William Meckling, dean emeritus of the Simon School, died May 15 at his home in Rancho Sante Fe, Calif., after an extended illness. He was 76.
Meckling retired as dean and James E. Gleason Distinguished Research Scholar in Management and Government Policy in 1983, and moved with his wife from Rochester to California.
As second dean from 1964 to 1983, Meckling led the school from a small evening and undergraduate school to a graduate institution of national stature. Meckling began to build aninfluential faculty, some of whom still teach at the Simon School, and he initiated many of the school's fundamental components, among them the Ph.D. Program in Business Administration and the Executive Development Program. Under his leadership, the School first earned accreditation for the MBA program and became a member of the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, enhancing educational opportunities for minorities.
During his tenure as dean, Meckling also established the School's Center for Research in Government Policy and Business (now known as the Bradley Policy Research Center), which provides a public forum for continued critical examination and appraisal of a variety of public policy issues.
"More than any single individual, Bill Meckling was responsible for defining the character of this institution," said Charles Plosser, Simon School dean. "Bill was a friend and intellectual mentor to many, and he will be deeply missed."
Jerold Zimmerman, Simon School professor of accounting and Alumni Distinguished Professor, called Meckling "the consummate scholar who was constantly probing and questioning, and always stimulating each of us to produce the best work possible. He created an exciting, vibrant intellectual environment where each faculty member was encouraged to interact and create knowledge."
Meckling had research interests in the areas of managerial economics and the economic analysis of law, and his work received international recognition.
Meckling earned his bachelor's degree from Westminster College in 1942, which also awarded him an honorary doctor of science degree in 1978. He earned his MBA from the University of Denver, did graduate work in economics at the University of Chicago, and received an honorary doctor of social science degree from Francisco Marroquin University in Guatemala in 1980.
In addition to his wife, Rebecca, Meckling is survived by his sons, a daughter, a brother, sisters, grandchildren, and nieces and nephews.
Prior to his death, Meckling expressed the wish that any gifts in his memory be made to the Simon School.
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