UNIVERSITY PARK | Leo Goodman-Malamuth II, second president of Governors State University, died Sunday at his home in LaQuinta, Calif., the university announced Wednesday.
Goodman-Malamuth was 88. He served as GSU’s president between October 1977 and July 1992.
During his 15 years as GSU president, Goodman-Malamuth was instrumental in revising its curriculum, redesigning its colleges and developing a new student grading system. Goodman-Malamuth reorganized the university’s administration, establishing the first office of provost and vice president of academic affairs.
“Dr. Goodman-Malamuth strengthened GSU’s role as a Public Square,” said GSU’s current president, Elaine P. Maimon. “He sustained GSU’s founding principle of innovation, while imposing necessary constraints and developing sound educational practices.”
Goodman-Malamuth was an early supporter of GSU’s Center for Performing Arts, a cultural jewel in Chicago's south suburbs. He commissioned several works of art for the nationally renowned Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park. He helped establish the GSU Foundation, the university’s fundraising arm.
Goodman-Malamuth also expanded GSU’s use of communications technology, especially through the use of telecourses that were transmitted throughout the United States.
“He was an excellent president who brought a feeling of community and spirit to GSU,” said David Curtis, who worked with Goodman-Malamuth for many years as an administrator. “I loved the man.”
“He was the president who took the most steps to move GSU into the mainstream of higher education,” Curtis said. “When he arrived on campus, he saw that changes were needed.” It took a few years until all the changes were in effect, Curtis said, but Goodman-Malamuth was a “constant presence,” who made sure GSU was headed in the right direction.
Goodman-Malamuth received a bachelor's in speech, radio-TV; a master's in speech pathology; and a Ph.D. in speech pathology and communication from the University of Southern California. He was a U.S. Army veteran.
No funeral or memorial service is planned at this time. His family said a celebration of life in his honor will take place later this year on a date to be determined.