April 7, 2017
Passing of Dr. Sidney I. Lirtzman
It is with great sadness that I share with you news of the passing of Dr. Sidney I. Lirtzman, former interim president and dean of the Zicklin School of Business. He died on April 2 at the age of 86.
While I did not know him personally, I certainly have heard a lot about Sid. “Practical,” “tenacious,” “benevolent,” and “beloved” are some of the ways members of the Baruch community have described him to me.
Sidney Lirtzman began his career at Baruch in 1967 as a professor of management specializing in organizational behavior and went on to hold various academic and administrative posts, including executive officer of the Doctoral Program in Business, provost, and vice president and dean of the Zicklin School of Business before assuming the position of interim president of Baruch, which he held from 1999 to 2000. In 2002 he was awarded the first Emanuel Saxe Medal for Academic Excellence, named in honor of the earlier longtime and beloved business school dean. Sid retired in 2003, after more than 35 years of service to this institution, with the title dean emeritus, Zicklin School of Business.
Among countless programs and initiatives he led and supported, Sid Lirtzman is probably best known for spearheading the original plan to bring a world-class, simulated trading floor and financial center to Baruch. To make that plan a reality, he and the College partnered with alumni patrons Bert (’54) and Sandra (’55) Wasserman and Stuart Subotnick (’62, LLD [Hon.] ’97). The Wasserman Trading Floor/Subotnick Financial Services Center (SFSC) opened its doors during his presidential administration and forever transformed the level and variety of practical financial services support and instruction offered at Baruch—and available to New York City’s business community. In fact, Baruch’s virtual trading floor became an actual trading floor following 9/11, when it became a temporary place of business for some 30 Wall Street commodities brokers.
Lirtzman stayed connected with the College throughout his retirement, attending Baruch-in-Florida alumni events. He and his wife, Sheila, returned to the College to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the SFSC. At that time, the College honored him in two ways: by dedicating the new Sidney I. Lirtzman Financial Seminar Hall and creating a new faculty award. The Sidney Lirtzman Prize continues to recognize outstanding achievement in all three areas of faculty endeavor: research, teaching, and service.
Our hearts go out to his wife and family and his many friends at the College.
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