Western mourns death of former Chancellor, economist

Western is mourning the passing of former Chancellor Grant Reuber, BA’50, LLD’85, who served the university in multiple capacities, including as head of Economics and Sociology, the first dean of the Faculty of Social Science, as Provost & Vice-President (Academic), and eventually, as Chancellor. He died July 7 at the age of 90.

Beyond his remarkable academic career as an economist, Reuber also served as the deputy minister of finance under former Prime Minister Joe Clark’s Progressive Conservative government, as president and COO of the Bank of Montreal and as chairman of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation. He was a member of the Royal Society and the Order of Canada.


“Dr. Reuber’s stature in the history of our university is virtually unrivaled,” said Western President Amit Chakma. “No one has played so many important leadership roles within the institution, in addition to distinguishing themselves in the civil service, as well as the world of business. It’s a sad day for Western and our condolences go out to the family, friends and colleagues Grant leaves behind.”

Born in Mildmay, Ont., Reuber graduated from Western with a BA in economics. After earning his MA and PhD at Harvard University, he returned to Western as a professor of Economics where he quickly distinguished himself as an exceptional scholar and leader. As a scholar, Reuber was the first economist to explicitly use the inverse relationship between unemployment and inflation as a policy constraint. As a result, policy makers could no longer institute policies that lowered inflation without worrying about raising unemployment, and vice versa.

During the 50th anniversary celebrations of Economics and Sociology at Western in 2016, several colleagues credited Reuber’s leadership during his time as department head and dean for laying the foundation for the departments’ future successes through faculty hires and strategic investments he made in areas of strength.

“As Dean, he was ready to make sure money was available to do things that made the department attractive,” said Clark Leith, former Western Provost and Chair of the Department of Economics from 1972-76.

Professor emeritus and Hellmuth Research Prize winner John Whalley added, “The growth that occurred in 1960s and 70s was quite rapid and remarkable. Much of the credit in building the Department goes to Grant Reuber.”

Audra Bowlus, Chair of Economics, noted, “It was wonderful to have Dr. Reuber return to Western for our 50th anniversary celebration. His stories and lessons learned regarding the creation and rise of Western Economics to an internationally ranked department still resonate and are practices that we continue to follow today. He will be greatly missed.”

A funeral service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Friday, July 13 at Grace Church-on-the Hill, 300 Lonsdale Rd. in Toronto. Visitation will be held at the Morley Bedford Funeral Home, 159 Eglinton Ave. W., on Thursday, July 12 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Reuber’s memory may be made to the Grant and Peggy Reuber Merit Scholarship at Western. Please direct donations to the attention Kendra Lealess, Western University, Westminster Hall, Suite 110, 1151 Richmond St. London, ON N6A 3K7 or by calling 519-661-4200 or online at www.westernconnect.ca/tribute.

Western will lower the flag on University College in Reuber’s honour on July 13.