Dr. Joel Edwin Segall (1923-2003)

New York Times

Dr. Joel Edwin Segall, Economist and President of Baruch College, Dies at 80

Joel E. Segall, an economist and former president of Baruch College whose master plan helped make the business-oriented school a major presence in Manhattan, died on Thursday at a hospice in Branford, Conn. He was 80 and lived in Branford.

Dr. Segall, who earlier had a career at the University of Chicago and at the Treasury and Labor Departments in Washington, led the Baruch branch of the City University of New York from 1977 until 1990. With about 15,000 students, the college describes itself as home to the largest combined undergraduate and graduate business school in the country.

The most visible results of the master plan adopted under Dr. Segall’s guidance are two centers near the building at 23rd Street and Lexington Avenue where Baruch was born in 1847 as a free public school of higher education called a Free Academy. The two centers are the Information and Technology Building, housing the Newman Library, and the 17-story Vertical Campus, which opened two years ago.

Joel Edwin Segall was born in Bridgeport, Conn. He served in the Army Air Force in World War II before receiving his M.B.A. (1948), M.A. (1952) and Ph.D. (1956) degrees at the University of Chicago. He joined the faculty as an assistant professor of finance in 1952.

He taught for 20 years at the University of Chicago Graduate School and eventually became director of its doctoral programs. He was also a visiting professor at institutions including the Royal College of Science and Technology in Scotland and Stanford University.

In the early 1970’s he was deputy assistant secretary for tax policy in the Treasury Department and deputy undersecretary for international affairs in the Department of Labor. An authority on corporate mergers, he was a consultant to the Securities and Exchange Commission when New York City’s Board of Higher Education chose him to lead Baruch in 1977.

He became a strong voice for keeping the college relatively close to the financial industry, in the Flatiron district of Manhattan. There it serves as City University’s preparatory school for business managers.

Dr. Segall is survived by his wife of 45 years, Joan Downey Segall; a daughter, Patricia D. Coughlin of Shrewsbury, N.J.; two sisters, Sandra Levin of Bridgeport, and Arlyne Segall of Trumbull, Conn.; and one grandson. A daughter, Jamie, died in 1989.

Baruch College


Joel Segall, for 13 years the president of Baruch College, the home of the nations largest school of business, died on Thursday, October 9, 2003. He was 80 years old and lived for many years in Branford, Connecticut. Segall, a distinguished economist, was instrumental in developing the Master Plan that led to the creation of a permanent home for Baruch College on lower Lexington Avenue in Manhattan.

Joel Segall was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and educated at the University of Chicago, where he received an MBA in 1949, an AM in 1952, and a PhD in Economics in 1956. He taught at the University of Chicago for nearly 20 years, at one point serving as its director of doctoral programs.

On August 1, 1977, Segall became the third president of Baruch College, a position he held until 1990. At the same time, he was named professor of economics and finance.

During his tenure, there was considerable uncertainty about the future of Baruch College, including serious consideration of relocating an expanded Baruch campus to downtown Brooklyn. Segall resisted all such efforts and was instrumental in the campaign to keep Baruch anchored in Manhattan. When the Baruch College Library and Technology Center opened in 1994, Segall was present at the dedication and read a poem he had composed to celebrate the occasion.

He was interested in upgrading standards and creating a climate in which research could thrive,” said June ONeill, an economist and former director of the Congressional Budget Office. ONeill, whom Segall recruited in 1987, is the current director of the Center for Business and Government, which Segall established as a vehicle for research. During his tenure Segall also brought several well-known faculty members to the Zicklin School of Business, then known as the School of Business and Public Administration. Among them was Harry Markowitz, who won the 1990 Nobel Laureate in Economics.

Prior to joining Baruch College, Joel Segall held two government positions in the Nixon Administration. He served as the deputy assistant secretary of the treasury department from 1970-72 and later as the deputy under secretary for international affairs in the Department of Labor.

Segall is survived by his wife, Joan, by his daughter, Patricia, and by a grandson Samuel, as well as by two sisters, Sandra and Arlyne.

University of Chicago Magazine

Joel E. Segall, MBA’49, AM’42, PhD’56, an economist and college president, died October 9 in Branford, CT.

He was 80. After serving in the Air Force during WW II, Segall taught at the Graduate School of Business for 20 years. In the 1970s he served as deputy assistant secretary for tax policy in the Treasury Department, deputy undersecretary for international affairs in the Department of Labor, and a consultant to the Securities and Exchange Commission. In 1977 he became president of Baruch College in New York. Survivors include his wife, Joan Downey Segall, AB’58; a daughter; two sisters; and one grandson.

His Writings

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