In memoriam: John A. Rohr, professor emeritus of public administration
August 16, 2011
John A. Rohr, professor emeritus of public administration and a founder of the Center for Public Administration and Policy in the School of Public and International Affairs within the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, died on Aug. 10.
Born in 1934 in Evanston, Ill., Rohr received his bachelor’s degree from Loyola University of Chicago, and graduate degrees from Loyola, Georgetown, and the University of Chicago, where he was a student of famed political philosopher Leo Strauss, an experience that later influenced his seminar-oriented teaching style.
A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1979, Rohr contributed to the research and study of governance and public administration, writing numerous articles and seven books. In 1988, he received the Distinguished Research Award, presented jointly by the American Society of Public Administration and the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration.
He also received the prestigious Dwight Wald Award from the American Society for Public Administration in 2002 for contributions to the literature and leadership of public administration. He was a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C., and Fellow of the National Academy of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration.
A dedicated teacher, he taught the principles of public administration in a wide range of courses at the graduate level. As a scholar, his research focused on ethics in public management, normative theory, public law, comparative public administration, and constitutional issues in public administration.
Rohr was conferred the "professor emeritus" title by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors in 2008.
Commissioned as an officer in 1967, Rohr retired from Naval Reserve in 1991 with the rank of commander.
Among his lasting legacies at Virginia Tech is his work as a founder of the Center for Public Affairs and Policy, which promotes the common good of the constitutional republic and the advancement of public service by providing education, research, and outreach in the theory and practice of public administration, management, and policy.
Rohr is survived by his wife Kathy and their two sons, Mark and Paul.
Visitation will take place on Aug. 18 from 2-4 p.m. and from 6-9 p.m. at McCoy Funeral Home, 150 Country Club Drive, SE, Blacksburg Va., where a prayer vigil will also be held at 8:30 p.m. on the same day. A funeral mass will take place on Aug. 19 at 11 a.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 1205 Old Mill Road, Blacksburg, Va.
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