Obituary: Kropp, Olin School of Business; 57

Dean H. Kropp, Ph.D., the Dan Broida Professor of Operations and Manufacturing Management and co-director of The Boeing Center for Technology, Information and Manufacturing at the University, left an indelible impression on all he touched, including the thousands of students he taught since 1986 at the Olin School of Business and his higher-education colleagues.

Dean H. Kropp
Dean H. Kropp

Kropp’s legacy at the University reached beyond the classroom. He led the business school’s Total Quality Schools Program, helping city public-school principals apply sound principles of management to improve their schools, and he worked with countless companies in the United States, Asia and Europe.

He died Friday, April 11, 2003, at Barnes-Jewish Hospital after a three-year battle with leukemia. He was 57.

Before coming to the University, Kropp taught at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

Kropp won the coveted Teacher of the Year award an unprecedented 15 times in voting by Washington University master of business administration students.

Olin School Dean Stuart I. Greenbaum, Ph.D., said that Kropp was an exceptional member of the business school faculty and a distinguished teacher.

“For Dean Kropp, teaching was more than a profession; it was his calling, his passion, his chosen identity,” Greenbaum said. “To the very end, he would not be deprived of contact with his students, for they sustained him, defined him and dignified him. Our profession had no greater zealot, and his legacy is secure.”

Kropp earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering and master’s and doctoral degrees in industrial engineering from Stanford University.

Kropp received a bone-marrow transplant from an anonymous donor found on an international marrow registry.

The family would like to express their gratitude for the care provided to Kropp and his family by the University physicians, the staff of the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at the School of Medicine and Barnes-Jewish Hospital, and the caring health professionals of the leukemia and stem cell transplant unit at Barnes-Jewish.

A memorial service will be at 4 p.m. April 21 in Graham Chapel.

Among the survivors are his wife, Kristine Kropp; children Hobbie, Caitlin and Chandler Kropp; sister Nancy Grote of Pittsburgh; and many close friends, including his hiking group.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Olin School of Business in support of the Total Quality Schools Program.