UC Berkeley's early interest in computers and business games. In November 1958, he introduced the concept of computer-based business games and simulation exercises as a basic teaching technique for graduate business education.  Initially the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory in the Berkeley hills housed the IBM 650 for four teaching programs. Within three years more than 200 undergraduate and graduate students participated in the all-day sessions, held on Saturdays because of the lack of available facilities on the campus.

Wheeler's teaching and research focused on preparing business students for the accounting profession. He studied accountants’ personality types and their roles within organization management.  Wheeler co-authored the book Competition and Its Regulation (1954) and wrote the chapter “Accounting and Economics” in the Handbook of Modern Accounting Theory by Morton Backer (1955).

Former General Motors Vice-Chairman Bob Lutz, BS 61, MBA 62, worked closely with Wheeler for one year as his research associate at the Institut pour l’Etude des Methodes de Direction de l’Entreprise (IMEDE, now IMD) in Lausanne, Switzerland.

"Professor Wheeler was at the vanguard of modern business education. I will always be grateful for the special attention he gave me," says Lutz. "His teaching and coaching contributed greatly to my successful business career. We will all miss him."

Between 1966 and 1968, Wheeler served as chairman of the Center for Research in Management Sciences, dedicated to applying economics and sociological analysis to business disciplines. Wheeler also served as associate dean for academic affairs (1969 to 1971), chairman of the Accounting Group and director of the Professional Accounting Program (1974 to 1978), and director of Summer Sessions.

From 1968 to 1969, Wheeler held the position of director of the school’s PhD program.  “John Wheeler was one of the earliest chairs of the business school’s doctoral program. He led and expanded the program with energy and balanced judgment,” recalls Haas Professor Emeritus Thomas Marschak.  "When he headed the Center for Research in Management Science, it sponsored a variety of research projects. Some of them generated papers that were quite fundamental and became classics.”

Wheeler retired in June 1991.

Accounting Professor Emeritus Alan Cerf recalls, “John was a devoted faculty member of the business school.  He exerted much energy in course development. He was active in development of a beginning MBA core course which attempted to integrate economics, accounting, and finance.”

Wheeler is survived by his wife, Beatrice; four children, Ginny, James, Mary, Robert; three grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. The family plans to hold a private memorial service.


Professor Emeritus John T. Wheeler

Entrepreneur Hansoo Lee, MBA 10, Founder of Magoosh, Passes Away

Alumnus and entrepreneur Hansoo Lee, MBA 10, passed away March 4 after a 15-month battle with lung cancer. A memorial for Lee was held today in San Francisco, and classmates are currently setting up an entrepreneurship fellowship in his name.

Lee came to Berkeley-Haas knowing that he wanted to pursue a career in entrepreneurship. Once here, he encouraged prospective students to do the same by graciously participating in a Lester Center promotional video highlighting the entrepreneurial spirit at Berkeley-Haas.

During his time at Berkeley-Haas he co-founded Magoosh, an online education company focused on providing everyone with fun, convenient, effective ways to learn. Under Lee’s leadership, Magoosh grew from a business school idea to a funded, cash-flow-positive business that has helped thousands of students improve their test scores.

Magoosh went on to win second place in the Intel+UC Berkeley Technology Entrepreneurship Challenge in 2010.

“Hansoo was a visionary, a leader, and an integral part of the Haas community,” said Magoosh co-founder Bhavin Parikh, also MBA 10. “He had a pronounced impact on those around him, pushing them to make a tangible difference in the world.”

As a way to honor his memory, Parikh is joining with classmate Pejman Pour-Moezzi, MBA 10, and Lee’s fiancée, Wendy Lim, to create the Hansoo Lee Fellowship for Entrepreneurs. The fellowship will be awarded annually to support a first-year full-time Berkeley MBA student focused on pursuing an entrepreneurial venture. More information about how to donate to the fellowship will be available in the coming weeks.

To share a memory about Lee, visit

To give to the Hansoo Lee Fellowship for Entrepreneurs, visit

Longtime Berkeley-Haas Benefactor Tom Clausen, Former Chief of Bank of America and the World Bank, Passes Away

Former Bank of America and World Bank chief A.W. “Tom” Clausen, a longtime Berkeley-Haas benefactor, passed away Monday from complications from pneumonia, according to media reports. He was 89.

Clausen was a staunch Haas supporter for almost three decades. In 1995, Clausen and his late wife Peggy generously funded the business school’s Clausen Center for International Business and Policy. The Clausen Center was created to support the business school’s international focus by providing research grants to faculty, hosting international visitors, and sponsoring conferences and student-initiated seminars.

“Tom was a remarkable leader on the global stage whose insights have enriched our Haas community tremendously,” says Dean Rich Lyons. “He recognized and embraced early on the globalization of business and the power of public-private partnerships to implement change. He will be sorely missed.”

Clausen began his career working at Bank of America as a part-time bank vault clerk while waiting for his bar exam results. He ended up moving to a full-time position and worked his way up to chairman and CEO in 1970 at age 46. Under his leadership, Bank of America grew into the largest commercial bank in the country.

Clausen left Bank of America in 1981 to become CEO of the World Bank for five years, and then returned to pull Bank of America out of a financial crisis. During the next four years at the bank’s helm, he pulled its books out of the red and brought net earnings to $1.1 billion in his last full year as CEO.

Haas awarded Clausen its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005, when he was also featured in a profile in the school’s CalBusiness magazine. Following is the 2005 CalBusiness article by Thomas York:

The Haas School Honors former Bank of America and World Bank Chief A.W. “Tom” Clausen with its Lifetime Achievement Award

As a child in the 1930s, A.W. “Tom” Clausen sat with his Norwegian-born father and grandfather in front of the family radio each night after dinner to hear news about the rise of Hitler in Europe and the war in China. He listened well into the evening while the two older men discussed the grim events that plagued the planet.

This was Clausen’s first taste of internationalism—the idea that the world’s nations become increasingly interdependent with each passing day. “Hearing about Europe, about the invasion of China by Japan, and about the world experiences of my father and grandfather hooked me on the international side of things at a young age,” said Clausen. He has stayed true to this international perspective over the course of a four-decade career highlighted by stints as chairman and CEO of Bank of America, and a term as president of The World Bank.

In October 2004, the Haas School of Business named the 81-year-old Clausen its Lifetime Achievement Award winner in recognition of his private- and public-sector leadership in domestic economic affairs and the global economy. “Tom Clausen is a singular figure in the history of the banking industry, having long played a role on the world stage of international business and economic development,” said Dean Tom Campbell. “He has a world view in all he does, but has never lost sight of the individual, especially those in need.”

The lifetime achievement recognition is well deserved, according to long-time BofA Executive Barbara J. Desoer, MBA 77, and Haas School Advisory Board member. “Clausen’s global perspective is even more critical today than in the past, given the growing importance of emerging economies around the world,” said Desoer, who was Clausen’s executive assistant in the late 80s. “And, he’s always willing to share his experience and knowledge to help others resolve an issue or challenge.”

After graduating from Carthage College in 1944, Clausen earned a law degree from the University of Minnesota. While waiting for the results of his bar exam, he took a part-time job as a bank vault clerk at Bank of America’s Los Angeles main branch. “This was well before the cashless society,” Clausen mused of his first job. “Trucks would back up to the cash vault and dump currency all over the floor. Then us gofers would sort it all out.”

Clausen soon joined the bank full-time, and began his rise through the ranks. He became chairman and CEO at age 46 in 1970. Under his leadership, Bank of America emerged as the largest commercial bank in the country, with assets that grew from $25 to $120 billion, and financial interests in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and South America.

In 1981, Clausen retired from Bank of America and headed off to run The World Bank as CEO. Once there, he discovered that getting things done in the scrutinized glare of the public sector was far more difficult than in the private sector. He recalled criticism he received for ordering the purchase of 50 trucks to haul food supplies during a devastating famine in Ethiopia. The world’s nations had responded generously to appeals for food supplies, he said, but Ethiopia didn’t have the means to move the food from ports to its parched interior where millions were starving. Critics thought the bank should be focused on improving infrastructure not purchasing mundane items like trucks. “They needed our help, and this was the best way to help,” said Clausen. “It didn’t make sense to leave food rotting on the docks.”

When his term at the World Bank was winding down, BankAmerica’s board came calling. The directors asked Clausen to return to the bank, which had plunged into financial crisis. More than $16 billion in overseas loans had gone sour, and rival First Interstate Bank was threatening a hostile takeover.

Clausen took on the challenge, recruiting new managers and, over a period of four years, reducing spending as well as restructuring the bank’s troubled loan portfolio. In the process, he transformed a sea of red ink into black. In his last full year as CEO, the bank reported $1.1 billion in net earnings.

“Clausen has been a rock of stability and a beacon of inspiration for the international financial community,” says Andy Rose, professor and director of the Clausen Center for International Business and Policy. “His leadership at both the Bank of America and the World Bank makes him one of those rare leaders who has demonstrated truly outstanding abilities in both the private and public sectors.”

Though now retired for more than 14 years, the energetic octogenarian keeps regular hours at his old haunt, San Francisco’s Bank of America building on California Street. He keeps his global perspective honed through work with with the Bretton Woods Committee, the Korea-US Wisemen’s Council, and the Japan Foundation’s Center for Global Partnership. He also participates in such influential economic and social organizations as the World Affairs Council of Northern California and the Asia Foundation.

Clausen has been a staunch Haas supporter since the late 1980’s, when he and his late wife Peggy generously funded the Clausen Center for International Business and Policy. In addition to his important contributions to Haas, Clausen has funded the A.W. Clausen Center for World Business at his alma mater, Carthage College, and has also endowed two distinguished professorships at the University of California, San Francisco.

Sebastian Teunissen, executive director of the Clausen Center at the Haas School, said Clausen closely follows the center’s activities and is eager to add his input. “He attends many of our conferences and lends his support wherever he can,” said Teunissen. “He suggests speakers and puts us in touch with people that he knows — and he knows a lot of important people in business and politics.”

Clausen believes that a global perspective is far more important today than yesterday! “You can’t resist internationalism,” he said. “You’d better get with it. You’d better know it. Because you’re going to have to live with it — even more so tomorrow than today.”

Professor Emeritus Michael Conant Passes Away

Michael Conant Professor Emeritus Michael Conant, a Haas faculty member for more than three decades whose research spanned the fields of law and economics, passed away at his Kensington home Dec. 7. He was 88 years old.

Born Misha Cohen in Peoria, Ill., on Aug. 9, 1924, Conant served in the U. S. Army during World War II and then attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, earning a BS degree in economics.  From there he attended the University of Chicago, where he earned a doctor of philosophy degree in economics, with Nobel laureate Milton Friedman serving as one of his PhD examiners.  At the suggestion of his girlfriend, Helene Mandel, Conant stayed on at the University of Chicago to earn a doctorate of law (JD).

In 1948, Conant and Mandel, an accomplished violist, married and remained together until Mandel’s death in 2010.  They lived for three years in the Hyde Park district of Chicago while Conant worked at a private law firm. In 1954, Conant joined the faculty of UC Berkeley’s business school. He was known for his excellence as a teacher and his expertise in antitrust economics, law, and economic regulation.

Conant continued his scholarly endeavors after his retirement in 1991, continuing to publish numerous journal articles and several highly respected books.  His 2008 book The Constitution and Economic Regulation: Objective Theory and Critical Commentary was well-received by scholars in the field.

Conant is survived by his sister, Anita Segalman of Northridge, Calif; many members of his extended family; and numerous good friends and colleagues. Friends and colleagues are invited to attend a memorial service Sunday, Dec. 16, at 2 p.m. at the home of Dan Segalman, Conant’s nephew. Please RSVP to Ruth Ancheta, Conant’s niece, with the number of people in the party: [email protected], (262) 893-7561.

Management Consultant and Alumnus Peter Kontes, MBA 74, passes away

Peter KontesPeter Kontes, MBA 74, principal of Greenwich Advisory Group and co-founder and former CEO of Marakon Associates, has passed away at the age of 65.

Kontes, an expert in maximizing company value and shareholder returns, wrote two books, The Value Imperative (1994) and The CEO, Strategy, and Shareholder Value (2010). He served as an executive-in-residence and distinguished faculty fellow at the Yale Graduate School of Management.

Kontes spent his early career working as vice president at Wells Fargo Bank and as assistant vice president at Bank of America, both in San Francisco. In 1978, he co-founded Marakon Associates, a management consulting firm in which he played a leadership role until he retired in 2003. During his time at Marakon, Kontes was an advisor to CEOs of more than 30 large corporations in the U.S. and Europe.

Kontes is survived by his parents, two sons, and a brother.

Warren Hellman, Haas Board Member and San Francisco Financier, Passes Away

Warren Hellman - at the tenth annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival
Warren Hellman plays his banjo at the tenth annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival

Longtime Berkeley-Haas benefactor Warren Hellman, BA 55, a successful financier and San Francisco power broker, passed away Sunday evening from complications from Leukemia treatment. He was 77.

Hellman was a member of the Haas Board, which advises the dean, since 1987 and gave generously to both the Haas School and UC Berkeley. Last year the Haas School awarded Hellman with its Lifetime Achievement Award to recognize his countless accomplishments in finance and wide-ranging philanthropic activities, from the San Francisco Bluegrass Festival to The Bay Citizen. In 2006, the Haas School’s Lester Center for Entrepreneurship awarded Hellman its Lifetime of Achievement in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Award.

“Warren was a man of great humility and an unbridled zest for life,” Dean Rich Lyons said. “He was a friend and a trusted adviser to me and many deans before me. For the past 25 years, he has lent an invisible guiding hand to many Berkeley-Haas initiatives to help us do what is right, what is best, and what is bold. We will miss him dearly.”

Born into a banking family, Hellman triple-majored in economics, political science, and history while playing varsity water polo at UC Berkeley. After graduation, Hellman served in the Army and earned an MBA at his father’s alma mater, Harvard Business School. He said his family connections helped him get his first post-MBA job at Lehman Brothers. But he quickly proved himself and became the firm’s youngest partner at the age of 26. By 36, he was president.

Eventually turned off by the cut-throat culture at Lehman, Hellman left investment banking and in 1976 co-founded a venture capital firm in Boston now called Matrix Partners.

With his roots in the Bay Area calling him back, Hellman returned to San Francisco and co-founded the private equity firm, Hellman & Friedman in 1984. He stepped down as chairman in 2010 but remained on the firm’s investment committee. The firm’s biggest investment successes included advertising firm Young & Rubicom and Internet advertising firm Doubleclick.

Concerned about the dearth of local news amid newspaper layoffs, Hellman provided $5 million in seed money to found The Bay Citizen last year. The online news website has partnered with UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and the New York Times, which publishes Bay Citizen articles twice a week in a Bay Area section.

But Hellman’s contributions to UC extend far beyond The Bay Citizen. In 2004, he joined three partners to endow Cal’s aquatics program, including water polo. In 1994, Hellman and his family gave a $5 million gift to create the Hellman Fellows Program, which has supported the research of more than 200 junior faculty.

Hellman also supported the San Francisco Foundation, which funds such causes as park cleanups and housing for the poor, and the San Francisco Free Clinic, which serves indigent people and was founded by Hellman’s doctor daughter, Patricia Hellman Gibbs.

In the Bay Area, however, Hellman was probably best known for the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, which he bankrolled for more than 10 years. Since Hellman started the festival with 12 bands and 13,000 people at Golden Gate Park, it has exploded into a free, three-day event that attracts 750,000 people to hear 80 bands, including Hellman’s bluegrass band, The Wronglers.

In 2006, when Hellman received his lifetime achievement award from the Haas School’s Lester Center, he downplayed his generosity. “What people don’t realize is that this is so damn selfish,” Hellman said of the bluegrass festival. “People keep saying thank you, thank you, and that’s nice, but I feel like I ought to be saying thank you, thank you, for liking this music and for coming.”

Hellman is survived by his wife, Patricia Christina Sander Hellman; four children; 12 grandchildren; and one great grandchild.

A memorial service will be held Wednesday, Dec. 21, at Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco, and will be followed within a few weeks by a community celebration of Hellman’s life, according to The Bay Citizen. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the San Francisco Free Clinic, The Bay Citizen, and the San Francisco School Alliance.

Read about Warren Hellman in CalBusiness.

(Photos by Robert Houser)