Rudolph H. Weingartner

February 12, 1927November 16, 2020

WEINGARTNER--Rudolph H. Weingartner, former Provost of the University of Pittsburgh, former Dean of Northwestern University’s College of Arts and Sciences, Philosophy professor, and author, died in his sleep Monday [November 16, 2020] in Mexico City. He was 93.

Rudolph Weingartner was born on February 12, 1927 in Heidelberg, Germany, to Jacob and Greta Weingartner. At 12 years of age, Rudolph fled to the United States with his parents and his brother H. Martin in 1939, settling first in Manhattan’s Washington Heights, then Jackson Heights, and later Hollis Hills, Queens. Rudy, as he was known, attended Brooklyn Technical High School, enlisted in the US Navy in 1945, and served in the Pacific theater immediately following the surrender of Japan. Following his discharge from the Navy, Mr. Weingartner attended Columbia University in New York, earning his Bachelors, Masters, and Doctorate in Philosophy.

In 1952, Mr. Weingartner married Fannia Goldberg-Rudkowski, whose family had escaped Danzig to Australia. Fannia was in graduate school at Bryn-Mawr when they married, but on completion they settled in New York.

Professor Weingartner’s academic career took off in earnest when he accepted a position in the Philosophy department at San Francisco State College where he taught and chaired the department. Following a stint as chairman of the Philosophy Department at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, Weingartner became a full-time administrator as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, a position he held for 13 years. Weingartner served as Provost of the University of Pittsburgh from 1987 until 1989, and continued to teach in the Philosophy Department there until his retirement.

Prof. Weingartner wrote two books in his original field of study, Experience and Culture: The Philosophy of Georg Simmel, and The Unity of the Platonic Dialogue: The Cratylus, The Protagoruas, the Parmenides, and with his friend and colleague Joseph Katz, edited Philosophy in the West: Readings in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy, but he is best known for his books on higher education: Fitting Form to Function: A Primer on the organization of Academic Institutions, Undergraduate Education: Goals and Means, and The Moral dimensions of Academic Administration.

In addition to his scholarly writing, Prof. Weingartner was a frequent contributor to the Opinion section of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and the penned the autobiography Mostly About Me: A Path Through Different Worlds and A Sixty-Year Ride through the World of Education, a memoire of his career.

Rudy was devoted to his work, but his avocation was sculpting in wood. Having been introduced to working in wood in high school, he maintained a workshop wherever the family moved, creating bowls, lamps, and furniture, but soon found his passion in sculpting, an art he practiced long into retirement.

A lifelong devotee of classical music, Rudy served on the advisory board of the Pittsburgh Symphony and occasionally sang in the chorus. With a broad knowledge and appreciation of modern art, Rudy and Fannia built a collection of prints by sculptors which they donated to Northwestern University’s Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art. Mr. Weingartner was an emeritus board member of the Cornudas Mountain Foundation, engaged in preserving The Hill, the site of artist James McGee.

Professor Weingartner was married to Fannia Weingartner until her death in 1994, and was married to Regitze Weingartner (formerly Hamburger) from 1997 until they separated amicably in 2012. He is survived by children Mark H. Weingartner and Eleanor Weingartner Salazar, and by grand-children Daniel Max Salazar and Eva Fannia Salazar.


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