Posted by: tristar3research | February 19, 2009

The Passing of a Great Professor-Boris Yavitz

I received this sad news this week from Columbia Business School Dean Hubbard about an outstanding professor of mine from my CBS days of 85-87- the death of one of my favorite professors there.

Learning is a life-long journey

Learning is a life-long journey

Dear Alumni: It is with great sadness that I report the passing of Boris Yavitz, PhD ’64, the Paul Garrett Professor Emeritus of Public Policy and Business Responsibility and dean of Columbia Business School from 1975 to 1982. Born in Russia and educated in Palestine, England, and the United States, Professor Yavitz served as a lieutenant in the British Royal Navy and built a long and storied career at Columbia Business School. After graduating from Cambridge University with a degree in mechanical engineering, he earned his master’s in industrial engineering from Columbia’s School of Engineering and Applied Science and a PhD from Columbia Business School in 1964, after which he joined our faculty. As an experienced entrepreneur who built a successful land-development and investment business before launching his academic career, Professor Yavitz demonstrated more than 50 years ago the value of bridging academic theory and real-world experience.

Boris was also no slouch at the Federal Reserve and wrote consistently about the economic multiplier effects of large public policy program like NASA in the 60’s which dramatically improved US science leadership in meteorology, climate measurement, and distant earth analysis. Here’s a reference. He was also critical of bad corporate governance and the lack of truly independent board members when few paid attention to the problem pre-Enron et al.

Professor Yavitz also served as a director and deputy chairman of the New York Federal Reserve from 1977 to 1982, and as a director on several boards of major companies. For more information on the memorial arrangements, including the family’s requested donations to the Dr. BorisYavitz Scholarship Fund at Columbia Business School, please visit http://www.gsb.columbia.edu/cfmx/web/alumni/inmemoriam.cfm.

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