W. Allen Wallis

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W. Allen Wallis
6th President of the University of Rochester
In office
Preceded by Cornelis W. de Kiewiet
Succeeded by Robert L. Sproull
Personal details
Born (1912-11-05)November 5, 1912
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died October 12, 1998(1998-10-12) (aged 85)
Rochester, New York
Nationality American
Spouse(s) Anne Armstrong
Children Nancy Wallis Ingling
Virginia Wallis Cates
Parents Wilson Dallam Wallis, Grace Steele Allen
Alma mater University of Minnesota, University of Chicago
Profession Administrator

Wilson Allen Wallis (November 5, 1912 – October 12, 1998) was an American economist and statistician best known for serving as president of the University of Rochester.[1] The Kruskal–Wallis one-way analysis of variance is named after him and William Kruskal.

Early years[edit]

Born in Philadelphia, he attended the University of Minnesota, Class of 1932, where he was a member of the Chi Phi Fraternity. After a year of graduate work at the University of Minnesota, he began studies at the University of Chicago in 1933, where he began what would prove to be lifelong friendships with Milton Friedman, Aaron Director and George Stigler.

In 1936–37, he served as an economist and statistician for the National Resources Committee. During World War II, Wallis was the director of research of the U.S. Office of Scientific Research and Development's Statistical Research Group (1942–46); he recruited a team of bright young economists, including Milton Friedman, to the Statistical Research Group.

From 1948 to 1954, Wallis served as the treasurer of the Mont Pèlerin Society.[2]

University administration[edit]

Wallis served as dean of the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business from 1956 to 1962. During his time as dean he established the "Chicago Approach to Business Education," which involved the application of statistical methodology to business.[3]

He became president of the University of Rochester in 1962, a position he held until 1970, when he became the University of Rochester's chancellor and chief executive. In 1975, he relinquished the job of chief executive, but remained chancellor of the university until his retirement in 1982.

In December 1992, the University of Rochester named a joint program of its Departments of Economics and Political Science in honor of Wallis: the W. Allen Wallis Institute of Political Economy at the University of Rochester.[4] He died in 1998 in Rochester, New York.

January 1988 memo identifying Wallis as President Reagan's "personal representative" for policy matters during the administration's preparations for attending the 14th G7 summit in June.

Presidential advisor[edit]

In addition to his role as an academic and academic administrator, Wallis served as an advisor to U.S. presidents Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan. Under Eisenhower, he collaborated with Vice President Nixon on the report of the Cabinet Committee on Price Stability for Economic Growth (1959–61). Under Nixon and Ford, he served on the President's Commission on Federal Statistics and on the Advisory Council on Social Security. Nixon also appointed Wallis as chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a post he held 1975–78. Under Reagan, he served as Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs (1982–85), and then, after Congress changed the job description and title, as Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs (1985–89).

Selected works[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Pace, Eric (1998-10-14), "W. Allen Wallis, 85, Economist And President of U. of Rochester", The New York Times, New York, pp. A21, ISSN 0362-4331, retrieved 2009-12-30 
  2. ^ R. M. Hartwell, A History of the Mont Pelerin Society, Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1995, pp. 66–7.
  3. ^ "Retired UR president Wallis dies", Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester, New York, pp. 1B, 1998-10-13, ISSN 1088-5153 
  4. ^ W. Allen Wallis Institute of Political Economy (1998-10-12). "W. A. Wallis". Rochester, New York: University of Rochester. Retrieved 2009-12-30. 

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
John E. Jeuck
Dean of the University of Chicago School of Business
Succeeded by
George P. Shultz
Preceded by
Cornelis W. de Kiewiet
President of the University of Rochester
Succeeded by
Robert L. Sproull
Vacant Chancellor of the University of Rochester
Non-profit organization positions
Preceded by
Albert H. Bowker
President of the American Statistical Association
Succeeded by
Frederick F. Stephan
Preceded by
Robert S. Benjamin
Chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting
Succeeded by
Government offices
Preceded by
Myer Rashish
Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs
September 23, 1982 – August 15, 1985
Office renamed
New office Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs
August 16, 1985 – January 20, 1989
Succeeded by
Richard T. McCormack