Announcement: Passing of Dr. Stephen B. Chaikind, Professor Emeritus

The Office of the Provost announced the passing of Dr. Stephen B. Chaikind, Professor Emeritus, on April 12, 2018. Chaikind died on April 11, 2018, after a short illness. He was 68 years old.

Dr. Chaikind was born on August 22, 1949, in New York City. He received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree at Baruch College of the City University of New York, his master’s degree in economics at the City College of New York, and his Doctor of Philosophy degree, also in economics, at the City University of New York Graduate Center in 1978.

His first job after completing his doctorate was with the Congressional Budget Office, a federal agency that provides budget and economic information to Congress. He worked there for seven years. When Congress passed a law in 1980 to split the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare into the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services, Dr. Chaikind led the effort to develop the Department of Education’s multi-billion dollar budget.

After leaving the CBO, he became chief economist and senior statistical associate for a private firm for five years. During this time, he directed two large government contracts for the United States Department of Education.

Dr. Chaikind was a professor in the Department of Business from 1989 to 2012, a total of 23 years, and was named the University’s Distinguished Faculty Member for 1997-1998. Upon his retirement, he was named Professor Emeritus.

He was an exemplary teacher and scholar, and an expert in economics, cost analysis, and the legal implications of economic decisions. During his first four years at Gallaudet, he also served as a research fellow with the National Bureau of Economic Research in his native New York City, commuting back and forth the entire time.

He was an advisor and consultant to several institutes and corporations during much of his time at the university and served as book review editor and a member of the advisory board of the Journal of Education Finance. Dr. Chaikind was widely published, and a prolific presenter at general economic and education economic conferences.

Dr. Chaikind was a member of the University Faculty Senate and several of its committees and served as chair of the Council on Undergraduate Education. He also served for several years on the University Budget Committee. University administrators sought him out for advice and counsel on executive and legislative budget issues-specifically, how they might impact the University’s operations.

Dr. Michael Grossman, a member of Dr. Chaikind’s dissertation committee, noted that Dr. Chaikind authored two papers with Dr. Hope Corman, a professor at Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, on the health, behavior, and education effects of low birth weight. This was just one of Dr. Chaikind’s many research interests

Dr. Khadijat K. Rashid, Interim Dean of the School of Education, Business, and Human Services, described Dr. Chaikind as a wonderful colleague. “For 20 years, Steve and I were the Gallaudet Economics Department, and we got together regularly even after he retired. He had a dry wit and he was smart, pugnacious, dedicated, and sometimes combative. In other words, he was a true human being.” Dr. Stephen F. Weiner, a professor in the Department of Art, Communication, and Theatre, said, “Steve was passionate about students getting the best possible education at Gallaudet.”

Dr. Chaikind was a devoted fan of the New York Yankees, and a wine connoisseur. For several years, he taught a very popular course on the economics of wine at Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Chaikind is survived by his wife of 35 years, Hinda Ripps Chaikind, of Bethesda, Maryland; a son, Brian, and his wife Kendra Chaikind of Oakland, California; a daughter, Laurie Chaikind and her fiancé Timothy McNulty of Bethesda, Maryland; a brother, Richard Chaikind and his wife, Jan LeGassick of Oakland, California; and many in-laws and friends.

The Department of Business will host a celebration of Dr. Chaikind’s life this fall.

Dr. Chaikind’s family asks that memorial contributions be made to a favorite charity, the Make-a-Wish Foundation, or Gallaudet University.

Dr. Chaikind brought a wealth of personal and “real-world” professional experience to the classroom and demystified economics for generations of students. He also was widely respected by his colleagues on the faculty. He will be greatly missed.
All photos courtesy of Gallaudet University Library Deaf Collections and Archives.

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