The Indiana University Northwest community is saddened today to learn of the passing of Professor Emeritus of Economics Gary Lynch, Ph.D., who served as dean of the School of Business and Economics from 1981 until 1989. Lynch, 70, a Valparaiso resident, passed away on Friday, Nov. 28.
Lynch, who retired from IU Northwest in 2003, joined the campus in 1981 as business and economics dean. He also served as interim dean during the 1997-98 academic year, and as director for the Center for Economic Education. Prior to joining IU Northwest, Lynch served as the business dean at the University of Evansville. He earned his doctorate in economics from Washington State University in 1968 and did postdoctoral work at the University of Chicago. Lynch was a visiting fellow at Princeton University, and he had been designated a Pew Fellow by the National Council on Economic Education.
A published author and consultant, Lynch was often called upon by the media to offer expert analysis of local economic conditions, especially as they related to Northwest Indiana’s steel industry. His research interests included quantitative methods and fluctuations and forecasting. He was also involved in the application of economics to art as a consumption and investment good. Lynch was a member of Delta Sigma Pi at IU Northwest.
School of Business and Economics Dean Anna Rominger recalled Lynch as a dedicated and humorous teacher who was very knowledgeable about his chosen subject of economics, and particularly about the local steel economy. Lynch brought Rominger, who had been a practicing attorney, to IU Northwest in 1985 as an adjunct professor, and she joined the faculty full time in 1992. Rominger said she once utilized Lynch as an expert witness on the stand.
“He was very much connected to the local economy, because he was very interested in the local steel industry,” Rominger said Monday. “Gary had a wonderful sense of humor, but it was a very dry sort of humor. It would sometimes take you a minute to get the joke, but he was very good with the quips and the little side comments. But he always made sure that his students got the point of whatever he was trying to teach.”
John Gibson, director of undergraduate and graduate business programs and director of the Center for Economic Education, was one of those students. Gibson said that Lynch was his mentor, the man who prepared him to take over the Center after his retirement. The Center for Economic Education educates elementary and secondary teachers on how to teach students about finances and economic matters.
“He was an awesome teacher,” Gibson recalled Monday. “He changed my life. Gary, more than anyone, was responsible for my coming to IU Northwest. He sort of took me under his wing and basically groomed me to be his replacement when he retired.”
Gibson also recalled Lynch as someone who knew how to use humor effectively in the classroom. And he wrote really good tests, said Gibson.
“Even after he retired, I would still bring him in during the summer to help teach some classes, so people could see how teaching is supposed to be done,” Gibson said. “He knew how to take the complicated and make it simple.”
Gary Lynch is survived by his wife of 48 years, Arlene J. Lynch of Valparaiso; three children: Julie, of Valparaiso; Barbara, of Evansville; and Charles (Susie) of Wheatfield; four grandchildren: Blaine, of Evansville; and Vincent, Reed and Jill, of Wheatfield.
Visitation for Gary Lynch will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2008, at Dykes Funeral Home, located at 2305 N. Campbell St. in Valparaiso, from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m., with a 4 p.m. wake service. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2008, with a 10 a.m. funeral mass at St. Paul Catholic Church, located at 1855 W. Harrison Blvd. in Valparaiso, with the Rev. Joseph Pawlowski officiating. Interment will follow at St. Paul Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Scholarship Fund in Memory of Charles Reilly.
IU Northwest and the School of Business and Economics extend deepest condolences to the family and friends of Professor Emeritus Gary Lynch.