Robert H. Strotz

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Robert Henry Strotz
Born(1922-09-26)September 26, 1922
DiedNovember 4, 1994(1994-11-04) (aged 72)
Known for13th President of Northwestern University
Spouse(s)Margaret Hanley Strotz
Academic background
Alma materUniversity of Chicago
Thesis"Some Problems in the Pure Theory of Income Redistribution : A Study in Welfare Economics"[1] (1951)
Doctoral advisorTjalling Koopmans
Academic work
InstitutionsNorthwestern University
Main interestsEconometrics

Robert Henry Strotz (September 26, 1922 – November 9, 1994) was an American economist who served as the 13th President of Northwestern University from 1970 to 1984. During his tenure, Northwestern grew in terms of faculty and student, "made capital improvements of more than $142 million",[2] and doubled the value of the school's endowment.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Strotz was born in Aurora, Illinois, and attended Duke University for two years before transferring to the University of Chicago, where he earned his B.A. in economics in 1942.[3] During World War II he put his studies on hold and served in the European theater for three years in the Army's intelligence unit, including a stint as an economist-statistician in Berlin, where he "estimated necessary food imports to feed the German population".[3]


Strotz joined the Northwestern University economics department as an instructor in 1947. He returned to the University of Chicago to pursue a Ph.D. in economics, which he earned in 1951 for his dissertation was on welfare economics under future Nobel Prize–winning economist Tjalling Koopmans.[1] After earning his Ph.D., he taught for a short stint at the University of Illinois at Chicago–Navy Pier, which opened in 1946 to serve World War II veterans on the G.I. Bill.[4]

Strotz, whose specialty was econometrics, remained in Europe after the war, using a Rockefeller Fellowship grant to study at major centers of econometric research in the Netherlands, England, and Sweden in 1955 and 1956. He was a visiting professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1958 and 1959.

Outside of his university career, Strotz was an editor of Econometrica, International Economic Review, and Economic Analysis.[2] He also served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago as well as director of six publicly traded companies including USG Corporation and the National Merit Scholarship Program.[3]

Northwestern University[edit]

Strotz was promoted to full professor by 1958, and served as Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences from 1966 to 1970.

In 1970, Strotz was named President of Northwestern. He assumed the office after it was vacated 15 months earlier by his predecessor, J. Roscoe Miller, in the midst of intense campus protests.[5][6] While Strotz's appointment was opposed by the Daily Northwestern and Associated Student Government president owing to his positions opposing the closure of campus during a strike and politicization of university classes, he was supported by the faculty.[5][7][8]

Strotz served in the position until 1984 and was succeeded by Arnold R. Weber. Following his presidency, Strotz was appointed university chancellor and led fundraising and alumni relations efforts until 1990.

Personal life[edit]

Strotz died in a nursing home in Deerfield, Illinois, on November 9, 1994. He had four daughters, one son, and thirteen grandchildren.[2]


  1. ^ a b "Robert Henry Strotz". Mathematics Genealogy Project. North Dakota State University. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Saxon, Wolfgang (November 12, 1994). "Dr. Robert Henry Strotz, 72, Chief of Northwestern University". The New York Times. p. 29.
  3. ^ a b c d "The Presidents of Northwestern: Robert Henry Strotz". Northwestern University Archives. 9 September 2009. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  4. ^ Grossman, Ron (8 July 2016). "University of Illinois at Navy Pier opened in 1946 to serve WWII veterans". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  5. ^ a b Thompson, David (July 16, 1970). "Proposed as N. U. President; O. K. Expected of Dean Strotz". Chicago Tribune. p. 1.
  6. ^ Thompson, David. "Strotz is Named N.U. President". Chicago Tribune. p. 1.
  7. ^ "Two Students Fight Strotz as N.U. Chief". Chicago Tribune. July 18, 1970. p. 84.
  8. ^ "N.U. Faculty Backs Strotz". Chicago Tribune. July 19, 1970. p. 3.