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The Gabelli School Mourns Loss of Dr. Marta Mooney, former business school professor

Announcements | Jun 08, 2020 |

Dr. Marta Mooney, professor emeritus of management at Fordham University’s business school, passed away on May 28, 2020, at the age of 87. Friday, June 5, would have been her 88th birthday. 

Before beginning her career at Fordham in 1976, Mooney was an aerospace engineer at the Lockheed Aircraft, Missiles and Space Company in California in the late 1950s and through the ‘60s, which was unusual for a woman at that time. 

Mooney earned her BS. in Engineering in 1965 and her MS. in Economics in 1967, both from San Jose State College in California. Ten years later in 1977, she earned her Ph.d. in Management from the University of California, Los Angeles, now known as the Anderson School of Management.

Over her 31 years at Fordham University, Mooney, with professors Marek Hessel and Milan Zeleny, pioneered a holistic approach entitled Integrated Process Management at Fordham University, then the Martino Graduate School of Business Administration.

Together, they created the management systems area, integrating business statistics, quantitative methods, and organizational behavior to incorporate the philosophy of innovative management technology. Under their leadership, the management systems area faculty redesigned the entire curriculum along principles of integrated process management to educate students as future business leaders. 

Milan Zeleny, professor of management systems, remembers when Mooney welcomed him to Fordham, and also to New York. He said, “When she welcomed this young European immigrant at Fordham – I recall her words – ‘Now, Milan, you will be a Yankee!’ I still am.”

Mooney was also responsible for founding the Deming Scholars Program at Fordham Graduate School of Business, with Dr. Deming sending a $500,000 check of his own funds to Mooney for the program.

Dave Stuhr, retired faculty advisor, noted, “Of all the scholars I have known, Marta Mooney was my favorite. I remember many lunch meetings in our faculty dining room when she would outline to me her latest “outrageous” idea. Probably the most important was the Deming Scholars Program that was instrumental in bringing attention to the concept of continuous improvement and the critically important work of W. Edwards Deming.”

Through this program, Fordham MBA students have been introduced to principles of quality management as taught by leading experts such as W. Edwards Deming, Joseph M. Juran, and Kaoru Ishikawa. 

Mooney also served as the co-founder and co-director, with Marek Hessel, of the Center for Advanced Management Studies, pioneering innovations process management research.  

Gabelli School of Business faculty members Dr. Esther Solomon, Dr. Marcia H. Flicker, Dr. Victor Borun and others remember their colleague and friend as being a very warm, courageous, outgoing, innovative, respected, and caring person, as well as a mentor. “She has been missed since she moved to California and the world will be a less colorful place without her”, said Flicker. 

Mooney retired from Fordham University in 2007. 

She was also an advisory editor for National Productivity Review, and had been on the board of directors for the Notre Dame School of Manhattan, where she volunteered for many years.

Mooney was charitable to the very end. At her request, her brain was donated to UCLA to study dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. She is survived by her daughters, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

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