The University of Chicago News Office
March 8, 2004 Press Contacts:
Allan Friedman

(773) 702-9232


Robert L. Graves, Deputy Dean of the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, 1926-2004

    Robert Graves


Robert L. Graves, deputy dean for the faculty at University of Chicago Graduate School of Business from 1972 to 1973 and from 1975 to 1985, and a professor of applied mathematics at the school died March 2 at his home in Flossmoor, Ill., at the age of 77. He joined the faculty in 1958 and was a vital member of both the Graduate School of Business and the broader University of Chicago community up to and beyond his retirement in 1995. The cause of death was complications from pulmonary fibrosis.

He served as associate provost for the University of Chicago from 1985 to 1990, and associate dean for the Ph.D. program at the Graduate School of Business.

“Bob was a talented and dedicated administrator, admired researcher and, perhaps more importantly, a valued and beloved colleague,” said John Huizinga, a professor of economics at the Graduate School of Business and the current deputy dean for the faculty. “He was a great role model for how a faculty member, an administrator and a person should conduct themselves,” Huizinga said.

Graves’ academic interests focused on mathematical programming, including programming over infinite horizons; scheduling problems; and bidding models. While doing teaching and research, he also served as a consultant to IBM. Earlier in his career he held supervisory positions at Standard Oil Co. (Indiana) in engineering, engineering research and operations research.

In 1973 he took a two-year leave of absence from the University of Chicago to become director of the European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management, in Brussels.

Graves was the author of many academic papers, including “An Auction Method for Course Registration,” (1993) with L. Schrage and J. Sankaran, published in Interfaces. He co-authored two books: Functional Analysis in Economics (1972) with L. Telser, and International Operations Simulation (1964) with H. Thorelli.

He was born in Chicago and graduated from Hyde Park High School. He received an A.B. in mathematics from Oberlin College in 1947, an A.M. in mathematics from Harvard University in 1948, and a Ph.D. in mathematics from Harvard University in 1952. He was a member of the vestry and taught church school at the Church of Saint John the Evangelist (Episcopal) in Flossmoor and served on the Flossmoor Library Board. He was chairman of the Episcopal Church Council at the University of Chicago from 1979 to 1981.

Graves is survived by his wife of 52 years, Barbara, of Flossmoor; four daughters, Susan, Julia, Christine and Virginia; two grandchildren, Emily and Scott Warren; and a sister, Anne G. Gahn.

A memorial service and visitation will be held in Flossmoor on Saturday, March 13 at 1:30 p.m. at the Church of Saint John the Evangelist, 2640 Park Drive, corner of Park Drive and Leavitt Avenue. Memorial contributions may be made to The Episcopal Church Council of the University of Chicago, 5540 South Woodlawn Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637 or to The Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, 3860 Long Lake Road, Traverse City, MI 49684.
Last modified at 12:37 PM CST on Monday, March 08, 2004.

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