Department of Economics
2074 Faculty Administration Bldg (FAB) 
656 W. Kirby St.
Detroit, MI 48202 United States
P: 313-577-3345
F: 313-577-9564

In Memoriam, Clifford D. Clark

Date: 2/4/2014
Author: Stephen J. Spurr
Professor Linda Beale, Cliff Clark’s wife, has informed us that Cliff passed away this morning after a very brief illness. As a youth Clifford D. Clark received a Bronze Star for combat in Northeastern France in World War II. After the war he obtained a B.A. in economics from the University of Kansas in 1948, and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago in 1953. He began his career in 1951 as an analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency, and subsequently joined the economics department at North Carolina State University. 

In 1957 he joined the faculty of the New York University Graduate School of Business Administration.  After becoming a Professor, Director of Research and Vice Dean at NYU, he went to the University of Kansas as Dean of the School of Business. Subsequently he was appointed President of Binghamton University, a position he held from 1975 through 1990. Among his many achievements were the development of Binghamton’s graduate and diversity programs.  In 1987 Binghamton University established the Clifford D. Clark Diversity Fellowship Program to support graduate fellowships for students from underrepresented groups who were admitted to graduate or professional programs. After his retirement from Binghamton, Cliff established an endowment to assist in funding this program.  From 2002 to 2005 Cliff was a visiting professor at the University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana, and in 2006 he came to Wayne State. 

Cliff joined our department as a Visiting Professor in fall 2006 and started a course in development economics, 5600/6600, which he taught first in the winter 2007 semester, and in every year since. He volunteered to teach this course without compensation.  His course has been extremely successful, attracting many undergraduates and graduate students.  Li Way Lee, as Chair of our department, found Cliff’s advice, based on years of administrative experience at the highest level, extremely helpful. When Cliff recently informed me that he would retire from teaching, he urged me to keep his course going, and I have made arrangements to do so.  Cliff pointed out to me that his course benefited from the contributions of students from many diverse backgrounds, and that the range of ethnic and national backgrounds of the students at Wayne State was something unique in his experience. 

He will be greatly missed. 
There will be a cremation and a memorial service in New York in the spring or summer. In lieu of flowers, those who wish to remember his contributions to Wayne State may make a donation to the Clark Fellows Program at the following address: Binghamton University Foundation, Box 6005, Binghamton NY 13902-6005.