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September 1, 1997

Harry R. Wellman, former acting UC president, dies at age 98

By Mike Lassiter
Director, UCOP News and Communications

Harry R. Wellman, who interrupted his retirement to serve as acting president of the University of California from 1967 to 1968, died August 18 following a long illness.

Known by colleagues as a "quiet facilitator," Wellman started working for the university in 1925 as an extension specialist in agricultural economics and played a key role in the shifting of most administrative authority from the president's office to the campuses.

"Throughout his long and distinguished career as an agricultural economist and university administrator, Harry Wellman's name was synonymous with the highest standards of integrity, skill, and service to the university and to California agriculture. Both have lost a dedicated steward and a faithful friend," said C. Judson King, UC provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.

"Harry was not a dramatic person doing dramatic things," said former UC President Clark Kerr. "He was a quiet facilitator, who was able, by friendly persuasion, to impact the university in a quiet effective way."

Born in Alberta, Canada, on March 4, 1899, Wellman received his bachelor's of science degree from the Oregon Agricultural College in 1921. He received his master's degree in 1924 and his Ph.D. degree in 1926 from UC Berkeley. In 1960, he was awarded an honorary law degree from Oregon State University.

Wellman officially retired from the university in 1966, with titles of vice president emeritus of the university; professor emeritus of agricultural economics; and agricultural economist emeritus in the agricultural experiment station and Giannini Foundation.

In January 1967, Wellman postponed his retirement to become acting president to fill the vacancy left when the Board of Regents dismissed Kerr.

Wellman's scholarly work centered on price analysis, marketing, and agricultural policy, particularly in relationship to California fruit and vegetable crops. He also published more than 150 monographs and articles on economic aspects of agriculture.

Wellman is survived by his daughter, Nancy Jane Parmelee, son-in-law Robert Parmelee, three grandchildren, and three great grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, gifts should be made to the Harry R. Wellman Fund for Support of Graduate Students in Natural Resource Economics, or to the First Congregational Church of Berkeley, 2345 Channing Way, Berkeley, Calif.

Memorial Services were held on August 30 at the First Congregational Church in Berkeley.

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