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Mendoza dean emeritus, John Gorman Keane, dies

| Tuesday, October 29, 2019

John “Jack” Gorman Keane, who served as Martin J. Gillen dean emeritus and Korth professor of strategic management in the Mendoza College of Business, died Thursday at the age of 89, the University announced in a Monday press release.

Keane served in the former role from 1989 – 1997 and in the latter from 1989 – 2010. According to the release, his key priorities as dean were “strengthening the college’s academic reputation” with an emphasis on “business ethics and international business” and increasing the diversity of the student body and faculty of the business school.

University President Emeritus Fr. Edward Malloy said Keane’s work centered on ethics and synthesizing the “theoretical and practical” elements of a business career.

“Jack Keane was a devoted Notre Dame dean and a consummate professional who always emphasized the moral dimension of business and the need for creative and effective leadership,” Malloy said in the release. “He sought to integrate the theoretical and practical as manifest in government service and the world of business.”

Keane graduated with undergraduate degrees from Notre Dame and Syracuse University, the release said. He earned his MBA from Indiana University and his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh. He also studied at Sophia University in Tokyo.

Before joining the Notre Dame faculty, Keane served as the 18th director of the Census Bureau during the administration of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan from 1984 – 1987. During his time as director, Keane testified before Congress more than 40 times and signed agreements with a number of different nations, including the Soviet Union, China, Mexico and Canada, among others.

Keane was also an Air Force veteran who served in the Korean War with private sector experience at J. Walter Thompson, Booz Allen Hamilton and Managing Change Inc., the latter of which he founded. His academic areas of expertise “included corporate strategy, strategic management, family enterprise, business history and international management.”

Professor emeritus of finance Frank Reilly praised Keane’s dedication to his family and his efforts to obtain a new building for the College of Business.

“In his personal life, Jack was a fabulous family person who was an incredible husband and loving father,” Reilly said in the release. “During his professional career as the dean, he was devoted to the construction of a new building that enhanced the teaching environment for a rapidly growing student body and attracted outstanding faculty from nationally renowned universities. Clearly, this building has contributed to our growth in prestige among major business schools, and for that we will be forever grateful.”

Keane is survived by his wife, Rosemarie, as well as his children John W. Keane, Janmarie Keane Schnabel and Sharon Keane.

A visitation will occur from 1 – 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday at South Bend’s Kaniewski Funeral Home. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place the same afternoon at 3:30 p.m. in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on campus. Keane will then be buried in Notre Dame’s Cedar Grove cemetery.

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