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Updated 10:00 AM September 10, 2007




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U-M remembers Edward Gramlich, former provost,
first Ford School dean

The University community mourns the loss of Edward Gramlich, former interim provost and first dean of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.
(Photo courtesy The Federal Reserve Board)

Gramlich, the former Federal Reserve governor, died Wednesday (Sept. 5) from leukemia at the Washington Home and Community Hospices. He was 68.

Gramlich was appointed interim provost from 2005 until May 2006, and as an adviser to President Mary Sue Coleman and the new provost, Teresa Sullivan, during her transition.

"Ned Gramlich was an exceptional economist, a solid administrator and a dedicated Michigan faculty member," Coleman says. "He also was a kind and gentle man known for his humility and humor. We will miss him deeply as a colleague and a dear friend. Our thoughts are with his wife, Ruth, and their family."

Gramlich, a professor of economics and public policy, had been director of the Institute of Public Policy Studies, which later became the School of Public Policy. He served as its director in 1979-83 and 1991-95. He then served as the first dean of the School of Public Policy, which has since been renamed after the late U.S. President Gerald R. Ford.

"As Ned's successor as dean of the Ford School, I talked with many alums who had known Ned when he was teaching at U-M," says Rebecca Blank, the Robert V. Kerr Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution and former dean of the Ford School. "I was deeply impressed with how fondly everybody remembered him. He was clearly a first-rate teacher and a mentor to many people. And he communicated a sense of the importance of public service to his students, in part because he embodied it so much in his own life."

Gramlich also served as chair of the Economics Department in 1983-86 and 1989-90.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of Professor Gramlich," says Linda Tesar, chair and economics professor. "Ned was an outstanding scholar, a pillar of the University of Michigan community and a dear friend to many in the Economics Department. We will miss him greatly."

He had a strong research record developed on a wide range of issues, including benefit-cost analysis, macroeconomics, budget policy, income redistribution, fiscal federalism, social security and the economics of professional sports.

After leaving U-M in 2006, he joined the Urban Institute and focused on community redevelopment, affordable housing and entitlement issues. His capstone work was "Subprime Mortgages: America's Latest Boom and Bust," which he wrote and edited as he was undergoing medical treatment.

Gramlich's past governmental experience includes serving as chair of the Quadrennial Advisory Council on Social Security, a body established to examine the actuarial finances of Social Security and to suggest policy changes. He was both deputy director and acting director of the Congressional Budget Office; director of the Policy Research Division at the Office of Economic Opportunity; senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and a staff member of the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Board.

Gramlich served as a governor of the Federal Reserve Board in 1997. He was the chair of the board's Committee on Consumer and Community Affairs. During his tenure the committee proposed, and the board adopted, important changes in the Home Owner Equity Protection Act and the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. It also proposed a revision to the Community Reinvestment Act. In addition, Gramlich served as chair of the Air Transportation Stabilization Board, set up after Sept. 11, 2001, to make loan guarantees to applying airlines.

He received a bachelor of arts degree from Williams College, and his master's degree and doctorate in economics from Yale University. Gramlich is survived by his wife Ruth, children Sarah and Robert, six grandchildren, his parents, two brothers, and a sister.

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