Skip to main content

Otway Pardee

Biography

Otway Pardee served with the U. S. Navy 1944-1946. He married Marilynn (Lynn) in 1946, and they have three daughters, Irene, Loraine and Suzanne, who graduated from Stanford, Syracuse U. and Reed College. Loraine, who graduated from Syracuse, majored in mathematics. Otway received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering in 1948 from Stanford University, and joined the SU Mathematics Department that year. During his years in the Math Department he served two or three times on the Advisory Committee (the predecessor of the Executive Committee), and represented the Department with the School of Engineering. He had two Ph.D. students: William Prentice (1959) in mathematics, and Leon Hanouille, who is now an assistant professor in the School of Management.

He was director of the academic computer center from 1962 to 1969, and was the chair of the SU committee that planned the School of Computer and Information Science (CIS). The other members of that committee were Will LePage, Ted Denise and Linton Freeman, and they saw the proposal through the Senate and NY State. CIS began about 1966. In 1969 Otway became a full professor in CIS.

Late in Tolley's term as Chancellor, there was a joint committee of some faculty (including Kibbey) and some trustees that recommended to the Trustees that SU get a new Chancellor. Otway was a member of the University Senate for more than 20 years, first representing Mathematics and then CIS, and a member and several times chair of the Senate Agenda Committee. When Corbally became Chancellor, he asked Otway to put together an advisory committee for him, and that committee included Eggers, Mike Sawyer and others. Corbally found Eggers to be very good, and made him Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs. At the time of Kent State Corbally phoned the Syracuse police to ask whether they could secure the campus if it came to that; they said "no". When students took over the Chancellor's office, Corbally said he would not talk with them until they left his office. When Corbally left the University in 1971 to become the President of the University of Illinois, Eggers became Chancellor.

Kibbey originally obtained salary information from many individuals and departments and he tallied it. When the administration objected that it was not correct, Kibbey responded "If you want it correct, give it to us." Later, when John Olsen was assistant to Chancellor Tolley, he actually gave salary information on paper tape to Otway. At the time Corbally arrived, financial systems were primitive to say the least, and he brought in Ron Brady as a vice-president, to be head of financial administration. Brady set up the financial systems the university has now. Otway was chair of the Senate Budget Committee, and Brady gave Otway access to the budget of the University and faculty salaries. Otway had university budgets in APL on his computer until 1978 or 1979. He met with the Trustee Budget Committee and a trustee came to Senate Budget Committee meetings. The Chancellor needed a little flexibility in finances, and Otway recommended to the administration and the trustees that the Chancellor have a contingency fund, and this was done.

Otway gathered salary information for Committee Z of AAUP, the first two times during Tolley's administration, and he did this until he retired. When the national AAUP first had faculty salary information, it was in the form of letter grades. It was partially based on the minimum salary (e.g., for professors), and two low salaries could be excluded. One year SU had 3 low salaries, which caused a C. Otway told the Chancellor's assistant to tell the Chancellor Tolley that by raising one person's salary by $300, he would raise the University's grade from C to B; the Chancellor did.

Otway is an old AAUPer, and he served as president of the local AAUP in 1960. He was a member of a survey subcommittee of the national Committee T, they studied faculty participation in university governance, Otway wrote a survey of 31 questions for universities to answer, and the report appeared in the AAUP Bulletin of March 1971. Otway was also a member of AMS, MAA, American Physical Society, IEEE (the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers), and Association of Computing Machinery (chairman of the Syracuse chapter in 1963), among others. Generally he continues to attend the annual international meeting of APL; he went to Russia in 1992 for such a meeting, and the Russians gave them a red carpet treatment, showing them facilities that they had just opened up for inspection. He recently published a paper on cryptography in an APL journal. He is listed in the 66th edition (2002) of Who's Who in America.

Otway retired in 1986, having spent the last academic year on leave. One reason he retired at age 65 was to travel. Now Lynn has to get around using a quad cane, but they still travel, although Lynn cannot walk to see some sights. They went to China in 1998 on a tour of almost two weeks, and this year they went to Alaska on another tour for 17 days with one of their daughters and almost every year they go to the west coast for a family visit.

Sources: My several phone conversations with Otway; and Otway's listing in volume 66 (2002) of Who's Who in America.

Phil Church 6/04/02.