UH Bauer Remembers Arthur Warga

Published on August 8, 2011

As Dean, Warga Led the College through Transformation Period,
Achieving International Reach and Recognition

Arthur D. Warga

Arthur D. Warga, the Judge James A. Elkins Professor of Finance and former dean of the University of Houston C. T. Bauer College of Business, passed away on Sunday, Aug. 7, 2011, at the age of 58, after a lengthy and valiant battle with brain cancer.

Warga led UH Bauer through a transformative decade as dean from 2001 until early March 2011, when he stepped down from the position. He took on the role shortly after AIM Investments co-founder Charles T. “Ted” Bauer gave the college $40 million, which coupled with his leadership, brought in additional faculty and expanded programming and led to a strong relationship with the local business community along with national rankings and recognition.

“The accomplishments of Prof. Warga’s life and the grace with which he handled challenges are truly an inspiration —  from his efforts to raise the profile of the Bauer College of Business to battling cancer —  and he handled all this with professionalism and poise,” said UH System Chancellor and UH President Renu Khator.

Warga joined the University of Houston in 1997 as the Judge James A. Elkins Endowed Chair of Finance and Banking, and in 2001 was appointed to serve as the dean of Bauer College.

He was founder and director of the Fixed Income Research Program, which provides research databases on bond pricing to major universities around the world as well as to the Board of Governors of Federal Reserve System and regional banks. Warga conducted studies for the U.S. Treasury Department, Congressional Budget Office, Office of Housing and Urban Development and General Accounting Office, and served as a consultant to major corporations including Citigroup, General Dynamics, UBS, Standard and Poor’s and Heartland Mutual Funds. His research was widely published and the focus of several articles in The Wall Street Journal, Bond Buyer, The Economist, and Dow Jones Newswire.

In addition to his academic research contributions, Warga was recognized for his work in the classroom with the MidCon Teaching Excellence Award, given to honor an outstanding teacher in Bauer College’s Executive MBA program. He taught Corporate Finance, Fixed Income Security Analysis and doctoral seminars.

Prior to coming to UH Bauer, he served on a number of faculties, including the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University, where he directed the doctoral program in finance. Originally from Brookline, Mass., Warga received a Bachelor of Science in mathematics from Brown University in 1975. He earned his master’s degree in mathematics in 1977 and Ph.D. in financial economics in 1980 from the University of Michigan.

“I met Arthur in 1997 when he joined the finance department as my colleague. Over the years he became a co-author, a dean, a mentor and a close friend. Under his leadership the Bauer College made significant strides in the areas of faculty research, innovative programs, student success and national rankings. He will be dearly missed by his colleagues, former students, friends and those who worked for him,” said Interim Dean Latha Ramchand.

The Daily Cougar Remembers Arthur Warga

Bauer Business Focus on Dr. Warga’s Legacy

At Warga’s request, there will be no funeral service, but his family is planning a memorial service for a later date. Additionally, the family has asked that, in lieu of flowers, donations in Warga’s memory be made to either The Dr. Marnie Rose Foundation or the University of Houston Bauer College of Business.


A memorial service was held in Melcher Hall on Aug. 26, 2011, for Arthur Warga, past dean of the University of Houston C. T. Bauer College of Business, who passed away on Aug. 7, 2011, after a valiant battle with cancer.

Friends and Colleagues Remember Arthur Warga

  • “We have lost a valuable colleague and great friend. He will be greatly missed.”
    – Michael J. Cemo (BS ’68), Michael J Cemo Interests
    Former Regent UH System
  • “Arthur knew excellence and pursued it boldly. Christopher Wren’s memorial at St. Paul’s in London is an inscription that says ‘if you seek his memorial, look around you.’ I think the same is true for Arthur. If you look around our College, you see Arthur’s memorial — in the quality of the faculty, in the quality of student services, in the new buildings and student spaces, and in the sense that destiny is on our side and anything is possible.”
    – Edward A. Blair, Ph.D., Professor and Chairperson, Department of Marketing & Entrepreneurship
  • “The Bauer College of Business and the University of Houston have lost an internationally prominent scholar and a great leader. The Bauer College made great strides under Arthur’s visionary leadership; with his deep commitment to research excellence and corporate and social relevance, Arthur took the Bauer College to a whole new level. His imprint will be seen for a long time in Bauer’s top-quality faculty, and world class centers of excellence and programs. We will miss him deeply.”
    – Praveen Kumar, Ph.D., El Paso Corporation – JP Morgan Chase Bank Professor Chair, Department of Finance Executive Director, Global Energy Management Institute
  • “Arthur set out to build a business school where he would be proud to be a faculty member, and he achieved that.  We will miss him greatly as a colleague.  His imprint as a dean will be with us for a long time to come.  The momentum he created in building human talent, instructional programs and physical facilities continues to advance the Bauer College toward being recognized as a premier public business school.”
    – Thomas George, Ph.D., C. T. Bauer Professor of Finance, Department of Finance
    Director, AIM Center for Investment Management
  • “Arthur left many good works behind him, but I think his most important legacy is the Bauer Honors Program. Ten years ago, he made a commitment to Honors education and gave us the faculty and resources to build the premier business Honors program in the nation. I remember our first conversation about Honors, in which he said that he wanted the best honors program, not just on this campus, but in the nation. Bauer Honors has grown from 75 to 240 students, about 25 percent of the Honors College.”
    – Everette S. Gardner Jr., Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Decision & Information Sciences
  • “Arthur Warga was my Ph.D. adviser at Houston. I have known Arthur since 1997; in fact, I was Arthur’s first Ph.D. finance student at Bauer, having graduated in 1999. Arthur was very kind, supportive, encouraging and always ready to help. He always inquired of my and my family’s welfare each time I called and wrote to him, which was until recently. I owe him for giving me a head start in my academic career. Our paper published in the Journal of Fixed Income (2002) on the microstructure of corporate bond markets received a lot of recognition, including a citation in the report submitted to the Senate Banking Committee in 2004. He was a wonderful and magnanimous person at heart, and his void will be hard to fill. My heartfelt prayers are with him and his family.”
    – Madhu Kalimipalli (Ph.D. Finance ’99)
  • “Although many of us associated with the Bauer College of Business will remember Arthur for his successful decade as our Dean, it is important to also recognize that he was a well-established, world class scholar before accepting this administrative position.  Arthur’s passion and persistence truly is commendable. His vision to elevate our college pulled him from his position as a chaired professor and placed him in a challenging, dynamic new role.
    Arthur aspired to build a college that our students, faculty, and alumni could be proud of and without his tireless efforts, we could not have achieved our successes to date. The expectations he held for himself and others were high and his commitment to greatness was strong. Through these values, Arthur’s leadership raised the Bauer College to the top of the business school rankings and drastically improved its international reputation. In addition, I foresee his leadership having an impact for years to come.
    Arthur will forever be one of the bravest people I have ever known.  How many people, when faced with the same obstacles, continue to pursue their goals and achieve as much as Arthur?  He is an inspiration to us all. We all benefited from his creativity, intellect, and tireless passion.  I will forever miss my loyal friend.”
    – Michael Ahearne, Ph.D., Professor – C. T. Bauer Chair in Marketing
    Executive Director, Sales Excellence Institute
  • “Arthur was a great colleague and friend who will be missed. He was graced with intelligence, wit and the warmth of the most amiable person. His wonderful spirit will always lighten my heart and the hearts of all who knew him. Farewell to a man who was a gentle and gentile giant, both in the academy and in life.”
    -Ronald Johnson, Ph.D., Dean – Jesse H. Jones School of Business, TSU
    Member, Cougar Investment Fund Board of Managers

Posted Under: Doctoral, Faculty and Staff, Graduate, Recognition, Undergraduate

13 replies to “UH Bauer Remembers Arthur Warga

  1. Ryan Mendez

    Dean Warga,

    You oversaw a program and a college which changed the course of my career aspirations and made me a better, stronger man.. Beyond your abilities as a teacher and an administrator, I will always remember you for being a kind man who inspired others to achieve greatness. You will be greatly missed. Thank you for all you did.

    Ryan Mendez
    Class of 2007

  2. Danil Rollerson

    Dean Warga,
    Was an inspiration to those who were returning students, explaining that investments in ones future would go on to ensure that their children would have a chance at a higher education. For my daughters sake I can only say thank you as those words just don’t seem to be enough. You will be missed kind Sir. Our prayers are with you and your family at this time.

    Danil Rollerson
    Class of 2003

  3. W Carl Glaw, CPA

    Dr. Warga was a great leader and a key time in UH and Bauer College history. He was the right guy at the right time. Teaming with Bob Casey, Associate Dean for Development at Bauer was a powerful and potent combination. The results they achieved were unprecedented in UH history. His positive , entrepreneurial can-do attitude took Bauer to the top of Tier 1 along the the # 1 ranked Entrepreneurship program in the United Stated. We love you Arthur and will always have a place in the hearts of the Glaw family and countless others.

  4. Anonymous

    Dean Warga,

    We have a lost a true hero for our college today. I am very grateful for what you did to help make Bauer the place it is today. Rest in peace and know that you and your family are in my prayers.

    Lisa Berry
    Class of 2003 & 2010

  5. Allen Ross

    My friend, my brother, I struggle to put into words the void your absence has created in all you touched. It was an honor to watch you grow in an educational enviornment you loved so, and there is no more fitting place for a tribute to you than here. I saw the pride and excitment in your eyes every time you shared the changes and success at the Bauer School of Business with my family and me ~ your family.
    The world was a better place with you in it.
    Allen Ross

  6. Linda Glaw

    Dr. Warga was an inspiration to those of us who knew of his battle and will be missed by all of us who knew what enthusiasm he brought to the University of Houston and the Bauer School of Business.

  7. Dee King

    Dean Warga, is one of the primary reasons I am a gift giving proud Bauer Alum. Under his leadership with the stellar support staff that he built and cultivated I took pride and delight in watching the transformations that evolved from investing in Bauer and Bauer students. Because of Dean Warga, Bauer students are in the enviable position of being “Dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants” Bernard of Chartres

    “Bernard of Chartres used to say that we are like dwarfs on the shoulders of giant, so that we can see more than they, and things at a greater distance, not by virtue of any sharpness of sight on our part, or any physical distinction, but because we are carried high and raised up by their giant size.” John of Salisbury

  8. Monica McHenry

    On behalf of the University of Houston Faculty Senate, I would like to express our sympathy to the family of Arthur Warga. He was a valued colleague and a dedicated administrator whose contributions to the Bauer College and to UH will long be remembered.

  9. Anonymous

    We are deeply saddened by Arthur’s absence. In addition to his reputation for international scholarly excellence, Arthur showed leadership the way it counts — take a stand and stand by it. The grace with which he dealt with his illness is another example of courage. We will sorely miss a wonderful leader, friend, scholar and human.

  10. Melvyn Wolff

    I’m happy for you, Arthur. You lived a rich and meaningful life and you lived it to the fullest.l of love. You were able to share a unique happiness with your life’s partner, Penny. You were able to see your three sons develop into the kind of men you could admire. And you were able to see the school you loved so much flourish under your leadership to a position of national prominance. Perhaps your departure was premature in the eyes and hearts of so many of us, but your legacy will be everlasting. What more could you have asked for? Rest now in peace, my friend. You will live on in our fondest memories. Melvyn.

  11. Pingback: Bauer Business Focus » Latha Ramchand and Ed Blair on Bauer Business Focus, August 26, 2011

  12. Vivian Gallant

    This is a late response, but I moved out of state and lost touch with the Warga family. Still, I have thought of you often and remember your kindness of accepting us into the West U community. I am so sorry to hear that Arthur died. I never knew him as a scholar, but asa person. There was something about him that made me think he could see right through me—usually a distressing thought, but he only showed love and acceptance, and I believe he actually did care for his fellow humanity deeply. He must be with God now as Arthur seemed like such a reflection of Him.

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