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November 22, 2011, Volume 58, No. 13

Dr. Hamburg, Wharton


Morris Hamburg, an emeritus professor of statistics and operations research at the Wharton School, died November 14 of natural causes at the age of 89. 

Dr. Hamburg and his three brothers Nathan, Sidney and Charles, grew up in a tiny row house in the Strawberry Mansion section of North Philadelphia. His immigrant parents, who met while working next to one another in a sweatshop at age 16, did not even have a high school education.  Dr. Hamburg went to Gratz High School and had no hope of higher education until he took a citywide test and scored number one in Philadelphia, which awarded him a full scholarship to the University of Pennsylvania. He commuted to Penn on three trolley lines and worked at night shoveling coal to pay for his books and expenses, earning his undergraduate degree in 1943.

Dr. Hamburg earned his PhD at Penn in 1952 under Economics Nobel Laureate, Professor Simon Kuznets. At the Wharton School, where he served as a faculty member since 1946, Dr. Hamburg’s principal fields of research were: managerial decision analysis; forecasting and planning; economics; securities markets; and industrial basic and applied research. He also directed studies centered on both urban economic planning and the development of managerial information systems for universities and large public libraries. His extensive publications included two major statistics textbooks as well as hundreds of monographs and articles in professional journals. He also served as consultant and advisor to corporations, governmental agencies, non-profit foundations and universities.

Dr. Hamburg was an enthusiastic and energetic teacher, whose lectures were enlivened by his sense of humor and wry wit. He jocularly referred to the lecture system as “the mysterious process by which the notes of the professor are transferred to the notes of the student without passing through the minds of either.” 

His many teaching commendations included a 1959 special award for distinguished teaching granted to 20 Penn professors, he received the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1983, and numerous awards for teaching excellence in Wharton’s MBA program. His other awards included a commendation from the US Secretary of Energy for his service as both chairman and member of an advisory committee to the US Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration, 1981-1986.

Several generations of his students, many of whom had become professors themselves, stayed in touch with him until his death. In an interview with Dr. Hamburg that appeared in the Daily Pennsylvanian, five years before his 1992 retirement, he said: “I’ve enjoyed my entire academic life. I’ve always looked at it as a way of making a life as well as a way of making a living. One of the best rewards of academia has been the psychic income that I derived from my contacts with former students.”

He participated in Wharton’s executive education program as a faculty director, lecturer, and coordinator of seminars and courses in the US, Europe and Asia, and served as a visiting professor at Harvard’s School of Business Administration. He was a member of numerous professional societies, was an elected Fellow of both the International Statistical Institute and the American Statistical Association, and was an editor of the latter Association’s scholarly journal, 1956-1972.

During World War II, he was a First Lieutenant serving as a meteorologist who advised the US Army Air Force in the Asia-Pacific Theater when the weather favored bombing runs and invasions and was awarded a bronze star during his service in China. After the war, he was stationed briefly in Occupied Japan as a communications officer at the Tokyo radio station from which Tokyo Rose made propaganda broadcasts during the war. He retained a fascination with Asia throughout the rest of his life, returning to both China and Japan numerous times, often in connection with University of Pennsylvania programs.

After his retirement, Dr. Hamburg continued to teach at Penn in a masters degree program for executives, coauthored a number of articles that appeared in professional journals, and served on the Executive Committee of the Penn Association of Senior and Emeritus Faculty (PASEF), becoming its president during the 2006-2007 academic year.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Jean Hamburg; a son, Neil, W’77, L’80, formerly of OGC, and his wife Shelli Alford; a daughter, Bobbie Weisbein, C’79, and her husband Paul; and two grandchildren, Winston and Grace Alford-Hamburg.

In accordance with his wishes, there will be no funeral. Contributions can be made to the University of Pennsylvania in his memory.

Dr. House, Wharton


Robert J. House, professor emeritus of management, died of heart failure on November 1 at the age of 79.

In 1988 he was appointed the Joseph Frank Bernstein Professor Endowed Chair of Organization Studies at the Wharton School. He retired in 2010.

Dr. House received his PhD degree in management from Ohio State University in 1960. Before coming to Penn, he held faculty appointments there and at the University of Michigan and City University of New York. A native of Toronto, he joined the University of Toronto in 1973 as Shell Professor of Organizational Behavior, and was pivotal in the establishment of the school’s PhD program. From 1986 to 1988, Dr. House was the Secretary of State Professor of Organizational Effectiveness at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.

A prolific writer, he authored more than 130 journal articles and many book chapters. His articles have been reprinted in numerous anthologies. He is a cofounder of the premier leadership journal, Leadership Quarterly, where he also served as executive editor. Dr. House received the Award for Distinguished Scholarly Contribution to Management, and four awards for outstanding publications. The awards were conferred by the Academy of Management and the Canadian Association of Administrative Sciences. He also authored two papers, which are Scientific Citations Classics.

Dr. House was the principal investigator and founder of the Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness (GLOBE) Research Program at Wharton from 1993 through 2003. Among his major contributions is that he recently founded a non-profit foundation to sustain the GLOBE Project beyond his tenure including a board of directors and a constitution. While involved with GLOBE he visited universities in 38 countries. He had also been a visiting scholar or visiting professor at 14 universities, most of which are in Europe or Asia.

He was a Fellow of the Academy of Management, American Psychological Association, and Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychology. He served as chairperson of the Academy of Management Division of Organizational Behavior between 1972-73 and president of the Administrative Science Association of Canada (1985-86).

Dr. House’s major research interests were the role of personality traits and motives as they relate to effective leadership and organizational performance, power and personality in organizations, leadership, and the implications of cross-cultural variation for effective leadership and organizational performance.

He is survived by his wife, Tessa; his children, Danny, Tim and Mary; his five grandchildren, Ken, James, Gabe, Jessica and Jared; and his two sisters, Mary Lou and Diane. 

A memorial will be held Saturday, December 3, at 2 p.m. at the University of Toronto.

Mr. Lee, Penn Senior

At press time, Almanac learned of the passing Nursing and Wharton senior Jeffrey Lee. He died November 20 after running the Philadelphia Half Marathon at age 21. A full obituary will appear in the next issue of Almanac on December 6.

Dr. Perlmutter, Wharton


A celebrated scholar of globalization, a longtime professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, a poet and a painter, Dr. Howard V. Perlmutter died November 8 at the age of 86. The cause of death was brain trauma from a fall.

Howard Victor Perlmutter was born in Framingham, MA. He received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering (Tau Beta Pi) from MIT, and his doctorate in social psychology from the University of Kansas. He retired from Wharton Business School in 1996.

Dr. Perlmutter was considered a pioneer and a visionary, who more than 30 years ago correctly mapped out the future development of multinational institutions, including corporations, governments and universities. His seminal 1972 paper “The Multinational Firm and the Future,” published in the Annals of Political and Social Science, remains widely cited as the foundation for globalization scholarship. This and other contributions earned Dr. Perlmutter a spot in Wharton Alumni Magazine’s 2007 issue of 125 Influential People and Ideas.

Dr. Perlmutter’s career at Wharton began in 1969. During his tenure he assumed a variety of positions, from innovative scholar and respected teacher to administrator and leader. In his many years at Wharton, Dr. Perlmutter introduced teaching and research on the global social structure of multinational enterprise and organizations. He was the founder and director of the Worldwide Institutions Research Center and chairman of the Multinational Enterprise Unit. Dr. Perlmutter was also a favorite among students, winning numerous awards for distinguished teaching.

David Heenan, former student and Wharton colleague and currently Georgetown professor, recalled, “Howard was absolutely unequalled in resolving complex organizational problems in multicultural settings. He had a very special gift in assisting highly diverse cultures. His colleagues called him ‘the Pearl’ for his magical abilities in speaking to small groups.”

But Dr. Perlmutter’s work and fame extended well beyond Wharton and the United States. While a Fulbright Scholar at the Sorbonne in Paris, Dr. Perlmutter introduced the study of group dynamics. He was also a visiting professor at the Stockholm School of Economics and professor at the IMD Business School in Switzerland. His expertise also took him north of the US border where he served as an adviser to the Canadian government. In the United States, Dr. Perlmutter assisted various departments within the federal government, the World Health Organization, numerous firms, universities and municipalities.

In addition to scholarly journal article publication, Dr. Perlmutter’s work was featured in major newspapers and at various international conferences and forums. He wrote on a variety of topics related to global civilization and multinational organizations, from renewable energy issues and ethics to global terrorism. In 2007, he pondered the realities of the post-September 11 era, underlining the central role of dialogue in the globalized world: “It’s a race against time; we have to decide whether we are going to have a first global civilization … or will we become the last global civilization—will our inability to cooperate and connect destroy our world?”

Dr. Perlmutter’s love for and knowledge of global issues also seeped into his art. A published author of three volumes of poetry, Dr. Perlmutter took his readers on a voyage through various countries and emotions in the 2004 West-East Duet: I. Visions of Ithaka II. Not Quite Haiku, comprised of two books of poems. A review of the collection by Barnes & Noble reads, “…the reader is invited to search for the poetic tapestry underlying what he [Perlmutter] considers to be the newly emergent First Global Civilization.” In May 2011, Dr. Perlmutter was invited to talk about his poems and paintings at the Gallery at Norumbega Point in Weston, MA. A story in a Weston newspaper described Dr. Perlmutter’s art as “boldly colored, abstract and allegorical images.”  

Dr. Perlmutter is survived by his wife, Dr. Fotini Perlmutter; his son, David and his wife, Christie; two sisters, Bernice and her husband, David and Lucille and her husband, Edward; two granddaughters, Marika and Miranda; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Dr. Pica, GSE

Shortly before press time, Almanac learned of the death of Teresa Pica, a professor in the Graduate School of Education. She died on November 14 at age 66. A full obituary will appear in the next issue of Almanac, to be published on December 6. A funeral mass will be held on Saturday, December 3, at 2 p.m. at St. Clement's Church, 2013 Appletree Street (20th St., between Cherry & Arch St.) in Philadelphia. A reception will follow the service. For directions and parking, please see http://www.s-clements.org/index.php?/main/directions/


To Report A Death

Almanac appreciates being informed of the deaths of current and former faculty and staff members, students, and other members of the University community.

However, notices of alumni deaths should be directed to the Alumni Records Office at Room 545, Franklin Building, (215) 898-8136 or e-mail record@ben.dev.upenn.edu.

Almanac - November 22, 2011, Volume 58, No. 13