Remembering a founding member of management sciences

Monday, November 29, 2021

Shoukry Saleh, a retired faculty member who helped build a Waterloo Engineering department, died on August 9 at the age of 91.

In 1968, he was one of four professors recruited by Archibald Sherburne, then dean of Waterloo Engineering, to establish the Faculty’s management sciences department.

Instrumental to its launch the following year, Saleh served as department chair from September 1974 to August 1978.Shoukry Saleh

While at the helm, he introduced the Faculty’s management sciences option that quickly became the most popular one selected by undergraduate students.

Shoukry Saleh

Well liked by his students and colleagues, Saleh remained an active part of management sciences after he retired.

He co-hosted the department’s 25th-anniversary event, was scheduled to be part of its golden anniversary celebrations that were postponed due to COVID-19 and regularly attended other activities, including holiday dinners.

Well respected in his field

Former colleague Edward Silver says he and his family were immediately welcomed by Saleh and his wife, Wendy, when he joined management sciences in 1969. The two families remained close friends over the years.

“Although our professional interests — teaching, research and consulting — were quite different, I know that Shoukry was very well respected in his field,” writes Silver, a retired management sciences professor. “I particularly appreciated his quiet, non-confrontational manner in dealing with areas of disagreement among faculty members.”   

Silver recalls a humourous incident that happened when department members had lunch at a cafeteria on campus one winter.

“During lunch, a snowstorm blew in with strong, cold winds that we would have to face on the way back to our building,” he writes. “We stepped outside and hurried back to our building. When we arrived, we realized that Shoukry was not with us! Fortunately, we quickly determined that he had abandoned the quest, ducking into the first available building on the way back!”

Saleh’s daughter, Krista, describes management sciences as her father's "other family"  and says donations in honour of him can be made to the department.  

Donations to the department's  50th anniversary fund can be made through the University's Make a Gift to Waterloo page. Under Gift Designation, select the Other Fund option and type Department of Management Sciences 50th Anniversary Fund in the box below. At the bottom of the page, there is a section to indicate who the donation honours.

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