Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Sunday, September 19, 2004

Wytze Gorter, 90, former UH chancellor

By William Cole
Advertiser Staff Writer

Wytze Gorter, an economics professor who was named the first permanent chancellor of the University of Hawai'i-Manoa in 1972, died Tuesday in Kane'ohe. He was 90.

Gorter, who was chairman of the economics department at UCLA before he came to UH, was recruited by former university president Tom Hamilton, and held a variety of positions at Manoa.

He was dean of the graduate school and director of research from 1964 to 1972. From 1972 to 1974 Gorter was chancellor. He became president of the Faculty Senate in 1975, was a professor of economics in 1978, and was executive director of the University of Hawai'i Research Corp.

Former UH President Fujio Matsuda first met Gorter after Gorter arrived from UCLA and became dean of the graduate school.

"He was well established as an economist and a scholar," Matsuda said. "That was his contribution. He raised the quality of the university."

Matsuda remembers Gorter as even-tempered.

"I never saw him lose his cool, except once, I think, when the regents interfered with his decision as chancellor," Matsuda said. "It was something to do with the athletic program, I think. He didn't rave or rant or run to the press. He just made a decision appropriate for the chancellor at that time. So he was highly respected."

The position of chancellor was created in 1971 and was filled on an interim basis by Richard Takasaki until Gorter's arrival.

Gorter is survived by a son, Chris; daughter, Ann Reed; two grandchildren; and one great- grandson. Services will be private.