MILR/MHRLR Founder Professor Melvin Lurie

Melvin Lurie was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and graduated from Boston Latin School in 1940. After serving in World War II, he obtained a B.A. in Economics from Pennsylvania State University in 1948, and later his Masters (1951) and Ph.D. (1958) in Economics from the University of Chicago. Professor Lurie taught at the University of Connecticut, the University of Rhode Island, and Wesleyan University (Connecticut), and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Melvin Lurie

In 1966 Melvin Lurie took a position as Professor of Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and served in that position until his death in 1987. In addition to these duties, Professor Lurie was an active researcher, publishing in such prestigious journals as the Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Journal of Higher Education, Journal of Industrial Economics, Journal of Law and Economics, and the Journal of Political Economy. He was at various times associated with the U.S. Wage Stabilization Board, the Harvard Business School, and the U.S. National Labor Relations Board. At UW-Milwaukee, he also held positions as the Chairman of the Economics Department, the Director of the Social Science Research Facility, and Associate Dean for the College of Letters and Science.

Professor Lurie spent much of the 1970’s and early 1980’s attempting to bring the Master’s in Industrial and Labor Relations Program to fruition. In late 1983, the University of Wisconsin formally initiated the program, Professor Lurie was appointed Director of the program, and the first students entered the MILR program in the Fall of 1984. The program has experienced enormous success since that time and has served many students from Milwaukee and around the state of Wisconsin and the U.S. The program became joint between the College of Letters and Science and the Sheldon B. Lubar School of Business and was renamed the MHRLR in January of 1998.

Melvin Lurie is survived by his wife, Lois, and children, Jonathan Lurie, Robert Lurie, Alexander Lurie, and Susannah Taylor. The family maintains close ties to the program through the annual Melvin Lurie Memorial Award ceremony. For information about contributing to the Melvin Lurie Memorial Fund, please contact John Heywood at the MHRLR program.