UC Berkeley News


Obituaries:Dow Votaw, Charles West Churchman, Frances Brown

08 April 2004

Dow Votaw
Dow Votaw, a former dean and professor emeritus of Berkeley’s Haas School of Business who was known for his groundbreaking work on corporations and social responsibility, died of heart failure at his home in La Selva Beach on Monday, March 29, at the age of 83.

With Earl F. Cheit, also a former dean of the Haas School, Votaw in 1959 began teaching a course on the political, legal, and social environment of business. Their work laid the foundation for the emergence of the Business and Public Policy Group at the Haas School.

He was the author, co-author or editor of five highly regarded books about business and public policy: Modern Corporations (1964); The Six-Legged Dog, Mattei and ENI: A Study in Power (1964); Legal Aspects of Business Administration (1969), a widely used text; and The Corporate Dilemma (1978).

Votaw grew up in Colorado Springs, Colo., and graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in political science and economics from Colorado College in 1941; in 1943 he earned an M.B.A. with distinction from Harvard University. Votaw also earned a law degree from Harvard Law School in 1948; he was a member of the State Bar of California and the American Bar Association.

Appointed to Berkeley’s business school as an instructor in 1948, Votaw became a full professor in 1959. He served as associate dean for nine years, acting dean for two years, and chair of the school’s Business and Public Policy Group from 1972 to 1980.

In the late 1960s, the Academic Senate appointed Votaw chair of the Committee on Budget and Interdepartmental Relations. He was presented with the Earl F. Cheit Outstanding Teacher Award in 1982 and the Berkeley Citation, one of the campus’s highest honors, upon his retirement in 1985.

His wife, Marian, predeceased him in January 2003. He is survived by his daughter, Tory, and son-in-law Richard Beale of La Selva Beach, and two grandchildren. Funeral services were private. Contributions can be made in Votaw’s memory to Amnesty International or The Nature Conservancy.
—Kathleen Maclay

Charles West Churchman
Charles West Churchman, a professor emeritus at the Haas School of Business, died Sunday, March 21, at the age of 90, of complications from Parkinson’s disease.

During a career spanning six decades, Churchman investigated a vast range of topics, such as accounting, research and development management, city planning, education, mental health, space exploration, education, and peace and conflict studies.

Andrew Shogan, associate dean and professor at the Haas School, said that Churchman is among a handful of persons widely regarded as a “founding father” of the field of knowledge known as management science, operations research, or decision sciences. The field uses mathematical models to gain insights into a diverse set of decision problems arising in business, industry, and government.

Churchman’s wife, Gloria, said the primary focus of her husband’s work was to emphasize the ethical aspects of management science.

Churchman, who had degrees in philosophy and symbolic logic, joined the School of Business Administration at Berkeley in 1958 and initiated master’s and doctoral programs in operations research. He also helped found the Center for Research in Management Science.

He taught such courses as the philosophy of systems science, introduction to ethics, and value assumptions of planning and systems design. Churchman also co-authored the first operations research text, Introduction to Operations Research, in 1957. The dozen books he wrote include The Systems Approach and Its Enemies (1979), The Design of Inquiring Systems (1971), Challenge to Reason (1968), and Prediction and Optimal Decision (1961).

From 1964 to 1970, Churchman was appointed associate director and research philosopher at Berkeley’s Space Sciences Laboratory, directing its social sciences program.

After his retirement in 1981, Churchman taught peace and ethics in the Berkeley’s peace and conflict studies program for 13 years. He received the Berkeley Citation, one of the university’s highest awards, in 1983.

Her husband’s work was his life, Gloria Churchman said, but he also enjoyed growing roses and listening to classical music.

In addition to his wife, Churchman is survived by his son, Josh Wharton Churchman of Bolinas, and two grandchildren. Funeral services will be private. A public memorial service will be announced later.

Memorial contributions may be sent to the Parkinson’s Institute, 1170 Morse Ave., Sunnyvale, CA 94089-1605.
— Kathleen Maclay

Frances Brown
Frances Yvonne Brown, a career staff member in the Library, passed away on March 4 at the age of 59 after a long illness. She will be long remembered as a caring friend by her library colleagues.

Brown began her career in the library in 1972, working in the Biology Library circulation department. In her 32 years in the campus library system, she also worked in the Moffitt Undergraduate Library, the Doe Library circulation department, the Earth Sciences Library, the Physics Library, and most recently in the library’s technical services department.

Her last position was as a cataloger in the Monographic Processing and Cataloging Division of Technical Services, cataloging English and Western European materials.

Brown loved to travel, and served as Queen Bathsheba of the international Eastern Star. She is survived by her husband, Andrew, and children April and Anthony. She also has four grandchildren.
—Lee Leighton, The Library