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February 18, 2004

Former Provost James N. Rosse dead at 72 of sudden illness

By Barbara Palmer

James N. Rosse, provost from 1984 to 1992, died Feb. 16 in Newport Beach, Calif., of a pulmonary condition. Rosse, 72, a resident of Irvine, Calif., had been hospitalized following a sudden illness, said his daughter, Anne Rosse.

As the university's seventh provost, Rosse oversaw the budget crises of the early 1990s as well as the $1.2 billion Centennial Campaign, the creation of the Stanford Institute for International Studies, a university committee study on minority issues and the redevelopment of science facilities on campus.

"Jim was very important at Stanford and did a wonderful job as provost of the university. He guided us through tough times," said John Shoven, the Charles Schwab Professor of Economics and director of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR).

Rosse was born on Nov. 4, 1931, in Sidney, Neb., and attended Princeton University before earning bachelor's and master's degrees and a doctorate, all in economics, at the University of Minnesota. He taught at the University of Minnesota before coming to Stanford in 1965 as an assistant professor of economics. Before becoming provost in September 1984, Rosse was the first director of SIEPR. He also had served as the chairman of the Department of Economics and as the associate dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences.

An expert on communication industries, industrial organization and public policy, Rosse was instrumental in rebuilding the Department of Economics and in strengthening SIEPR, Shoven said. Rosse had served on SIEPR's advisory board and had been planning to participate in a conference scheduled next week, Shoven said. "He was engaged with Stanford until the end," Shoven said.

"If Jim were writing his own obituary, he would quickly mention his students. He was very proud of his graduate students," Shoven said. In 1976, Rosse won the dean's award for distinguished teaching in the School of Humanities and Sciences and was a Ford Faculty Fellow in 1969-70.

After leaving Stanford in April 1992, Rosse became president and chief operating officer of the media company Freedom Communications Inc. in Irvine, Calif., which owns radio and television stations and newspapers, including the Orange County Register. Rosse retired in 1999.

Rosse is survived by his wife, Janice Grimminger Rosse, and daughter, Anne, of Irvine, Calif.; sons James J. Rosse of Omaha, Neb., and Stuart Rosse of Naples, Fla.; his parents, James C. and Shirley Rosse, of Omaha; and six grandchildren.

Services will be held at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 20, at Pacific View Memorial Park, 3500 Pacific View Drive, Corona del Mar, Calif.



Barbara Palmer, News Service: (650) 724-6184,


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