ForeverMissed

Here is a link to Rudy's blog Rudy H. Weingartner, Home of Strong Opinions:
http://rhweingartner.blogspot.com/search?updated-m...

Here is the link to a YouTube video of the Celebration of Life event for Rudy that took place on July 28, 2021 in New York City:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFlxqzBcRw0

This is a link to a pre Celebration of Life chat with some of the guests:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSfXuQRxKEI











Posted by Eleanor Weingartner on July 28, 2021
Ken Janda, Northwestern University

I was chair of the political science department in 1980 when he called me one day in Naples, Florida, while I was visiting my mother. As Dean, he sought my permission to appoint Northwestern history PhD George McGovern to teach in our department the Winter Quarter of 1981. A wealthy donor was putting up the money for the temporary appointment. Not surprisingly, he as Dean thought it necessary to get my permission as department chair.

Of course, I was thrilled at the prospect but wondered what exactly the former Senator from South Dakota and 1972 Democratic candidate for president might teach. I need not have worried. George taught two courses. One was a large lecture course on American foreign policy scheduled for Tech’s largest auditorium. It drew so much interest that we had to arrange for some sort of lottery to limit tickets to the hall’s capacity of several hundred, and then the College had to monitor ticketed entry to his lectures. The other was a small seminar for political science majors. Fortunately, no one was injured in the scramble for enrollment in that select group.

Any students who got into the Tech lecture thinking McGovern would tell them stories about campaigning for the presidency were jolted when he gave them his long and demanding syllabus and taught foreign policy like the scholar that he was. Same for his small seminar.

Ann and I were fortunate to host the McGoverns and the Weingartners one night at a gathering in our Evanston home. Rudy’s call to me stands out in my mind. Other university administrators might have agreed to the celebrity appointment only to inform the department char later.

His was truly a life to celebrate. We now live in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, but my wife Ann was born and raised in Manhattan and lived on 77th street. That street is only 2 blocks north of Hotel Beacon on 75th street. However, Ann lived on the east side of Central Park.

Ken

Kenneth Janda
Payson S. Wild Professor Emeritus of Political Science
Northwestern University
Posted by sondra farganis on July 27, 2021
i may already have written to you about Rudy and Fania and our life at Vassar. But i cannot locate it: the computer is not my thing but telling tales is a key part of my life. and i tell long stories, many of which are really sagas. So let me be short and swift. Jim would have been perfect for capturing Rudy but he left us some years back. so let me tell you quickly that had it not been for rudy and fania our lives at Vassar would have been short and bitter. They were long and bitter and sweet. Rudy was the sweet part--for he knew of Jim through Vassar and CUNY and Binghamton people--Rudy had The Network. And Rudy knew immediately that Jim and Vassar were not a perfect Match but that Jim was what Vassar needed especially when it went Coed. In part, Rudy had a network of friends and scholars that he could always dip into and come out with a winner. Jim and Vassar did not and indeed were not a perfect match but Rudy knew that the Vassar that was changing could benefit from a Jim. I came along as the partner but I think Rudy had to sell the Sondra Silverman part to The New School and he did---saving my career and allowing it to flourish.
That"s
what Rudy did. And he did it with Fania--what a team--we all knew that. 
So I shall TRULY miss this event. Some weeks or is it months back I fractured my left leg by falling--what jewish girls from Brooklyn do because they are thinking a minimum of eight scenarios at the same time. Rudy had the talent and the morality to save so many of us. Jim and I lucked into that talent and who we are/were and what became of us was a Weingartner gift. 
Posted by Lawrence Lipking on July 26, 2021
Rudy was a man who trusted his gut. He loved art and music and good writing and thinking, and family and friends, and putting things together. And he knew what he liked and wanted. Within moments of our first meeting, when he recruited my wife Joanna and me to come to Northwestern, it was clear that we were going to be friends. Rudy was not a placeholding dean; he was creative, and set out to create a university that mattered.

That creativity was evident in everything he did. For many years, in company with Natalie and Garry Wills (another of his recruits), Rudy and Fannia organized weekly excursions to concerts and operas, preceded by wonderful conversations (and bourbon and beer) at the Berghoff. Nor was Rudy a passive onlooker. On one occasion, the world premiere of Lutoslawski's fiercely difficult Symphony No. 3, seated in the front row, he managed to see and follow part of the musicians' scores, and marvelled at Solti's ability to keep all of them in his head. In another life, Rudy might himself have been a conductor.

But the life he led was always active enough. The lovely collection of prints by sculptors that filled his house, and that he gave to the Block Museum in memory of Fannia, testifies to the power of his attention and fine judgment. He was also a talented sculptor. A favorite of mine is a graceful Narcissus, bending toward his reflection in a pool. A closer look reveals that he made the work entirely from little "Rudies," personal namecards saved from conferences. This Narcissus was not at all self-important.

After their move to Pittsburgh, Rudy and Fannia remained our close friends. Jo and I often visited there, where several relatives lived, and we always spent at least one warm and luxurious evening basking in the Weingartners' hospitality and camaraderie. Those days could not last forever. But even after Fannia's death, we stayed close to Rudy and Gissa. One memorable week, when I had tickets to the whole Ring Cycle at Lyric Opera and Jo had fled the city to avoid it, Rudy came to stay with me and Wagner. This was an education. He had seen many Rings before, even at Bayreuth, but the freshness of his enthusiasm and keen perceptions transformed the Cycle for me (it did not even seem too long!).

Our last time together was also special. Rudy now lived in Mexico City with Eleanor and her family, and after Jo died he was kind enough to invite me to visit. The house was full of memories and music and affection. And Rudy, though walking with a cane, took time to show me his city. Museums galore. A Christmas concert during which the whole town seemed to sing along. Street protests. But also all sorts of people, from musicians and writers and artists to workers who kept the city going. Rudy took an interest in them. And he stayed active and creative, not only with his hands but with his blog, which spoke out for a mind still curious, still questioning, still ready to help others. That is a Rudy I will remember--always larger than life.
Posted by Eleanor Weingartner on July 26, 2021
Sam and Doris Calian, July 25, 2021

Rudy Weingartner was truly a man of much wisdom and multiple talents. We first met Rudy and Fannia when they came to Pittsburgh to serve as Provost at the University. I was somewhat new to the area also as President of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, and we found we had many mutual interests and concerns. Throughout the following years we spent hours together in their home and ours sharing delicious food, experiences, and visions. Our conversations flowed easily from philosophy to religion to politics to art to education to music, etc.  Our visits often extended well into the night as we all postponed breaking off to return home.
Rudy left Pittsburgh to spend his last years with his family in Mexico, but left us with a beautiful wooden sculpture which we treasure. He also gifted two very special art pieces to Pittsburgh Seminary, one in memory of Fannia.  Strangely, we then left Pittsburgh also to retire near our children in Evanston, Illinois (Rudy’s previous home at Northwestern University, where our daughter happens to be a professor). With this new bond our correspondence continued between Mexico City and Evanston through email and his blogs. Rudy lived full and meaningful years, influencing many students, colleagues and friends along the way. We are thankful that we were able to be together for many years, and we express our sincere thanks to Ellie and Mark for sharing their family with us.
Sam & Doris Calian
July 25, 2021  
Posted by Eleanor Weingartner on July 25, 2021
Richard Wilson, Vassar, July 24, 2021
When Rudy Weingartner wafted in from California in about 1968, the Vassar Faculty was in desperate need of fresh perspective, especially if it came from someone with plausible credentials. Rudy joined us as full professor and chair of the Department of Philosophy. He had occupied a similar position at San Francisco State. From his first utterances on the floor of the faculty he was a leader. We realized that he was well acquainted with institutional behavior. curricular ossification, faculty rivalries, student uprisings--nothing surprised him. He showed that he could stand up to an ambitious and powerful president without seeming at all overpowering himself.  Along with his devotion to teaching and to his own writing projects, he plunged into the day-to-day concerns of the faculty—picky details of process and procedure. He gained friends for memorably reshaping the policy for faculty housing.
Those of us in the music area were delighted to discover he had knowledge and listening expertise in our subject.  A reliable attender--along with Fania--at our concerts, he always came up with an interesting insight about a work being played or how it was being played. Music wasn’t the only art he was concerned with. He was an active sculptor. Not surprisingly, aesthetics was high on his list of scholarly interests.
He was at Vassar only about six years. His influence was felt long after.

Richard Wilson
Professor of Music Emeritus
Vassar College


Posted by Keith Brown on July 24, 2021
So much of what I know of Rudy is through Mark’s marriage to my sister Shannon. In Rudy’s later years I read his writings on his life encounters, readings and thoughts that covered in time pretty much all of the 20th century. Often he spoke of places I may have or not heard of, such as Heidelberg. Knowing Rudy, reading his words and sometimes connecting Rudy’s life thorough comments by Mark expanded my awareness. When I think of Mark and Shannon’s LA home I think of (not only the playing cards on the living room ceiling) the many books, some being Rudy’s academic writings on philosophy and of Rudy’s smooth wood sculptures. Rudy was a contemporary of my own father and Mark and I are close in age. The fathers were sometimes together when I visited. The parallels of father and sons has been on my mind. I’m now of the age when even I see my physical father in my reflection. It is harder to parse the personality and habits I inherited. In Mark I think I see traits of Rudy. I think I understand a bit more of Mark’s past and family and by extension the world from having known Rudy.
Keith Brown July 24, 2021
Posted by Susan De La Paz on July 24, 2021
My fondest memories of Rudy are from 1980 when I was an undergraduate at Northwestern. Despite his many time commitments, Rudy (and Fannia) always welcomed me to stop by. I spent many Saturday afternoons, helping them prep for parties and talking about the many things that I did as a freshman. It was wonderful to enjoy time together.
Love,
Sue De La Paz
Posted by Eleanor Weingartner on July 16, 2021
Charlotte Kahn

In 1940, my family moved into an apartment on Riverside Drive just south of Washington Heights. Our apartment was on the third floor. In a fifth floor apartment there was a family that included two sons, one of them Rudy, who was one year older than I. He was 13, I was 12. We befriended one another and enjoyed what we called our Chinese handball game on the street. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it required our bouncing a red rubber ball onto the cement squares of the pavement and against the wall of the buildings without touching the lines. We enjoyed this game.

Later on, I discovered that Rudy’s mother was concerned about the future and asked my father whether I was going to get a dowry. She expected our relationship to evolve into something more serious. My father told her no, not a dowry, an education.

Rudy was my date at the graduation dance at the SAJ, that is the Society for the Advancement of Judaism. Neither one of us was as proficient a dancer as our American age mates, but we had a good time together. One of the things we had in common was that we were both refugee kids in the American scene who found a connection with one another as we acclimated ourselves.

When the Weingartners subsequently moved to Jackson Heights, we sort of lost track of one another but to this day, I do remember fondly our games and our contact as teenagers.

Decades later we found ourselves standing next to one another awaiting the green light at 116th and Broadway as we both left Columbia University campus where we were then students.

Little did I know at the time we played together, that Rudy was in fact the cousin of my future husband. That relationship led to renewed contact as mature adults, particularly through Rudy's emails in which he regularly shared interesting bits of world news, insightful analysis and witticisms. Rudy's missives were always interesting and my husband Gerry often fowarded them to our children.


Charlotte Kahn
Posted by Todd Crow on July 16, 2021
Soon after arriving at Vassar in 1969 as a young faculty member in the music department, I met Rudy, who was among a group of steadfast concert attendees. He was the first non-music senior faculty member that I got to know, and we struck up a friendship that had us making trips together to concerts in New York City, as well as my eventually becoming Ellie's piano teacher.

Rudy and Fannia were definitely a power couple--endless stimulating conversation, and certainly Rudy's musical knowledge was always a source of amazement to me. Most of all, his genuine interest, kindness and generosity towards a young musician/faculty member will be what I remember most vividly.

It was a sad day when the Weingartners moved away, but fortunately we were able to reconnect in Mexico City in January 2014. By then, Rudy was well acclimated to his surroundings. We couldn't have had better tour guides than Rudy and Ellie who took us to museums and on wonderful walks around their neighborhood. Rudy's charm and optimism hadn't changed a bit in all the years. It was another sad day when he decided to suspend his blog that each week contained a lifetime's worth of clear thinking and considered ideas. We miss him very much.

Todd Crow
Posted by Eleanor Weingartner on July 15, 2021
Joan Rudd                                                              RUDY'S HOSPITALITY

I looked through a cupboard to find a photo album from the era when my older son Ben graduated from Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh in 1992. Your folks (Rudy and Fannia) hosted a dinner party for all of us for the occasion and there are photos from it. Unfortunately I got ahold of the wrong album, so I will give a verbal description instead. It was a generous gesture to host us all in the first place!
A plot twist was that both my first husband, Ben's father, and my second husband, Ben's stepfather, would be attending all the festivities around graduation. It seemed natural to me to include them both in the dinner, and an act of faith on the part of our hosts that all would go well. They were wonderful hosts, relaxed and generous, and totally open to all sitting at one table in their home, with Rudy at the head of the table, orchestrating conversation. We really all were very civilized. I had parted from Ben's father some 20 years before, and I had been remarried for 4 years, his time to an academic who joined right in with Rudy's conversational gambits. After dinner, Ben offered a short acrobatic and juggling performance as entertainment. He was planning to stand on a balance board on top of a balance board, and juggle while up there. In order to ascend and steady himself, he needed a couple of shoulders to lean on, and asked his two Dads. They were of different builds but about the same height and stepped up to assist. This is the photo series I was hopelessly looking for. I think I took the pictures but it is possible one of your folks did. The best photo shows the new college graduate climbing onto his double decker balance board, with one hand on his father's right shoulder and one on his stepfather's shoulder. The Dads are seen from the back, both rock steady. And then Ben not only took off balancing on his boards, he juggled some balls as well, and he did not fall! Fannia remarked to me later that she admired how I, the Mom, had handled the situation, seemingly without the acrimony which often clouds divorced families. I, in turn, complimented her, and them, for taking a risk in extending the hospitality of a (distant) family dinner, to honor the graduation. Their warmth stayed with me over many years, the birth of a second son, and the virtual disappearance of the first. Rudy never stopped asking after the well being of my two sons, and I loved him for it. He will be missed. May his memory be for a blessing.             Joan Rudd
Posted by Mark Weingartner on July 14, 2021
From Caroline Brettell:
I write on behalf of myself and my late husband Richard Brettell. We treasured Rudy as a friend. We first met Rudy and Fannia when we were living in Chicago and enjoyed many dinners together in Evanston. Rudy’s love of art was what he shared with Rick and his wisdom and experience in the world of higher education is what drew me to him. Indeed as I write I can look behind me and find his books on administration in higher education on my shelf. It was his broad humanism that attracted both of us to Rudy and we truly treasured his friendship.
We stayed in touch after we moved to Dallas and well beyond Rudy’s retirement. I used to call on him for counsel, particularly as I took on the job of Acting Dean of our Humanities and Sciences College at SMU. And Rick pulled Rudy into the work of the Cornudas Mountain Foundation and the work of the artist Jim McGee. We often used to stay overnight with Rudy and Gissa in Pittsburgh as we drove to Williamstown, MA each summer. They cheerfully put us up together with our two little poodles, Laney and JoJo. And it was always an evening of lively conversation and good food, often out on the back porch looking out on the garden.
Rudy I hope you are at rest and at peace and that you can look back and smile as you think about your rich and long life and all the contributions that you made to people and institutions, leaving them better and more inspired than before.

Caroline B. Brettell, Dallas, Texas
Posted by Eleanor Weingartner on July 14, 2021
     Eric Kay: Rudy Weingartner - Memorium  July 2021
Rudy and I grew up together as best pals in Heidelberg, Germany during the first six years of the Hitler era. We both left Germany at age 12, in 1939 -- Rudy for the US and I on a ‘Kindertransport’ to England. That common early, trying experience served as a strong bond between the two of us ever since. We both grappled with our German/Jewish heritage throughout our lives – hopefully in constructive ways.
Our friendship was greatly consolidated years later when Rudy and Fannia moved to San Francisco to start his teaching career in philosophy at San- Francisco-State. By then I had also emigrated to the US and was married and had settled in the SF Bay Area working toward my career as a research physicist. My wife, Lorel Lu, also pursuing a career in science and Fannia (both renaissance types) hit it off splendidly which led to numerous fascinating discussions among the 4 of us viewing the world from different perspectives. Rudy was always a prolific, sober minded analyst of the world-at- large and seemed to add some unique dimension to any topic. I always learned a great deal from his lucid, straight forward way of sharing his views.
An early practical incident which demonstrated our mutual trust was Rudy and Fannia driving our newly bought Plymouth station wagon (by far our most valuable possession at the time) from the factory back East to the West Coast - filled to the brim with their entire worldly belongings with which to start their new lives on the West Coast. Later, that vehicle also served us well on camping trips together.
In subsequent years, Rudy’s professional career took him and his family to various locations away from California and others are better qualified than I to attest to his many contributions in his field. In yet later years, our professional careers began to overlap more and more in that we both took on broader administrative responsibilities which gave both of us the opportunity of creating an environment in which our many very talented, sophisticated, often single minded, younger colleagues could grow and thrive in their various fields of endeavor.
In most recent years we communicated primarily by e-mail and more and more reminded ourselves how fulfilling our family and professional lives have been, limited only by our own short comings.
I feel very fortunate to have had such a fine friend for all these years.
Eric Kay.

Posted by Eleanor Weingartner on July 13, 2021
Jim Sheehan, July 13, 2021                                                 

Remembering Rudy

I had the pleasure of working closely with Rudy while I was a member of the History Department and he was Dean of the College at Northwestern. I learned a great deal from him and came to value both his intellect and his moral compass. Rudy had ideas about education (Bob Coen has an excellent account of these), but also a good sense of how to get things done. He approached the complex problems of academic governance with a kind of principled pragmatism that is, in my experience, all too uncommon among university administrators. Balancing principle and pragmatism is never easy, as Rudy discovered when he resigned as Provost at Pittsburgh—one name on a very short list of administrators who have left office over a matter of principle.

Among my most vivid memories of Rudy at Northwestern was his part in the Arthur Butz affair. Butz was (and as far as I know, still is) an associate professor of Electrical Engineering. In 1975, he published a book denying the Holocaust. Like most books in this dismal genre, his was a pastiche of small facts and large assumptions, a parody of scholarship that could only convince those who had, for whatever reason, already accepted his point of view. There was, as might be expected, a movement to fire Butz from his tenured post. Rudy, among others, defended his academic freedom and, in the end, he has continued to teach engineers. In response to the Butz controversy, the History Department (with support from the Dean’s office) organized a series of public lectures on the murder of Europe’s Jews. The lectures were well-received and represented the way universities should respond to ideas, no matter how deplorable. Rudy and Fannia attended the lectures and Rudy agreed to introduce one of the speakers. I remember his brief remarks very clearly: he was, as fit the occasion, serious and scholarly. At the same time, with obvious reluctance, he briefly mentioned his own experiences in Nazi Germany from which his family eventually fled. How easy it would have been for him to dwell upon his own and his family’s suffering and to note how very close the Weingartners had come to being among the Nazis’ six million victims. He did not do so, not because these things had not left deep marks on his character, but because he believed the occasion called for informed analysis and disciplined reflection.

Informed analysis and disciplined reflection are what universities are supposed to promote. As well as anyone I have met during my five decades in academic life, Rudy personified these virtues. The universities he served were fortunate to have him, just as his friends were fortunate to have had the pleasure of his company.


Jim Sheehan
13 July 2021


Posted by Eleanor Weingartner on July 12, 2021
Michael McCarthy, July 11, 2021
Memories of Rudy and Fannia

  We both arrived at Vassar in the late summer of 1968, though
we came from different places: the Weingartners, from San Francisco
State; Barbara, Sarah and I from graduate study at Yale. Although I was about
fifteen years younger than Rudy, we swiftly became friends, both individually
and as a couple. Our first social invitation was to a large dinner party at their
original home, just off Route 55.
  Vassar had not yet gone co-ed, though we knew that historic change would
come soon (the first men appeared in the spring semester of 1969). There were
eight of us in the Philosophy Dept. then: Vernon Venable, the chair, whom Rudy
would soon replace; Frank Tillman, whom Rudy knew from Columbia; Garry Vander
Veer; Joan Stambaugh; Ed Leites; George Berger and I. We ranged in age from 61 to
26. Alan Simpson was Vassar’s President, an Oxford educated Englishman who had
come to Vassar from the University of Chicago four years earlier.
 At the outset, there was tension between Vernon and Rudy about the existing
direction of the department. But once they came to trust each other, Vernon willingly
surrendered the reins to the energetic new arrival. Rudy could be brash, but he was also seasoned and diplomatic, as his later career at Northwestern and Pittsburgh would show.
 We initially bonded over several things: both Rudy and my father had lived and
gone to high school in Brooklyn; they both graduated from Columbia College;
and both had served in the US Navy during World War II. Also,Rudy had worked
for Mortimer Adler in Chicago, who had helped to start the Great Books program
that served as my undergraduate home at Notre Dame. But our deeper bonds were philosophical. I worked with Rudy one long summer as he composed his book on
Plato’s dialogues. Our conversations were frank, free-wheeling and fun. And I was
grateful that he treated me like a peer, and a friend.
 By our second year at Vassar, Rudy and Fannia had moved into their new home on Earlham Drive, and we had begun a four yearstint as house fellows in Davison. We often socialized together, getting to know and like Fannia very much; attending Mark’s bar mitzvah
celebration, hosting a party for the family before their sabbatical year at Oxford; and
becoming good and trusted friends. Rudy and I even gave a senior seminar together
on competing conceptions of the University. Though we didn’t always agree, we
clearly respected each other’s opinions and integrity.
 Rudy and I corresponded regularly while we were on sabbatical in France during
the academic year of 1973-74. Just before we returned home, he wrote to say that
he was leaving Vassar to become the Dean at Northwestern. I was happy for him,
but disappointed for Vassar, and very sad that our subsequent friendship would
have to develop at a distance. Which it did, aided by occasional returns to Poughkeepsie,
periodic letters bearing news of friends and family, and spirited email exchanges
both in Pittsburgh and later in Mexico City.
  We mourned when Fannia died, far too soon, though we celebrated her extra-
ordinary warmth and vitality. She was truly a wonderful human being and a
great life partner for Rudy. We knew and cared for them both in their prime,
and the memories we shared remain vivid, and still bathed in affection and
friendship.
  May they both rest in peace.
   Michael


Posted by Eleanor Weingartner on July 12, 2021
A Remembrance of Rudy Weingartner
Robert M. Coen December 4, 2020
During Rudy’s tenure as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS)1 at Northwestern from 1974-87, I was fortunate to work closely with him as an Associate Dean for undergraduate curriculum (1976-79) and as Chair of the Economics Department (1985-88). Those years were among the happiest and most fulfilling years of my academic career.
Rudy came into the deanship with a desire to breathe new life into the college’s general education requirements. For decades such requirements have been the hallmark of a liberal arts education, intended to give students broad exposure to the arts and sciences. The 1960’s and 1970’s were marked by an easing, and in some cases elimination, of such requirements in response to student pressures for greater freedom of choice, to growing parental and student desires for practical, job-oriented education, and to increasing specialization in the research and teaching interests of faculty. Through Rudy’s strong leadership and vision, Northwestern bucked the trend, creating a curricular structure that reaffirmed traditional goals of a liberal arts education. He had only a few faculty allies in this cause and met much resistance, but through commitment and tenacity, he prevailed.
Rudy’s first step in revitalizing general education was to launch a program of freshman seminars --- small classes with an emphasis on discussion and writing which would immediately bring new students into close contact with faculty and academic discourse. The seminars, offered by nearly all academic departments, are not meant to be substitutes for the large survey courses that dominate a typical freshman’s classroom experience; rather, they investigate special topics in an intimate setting to engage students actively in intellectual inquiry and argumentation. All freshman are required to take two seminars.
I know from my interactions with students how transformative these seminars have been in the freshman experience. Not long after they were introduced, I recall having a group of freshmen in my office just after winter break. I asked whether they had met with high- school friends while at home during the break and, if so, whether they had compared notes on their first months in college. Indeed they had and discovered that their friends, several at Ivy League schools, were generally in large classes, had little or no interaction with faculty, and lacked opportunities for discussion, research, and writing, all of which, they were excited to say, they enjoyed in their freshman seminars. I and many other faculty establish enduring friendships with Northwestern students we first meet in freshman seminars. Many colleges eventually followed our example and introduced some type of freshman seminar program, but few have made two seminar experiences available to all freshmen and offer college-wide choices. The freshman seminar program stands as one of Rudy’s most successful and lasting enhancements of liberal arts education at Northwestern.
1 In 1998, CAS was renamed the Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.

Another concern was assuring reasonable breadth in students’ exposure to the various areas of arts and sciences. Like most schools of arts and sciences, Northwestern had so-called “distribution requirements,” mandating that students take at least x courses from y departments. The scheme provided little structure to guide students and tended to produce haphazard results. Rudy wanted a plan founded on well thought-out principles, one that could inform students’ choices but not limit them severely, as would be the case in a “core curriculum” approach. His solution was to set out six areas of required course work , each defined by shared subject matter, ways of acquiring and evaluating information, and modes of analysis. Four of the areas encompass familiar groupings --- literature and fine arts, historical studies, natural sciences, and social and behavioral studies. The other two identify types of intellectual inquiry not often singled out for required study --- ethics and values, and formal studies. Within each area, courses include selections from many departments. Formal studies, for example, incorporates courses not only in mathematics and statistics, but also some in logic, linguistics, computer coding, music, and other fields. To qualify for inclusion, courses must offer a broad introduction to the scope and nature of intellectual inquiry in the designated area. Rudy established a new faculty committee to review and approve courses for each area. Recognizing that course offerings were inadequate in some of the six areas, he obtained a multi-year grant from the Lily Foundation to fund development of suitable courses.
Before introducing students to the new scheme, it first had to be sold to the faculty. Opposition was inevitable from professors who foresaw dwindling enrollments in courses that had previously satisfied distribution requirements but no longer would. Rudy overcame the opposition mainly through tactful persuasion, even organizing a weekend retreat of faculty leaders to discuss and promote the proposed structure. Still, support was far from unanimous, and many issues had to be confronted and worked out during implementation, sometimes with considerable rancor. Convincing students of the new scheme’s merits was aided by the Dean’s Student Advisory Board, a new group established by Rudy to assist and advise the Dean on various matters of curriculum and instruction.
Two proficiency requirements rounded out the new program of general education, one in composition, the other in foreign language. These were not entirely new areas of required study. What was new was establishing them as proficiency areas rather than course mandates. Students were asked not to take specific courses but to demonstrate proficiency in writing and in a foreign language before graduation, with several routes available for doing so. This arrangement not only appeals to students desiring flexibility in meeting general education requirements, it also economizes on course and faculty costs. The cost savings were particularly important in the 1970’s, when sharp increases in energy prices and general inflation led to budget deficits and belt-tightening in most universities, Northwestern among them.
Many liberal arts colleges eliminated foreign language requirements in the 1960’s, a trend that continued into the 1970’s, but Rudy had the foresight to preserve and strengthen the College’s commitment to foreign language study. The benefits were, I think, self-evident to Rudy, himself a multi-lingual, multi-cultural immigrant. He could not imagine a liberal arts education that did not acquaint students with the unique insights of attempting to communicate in a second or third language. Today, as undergraduates increasingly want to

study and work abroad, and as colleges enroll large numbers of foreign undergraduates, students are inclined to study foreign languages even without the goad of a proficiency requirement. Rudy’s steadfast defense of language study was not particularly popular at the time, but it was prescient and has greatly benefited the personal and professional lives of generations of CAS undergraduates.
Rudy came up with an economical and effective strategy to further the writing requirement by intertwining it with freshman seminars. Seminar instructors are asked to assess the writing ability of their students at the end of each quarter. Students deemed to be in need of special instruction in composition are then required to take appropriate course work. Those whose writing is rated acceptable can still be required to obtain help in composition, if an instructor in any subsequent course finds their writing to be inadequate. The point is to establish and maintain writing proficiency throughout the student’s undergraduate years. To oversee the writing proficiency requirement and offer instruction in composition, Rudy established the Program on Writing, staffed by well-trained, experienced writers, and The Writing Place, a student drop-in center providing peer assistance with writing assignments.
This scheme of general education requirements --- freshman seminars, structured distribution requirements, writing and foreign language proficiency requirements --- put in place over 40 years ago, still greets Northwestern undergraduates today. We can credit its endurance to Rudy’s care in rationalizing each component and in devising workable arrangements to implement them. The program has become a hallmark of the College’s undergraduate curriculum and a distinctive selling point to attract outstanding applicants.
What accounted for Rudy’s notable success as an architect of general education requirements and builder of a practical, long-standing structure? Most important, I think, was his desire to share the enormous personal pleasure he drew from pursuing ideas and creative work. He wanted others to see how intellectual quests can lead to a life of meaning and reward. But beyond being an idealist, he was a highly-capable manager, knowing how to cope with budget constraints, how to motivate colleagues, and how to persuade students of the wisdom of the requirements.
Rudy left another significant mark on the College’s undergraduate curriculum --- two highly-successful, multi-disciplinary majors, the Integrated Science Program and Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences. Very bright students sometimes know they want to concentrate in the natural sciences or in the social sciences, but they are hesitant to commit to a particular department within those broad areas. To appeal to them, Rudy oversaw the introduction of these two novel programs which allow students to make an early commitment to their broad area of interest but delay the choice of a specialty to a later time. Students begin each program with a specially-designed introductory curriculum that presents methods of analysis common to the various sub-specialties of the broad field; with that background, they can make better-informed choices of branches they wish to follow. Both are honors programs enrolling some of the most talented and highly motivated students in the College, and they have played an important role in attracting more top high school prospects to the College. The exceptional quality of the students makes the programs very popular with faculty, who enthusiastically design and teach the customized courses. Many college administrators seek to

promote multi-disciplinary or inter-disciplinary studies, but few have come up with schemes for doing so that are as successful as the programs Rudy fostered.
Rudy instituted many improvements in governance of the College. I noted them in a tribute I presented at the last College faculty meeting over which he presided on May 20, 1987. That tribute is appended to this remembrance. What I can now add to those remarks is that his reworkings of major areas, such as tenure review and curricular change, are still largely in place decades later and continue to contribute to the rising quality of Northwestern.
During Rudy’s final years at Northwestern, I was chair of the economics department. Economics was, by national reputation, one of the two or three top departments in the College, but its position was threatened by faculty departures. Faculty ranks had shrunk from about 35 to about 25, and some of the best senior faculty were lured away to departments ranked above us. Rudy came to our rescue, supporting an aggressive hiring plan and enhancement of resources for faculty development and research. Still, there was considerable doubt whether these measures would succeed in the highly competitive market for top faculty. The bond of trust and cordiality between Rudy and me, established during the years I served in the Dean’s Office, helped immensely to bolster the effort. We agreed to identify exceptional younger faculty who were not yet tenured, and probably movable, and to go after several of them simultaneously. Rudy approved initial offers that were generous in salary and research support, but candidates often had questions about details and additional concerns. When they did, I could get on the phone with Rudy almost immediately, work out accommodations, and reply quickly with answers and embellishments --- usually to the candidate’s amazement at our promptness and responsiveness. With Rudy’s enthusiastic support, the rebuilding effort was remarkably successful, bringing in a core of brilliant, genial young faculty who revived the department’s spirit and restored its reputation. Several of the faculty we hired during those years were ultimately hired away from us by top departments, such as Harvard, Princeton, and Yale, which only confirms Rudy’s adeptness in recognizing talented targets of opportunity and attracting them to Northwestern.
Life with Rudy was fun and stimulating. The CAS Dean’s Office in the late 1970’s was a modest operation, involving a small number of associate and assistant deans. Most of us brought bag lunches and dined together from time to time in Rudy’s office. Conversations often strayed from office matters to art, music, literature, politics, and personal histories. It was from these gatherings that I came to fully appreciate Rudy’s broad knowledge and critical ability, his enthusiasm for batting around ideas for pure fun as well as enlightenment, and his worldly perspectives on human relations. His balance of seriousness and light-heartedness really appealed to me. From his younger years in Germany, it seems that he acquired a certain formality in conduct and speech that could seem distancing at first meeting, but with familiarity, his affability soon became apparent. His humorous takes on the pretensions and eccentricities of academic life could be disarming and delightful. I recall, for example, one lunch when he told of a morning phone call he made to request an evaluation of a possible hire. The person answering at the other end greeted him with, “Good morning. Center for the Study of Human Problems.” To which Rudy said he could not help but respond, “All of them???”

At the close of each academic year, after the new graduates were congratulated and dispatched at the College’s commencement ceremony, Rudy and Fannia hosted the Dean’s Office team for an informal gathering at their home on Orrington Avenue. I remember with great fondness those June afternoons sitting on the large front porch, relaxing with good friends and recollecting the highs and lows of the past year. The conviviality of these gatherings reinforced the bonds among us, something that was of great concern to Rudy. I learned from him the importance of collegiality and cordiality in building a successful academic enterprise. He wanted the College to be more than a loose collection of departments and independent scholars; he wanted there to be a sense
Posted by Eleanor Weingartner on July 11, 2021
Rudy
What an amazing life you have led. Growing up as your younger cousin I always admired you as did Werner. You were a hero in our eyes. You have had a huge impact on so many people, family, friends, colleagues, and which is what defines successful living. You have done it all. Bravo
Love
Herb Weingartner

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Eleanor Weingartner on July 28, 2021
Ken Janda, Northwestern University

I was chair of the political science department in 1980 when he called me one day in Naples, Florida, while I was visiting my mother. As Dean, he sought my permission to appoint Northwestern history PhD George McGovern to teach in our department the Winter Quarter of 1981. A wealthy donor was putting up the money for the temporary appointment. Not surprisingly, he as Dean thought it necessary to get my permission as department chair.

Of course, I was thrilled at the prospect but wondered what exactly the former Senator from South Dakota and 1972 Democratic candidate for president might teach. I need not have worried. George taught two courses. One was a large lecture course on American foreign policy scheduled for Tech’s largest auditorium. It drew so much interest that we had to arrange for some sort of lottery to limit tickets to the hall’s capacity of several hundred, and then the College had to monitor ticketed entry to his lectures. The other was a small seminar for political science majors. Fortunately, no one was injured in the scramble for enrollment in that select group.

Any students who got into the Tech lecture thinking McGovern would tell them stories about campaigning for the presidency were jolted when he gave them his long and demanding syllabus and taught foreign policy like the scholar that he was. Same for his small seminar.

Ann and I were fortunate to host the McGoverns and the Weingartners one night at a gathering in our Evanston home. Rudy’s call to me stands out in my mind. Other university administrators might have agreed to the celebrity appointment only to inform the department char later.

His was truly a life to celebrate. We now live in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, but my wife Ann was born and raised in Manhattan and lived on 77th street. That street is only 2 blocks north of Hotel Beacon on 75th street. However, Ann lived on the east side of Central Park.

Ken

Kenneth Janda
Payson S. Wild Professor Emeritus of Political Science
Northwestern University
Posted by sondra farganis on July 27, 2021
i may already have written to you about Rudy and Fania and our life at Vassar. But i cannot locate it: the computer is not my thing but telling tales is a key part of my life. and i tell long stories, many of which are really sagas. So let me be short and swift. Jim would have been perfect for capturing Rudy but he left us some years back. so let me tell you quickly that had it not been for rudy and fania our lives at Vassar would have been short and bitter. They were long and bitter and sweet. Rudy was the sweet part--for he knew of Jim through Vassar and CUNY and Binghamton people--Rudy had The Network. And Rudy knew immediately that Jim and Vassar were not a perfect Match but that Jim was what Vassar needed especially when it went Coed. In part, Rudy had a network of friends and scholars that he could always dip into and come out with a winner. Jim and Vassar did not and indeed were not a perfect match but Rudy knew that the Vassar that was changing could benefit from a Jim. I came along as the partner but I think Rudy had to sell the Sondra Silverman part to The New School and he did---saving my career and allowing it to flourish.
That"s
what Rudy did. And he did it with Fania--what a team--we all knew that. 
So I shall TRULY miss this event. Some weeks or is it months back I fractured my left leg by falling--what jewish girls from Brooklyn do because they are thinking a minimum of eight scenarios at the same time. Rudy had the talent and the morality to save so many of us. Jim and I lucked into that talent and who we are/were and what became of us was a Weingartner gift. 
Posted by Lawrence Lipking on July 26, 2021
Rudy was a man who trusted his gut. He loved art and music and good writing and thinking, and family and friends, and putting things together. And he knew what he liked and wanted. Within moments of our first meeting, when he recruited my wife Joanna and me to come to Northwestern, it was clear that we were going to be friends. Rudy was not a placeholding dean; he was creative, and set out to create a university that mattered.

That creativity was evident in everything he did. For many years, in company with Natalie and Garry Wills (another of his recruits), Rudy and Fannia organized weekly excursions to concerts and operas, preceded by wonderful conversations (and bourbon and beer) at the Berghoff. Nor was Rudy a passive onlooker. On one occasion, the world premiere of Lutoslawski's fiercely difficult Symphony No. 3, seated in the front row, he managed to see and follow part of the musicians' scores, and marvelled at Solti's ability to keep all of them in his head. In another life, Rudy might himself have been a conductor.

But the life he led was always active enough. The lovely collection of prints by sculptors that filled his house, and that he gave to the Block Museum in memory of Fannia, testifies to the power of his attention and fine judgment. He was also a talented sculptor. A favorite of mine is a graceful Narcissus, bending toward his reflection in a pool. A closer look reveals that he made the work entirely from little "Rudies," personal namecards saved from conferences. This Narcissus was not at all self-important.

After their move to Pittsburgh, Rudy and Fannia remained our close friends. Jo and I often visited there, where several relatives lived, and we always spent at least one warm and luxurious evening basking in the Weingartners' hospitality and camaraderie. Those days could not last forever. But even after Fannia's death, we stayed close to Rudy and Gissa. One memorable week, when I had tickets to the whole Ring Cycle at Lyric Opera and Jo had fled the city to avoid it, Rudy came to stay with me and Wagner. This was an education. He had seen many Rings before, even at Bayreuth, but the freshness of his enthusiasm and keen perceptions transformed the Cycle for me (it did not even seem too long!).

Our last time together was also special. Rudy now lived in Mexico City with Eleanor and her family, and after Jo died he was kind enough to invite me to visit. The house was full of memories and music and affection. And Rudy, though walking with a cane, took time to show me his city. Museums galore. A Christmas concert during which the whole town seemed to sing along. Street protests. But also all sorts of people, from musicians and writers and artists to workers who kept the city going. Rudy took an interest in them. And he stayed active and creative, not only with his hands but with his blog, which spoke out for a mind still curious, still questioning, still ready to help others. That is a Rudy I will remember--always larger than life.
Recent stories

RHW 1968 New York Review of Books Letter to the Editor in response to Trouble At San Fransisco State

Shared by Eleanor Weingartner on July 18, 2021
Cont’d

Rudolph H. Weingartner

September 26, 1968 issue

In response to:

Trouble at San Francisco State: An Exchange from the April 11, 1968 issue To the Editors:

There is trouble at San Francisco State College, all right, but I am not at all sure that the Windmiller-Gerassi exchange (NYR, April 11, 1968) has made clear what it is: With a certain amount of eloquence—surely with a fluency that befits the literary setting of the exchange—Messrs. Windmiller and Gerassi are giving the world a look at a rather private scene of the play that has been unfolding, in San Francisco. Although the trouble at San Francisco State has relevance for all of higher education in America, the issues posed in the exchange do not bring this out. Marshall Windmiller, as one who played an important role in Gerassi’s firing, defends himself at length; his method is historical: he gives an account of Gerassi’s hiring, his career at San Francisco State, with special attention to the eruptions of December 6 and their aftermath. Gerassi, the one who was fired, is concerned with justifying his actions; his method is polemical: he proposes to show how everyone who is not a student or gung-ho like himself belongs to the same corrupt establishment. Windmiller’s history has a flaw that Aristotle found in all of history: it does not permit one to see the general in the particular. Gerassi’s fiery polemic does not illuminate enough. As someone who was quoted by Gerassi with approval, but who is one of the “liberal, ingrained, faculty-ized academicians” of whom Gerassi so sharply disapproves, I should like to open the curtain to the larger scene, in the hope that something can be learned from the story of S.F. State.

For some time, San Francisco State College has been a lively place in which fairly solid academic work has been carried on side by side with interesting as well as scatterbrained experimentation and with routine teacher education. The attractiveness of San Francisco as a place to live, the opportunities provided by rapid institutional growth as well as the general demand for more and better public education on the college level largely go to account for the flourishing of the college from the late Fifties on. I believe the period of upswing has ended and

that a decline is inevitable. I do not see how anyone can prevent it. The outburst of December 6 and its aftermath, including the Windmiller and Gerassi exchange, are symptoms of conditions and trends that are largely independent of personalities and of particular events.

Public education in California bears a heavy burden; only a small proportion of its huge educational needs are fulfilled by private institutions. Just about every year for a decade a new campus of the University of California or a new State College was created, not to mention the expansion of institutions that already existed. This costs a lot of money, but for some years—starting well before Reagan’s election made manifest to the world what California was all about—the state has shown increasing reluctance to foot the bill. (In 1965 California spent $10.79 per $1000 of personal income on institutions of higher education, whereas the twenty-five Western states exclusive of California—where there are also relatively few private institutions—spent $17.89.) The State Colleges are particularly hard hit by this: the skimpiness with which they are financed in the first place (as compared with the University of California, for example) is made worse by unbelievably inflexible methods of budgeting and by a stifling control exercised through the pre-, during and post-auditing habits of the state’s Department of Finance.

California’s unwillingness to adequately support the State Colleges is not just a product of the universal desire to keep the tax bill down. A lot of California money is agricultural money: education is not an interest of enterprises whose fortunes are made by having lettuce picked, packed and shipped as cheaply and quickly as possible. Industry in California is relatively new and not so deeply rooted; it does not have the political voice that it has, say, in the mid-Atlantic states. Then California also has more than its share of America’s anti-intellectualism with its suspicion of any education that is not obviously aimed at training people to perform “useful” tasks in society. At the same time as relative budgetary support decreased, the know-nothing streak in California widened. As increasing parsimony became, with the election of Reagan, public orgies of budget slashing, California’s anti-intellectualism found noisy and flamboyant spokesmen in an experienced actor-governor and in Max Ra!erty, an articulate nineteenth-century schoolmaster, California’s Superintendent of Public Instruction.

The administration of the State Colleges also changed. With the creation of a much touted but disastrous master plan in 1960, second-class citizenship was o"cially conferred upon the California State Colleges and confirmed in law. This status was implemented by the creation of a central Board of Trustees that was to rule over all the State Colleges, by means of an executive arm headed by a Chancellor. From the beginning, appointment to this board has largely been a

matter of political reward, with the result that the Trustees of the eighteen or so State Colleges must, by all counts, be regarded as a remarkably undistinguished group. In their attitudes and in their ignorance they have been representative of the politically dominant class in the State of California, as they have been in their willingness to act and act swiftly upon their ignorance. As a part-time lay board they have made it their task to administer a dozen and a half colleges from afar. Under an obedient chancellor a bureaucracy was created, full of vice and assistant chancellors and of super-deans (such as a student-less dean of students) whose job it is to promulgate rules for, supervise the procedures of, exact reports from, and otherwise harass their over-worked counterparts at the various colleges. Above all, they are at the upper end of the immensely long ladder of decision.

The function of this board with its bureaucracy is other than might be expected. It has never faced the State in behalf of the colleges; it has never understood the goals of the colleges and interpreted them to the public and to the politicians who make the laws and appropriate the monies; it has done little fighting for the needs of the State Colleges as genuine institutions of higher learning. If one sees through occasional flurries of rhetoric, the central governing body of the State College System has unfailingly served as a one-way funnel through which the untutored desires of politicians are forwarded and implemented.

What these desires are must be clear enough in the light of what was said above. The politicians want the State Colleges to keep in their classrooms as many students as possible at the lowest possible cost. The State wants as many of them as can be managed trained to perform the various tasks which need to be performed in California. In as quiet and orderly a way as can be achieved and with a minimum of expenditure, the California State Colleges are to make their contribution towards the continuous increase of the gross income of the State. Rule from the center will facilitate this, because it will foster uniformity, orderliness, and e"ciency.

Finally, there are the two most pervasive and complex conditions which, for the readers of the Review need the least elaboration. There is the war in Vietnam, with its draft, and racial injustice in all corners of American society, including its colleges. These two issues have converted phlegmatic students into passionate moral agents and adolescent rebelliousness into profound opposition to the establishment.

All this was far too much for poor San Francisco State. (It is still an open question whether the much more established University of California can withstand the pressures.) After all, the members of the faculty and of the student body that have given S.F. State its—I think deserved—reputation for a certain amount of freedom

and creativity were never more than a significant minority of all those who go to classes there—sitting on either side of the lectern. Interference from the outside, an unwieldly bureaucracy, a scarcity of money with no options to transfer funds from one function to another leave one no room within which to operate when particular problems need to be solved.

As the pressures mounted, the faculty coped by passing more and more ringing resolutions. No one has yet paid any attention to them. An attempt by the American Federation of Teachers to lead a walkout in protest against the crudest infringements of the College’s academic autonomy fizzled ingloriously. No one has yet figured out how to face the demands—partially legitimate, I believe, and partially not—which the active students make of the College.

Under the pressures I have listed, the College’s administration, too, began to change. Like the administration of the System, it came to develop an interest of its own: the smooth working of all the wheels in the machinery. Whereas in the past, the College’s administration had for a time reflected and served the creative impulses of the faculty, it is now rapidly losing touch with what is best in the faculty and student body alike. The silent majority has not found its voice, but it has acquired spokesmen in the various administrative o"cers who have of late been coming into power. I do not see what can stop San Francisco State College from becoming just another branch of the California State College System.

It was on this point that Gerassi quoted me, but this point is only the next to the last of a long series that has to be made. The final observation must be about what all this has done to the individuals who have been teaching at S.F. State.

Polarization covers much of the ground. Pressures from the outside and the sense of impotence engendered by the lack of room for maneuvering pushed many of those who cared at all to one extreme side or the other. Some, like Gerassi, found themselves maintaining the view that the genuineness of feelings—mostly those of students—were the one value to which everything had to be sacrificed. The nihilism of Gerassi’s views and actions is reminiscent of its classical models in Turgenev and Dostoevsky, including its painfully suicidal qualities. Gerassi got himself fired before his first year was out; what he did at San Francisco State will not lead to improvement there.

Windmiller, liberal, knowledgeable, reflective, was pushed the other way. For him the pressures drove a painful wedge between theory and practice. At an institution less prey to political interference, Windmiller would have seen that for the sake of free colleges and universities, the distinction between professional and unprofessional conduct must be made closer to the instructor’s classroom and his

profession, that Gerassi’s climbing into a window, though reprehensible, was not su"cient ground to yank him out of his classes in the middle of a semester. But, under the circumstances, no one, Windmiller included, was free to consider Gerassi’s case calmly. A full assessment of it is yet to be made.

John Summerskill, a new president at San Francisco State College, bright, perceptive, good impulses, though not equipped to be a cog in a machine, soon found himself caught in a three-way crossfire coming from outside (the politicians and the System), from the students at the College, and, with bb guns, from the faculty. It took less than two years to render him ine!ectual inside and outside the College; he had no way of dealing with the problems that arose. He then did the only sensible thing. He quit.

I have been at S.F. State since 1959 and I’ve liked the College, the students, my department, the great city. But I became weary of the academic battles and the losing. The only victories we have celebrated in the last couple of years have been on occasions at which others—the System, the Legislature, the Governor—had failed, for once, to worsen our lot still more. Usually, though, they have been successful in making inroads on our dignity as an institution of higher learning and on our financial support. I have given up hope and am leaving the College and the State of California.

No more than Gerassi’s actions are Windmiller’s, Summerskill’s, and Weingartner’s likely to lead to change for the better.

Others are staying. Some—too many—go about their business as they always have. Nothing has altered for them; nothing did when, earlier, the College came to flourish; nothing does, as it threatens to wither. For others, much has changed and they go about their business grimly, hoping against hope that the course of events can be reversed. To them, I wish the very best of luck and hope that my bleak vision of the future for S.F. State is somehow wrong.

But if I am right and if for some long years San Francisco State will be just another state college, there are many colleges and systems around the country who can still learn from its fate. For some, it may not be too late.

Rudolph H. Weingartner Department of Philosophy San Francisco State College

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