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School News

February 16, 2009

Columbia Business School Mourns the Passing of Former Dean Boris Yavitz

As dean, Yavitz enhanced the faculty in size and scope, increased applications, improved ties with the business community and restored the School's reputation as a top graduate institution.

Topics: Leadership

Boris Yavitz, PhD ’64, the Paul Garrett Professor Emeritus of Public Policy and Business Responsibility and dean of Columbia Business School from 1975 to 1982, passed away on February 14 after a long illness.

As dean, Yavitz enhanced the faculty in size and scope, increased applications, improved ties with the business community and restored the School’s reputation as a top graduate institution.

Yavitz, having experienced the 1968 Columbia riots and the leadership transition upon Dean Courtney Brown’s retirement in 1969, learned how to provide strong leadership during challenging times.

Born in Russia and educated in England and the United States, Yavitz served as a lieutenant in the British Royal Navy and built a long and storied career at the School. After graduating from Cambridge University with a degree in mechanical engineering, he earned his master’s in industrial engineering from Columbia’s School of Engineering and Applied Science and a PhD from Columbia Business School in 1964, after which he joined the School’s faculty.

Yavitz served as a director and deputy chairman of the New York Federal Reserve from 1977 to 1982, and as a director on the board of several major companies. Before launching his academic career, Yavitz built a successful land-development and investment business.

The family gratefully appreciates donations to the Dr. Boris Yavitz Scholarship Fund at Columbia Business School. Memorial donations should be made out to Columbia Business School and sent with a note that it should be applied to the Dr. Boris Yavitz Scholarship Fund to:

Columbia Business School
External Relations and Development
Attention: Rebekkah Brown
33 W. 60th St., 7th Floor
New York, NY 10023

For assistance, call Rebekkah Brown at (212) 854-3427.