Professor of Management, Emeritus
1915 – 1999
Paul Kircher died on April 30, 1999 in Long Beach, California. He joined the UCLA Anderson School faculty as an assistant professor of accounting in 1952 and was a professor of accounting at the time of his retirement in 1986.
Born in Chicago and reared in Montreal, Kircher attended McGill University. After recovering from one of several recurring bouts of tuberculosis, he went on to earn a B.B.A. from the University of New Mexico in 1941.
Kircher taught at Western Michigan University while earning both an M.B.A. (1947) and Ph.D. (1949) in business administration from the University of Michigan. In 1948, he accepted an appointment as an assistant professor of accounting at the University of Chicago, where he resided until 1952 when he accepted a position as assistant professor of accounting at UCLA.
A consultant to the General Accounting Office in 1959, Kircher helped to write the first report by the comptroller general on the use of electronic computers by the federal government. He also served as consultant to the state controller, advising on the first installation of electronic computers for California. Through his ties to IBM, Kircher (with other colleagues) was instrumental in bringing the first computer to the business school at UCLA. He was also one of the first members of the management faculty to discover the power of word processing and introduced many of his colleagues to the world of personal computing in the early eighties.
Kircher’s Anderson School colleagues experienced him as a man with an insatiable intellectual curiosity whose interests were unconstrained by conventional academic boundaries. After Kircher retired in 1986, he was recalled for a number of years by the UCLA Anderson School to teach a course on life-long learning, which had one of the school’s largest student enrollments. The course was organized, by Kircher, around the belief that “intellectual growth should not end with the acquisition of a degree” and he emphasized “the importance of learning outside the field of one’s expertise.” At the time of his death Kircher was working on a book that examined the difference between knowledge and wisdom, from a variety of cultural viewpoints.
Memories of Kircher, especially among his more junior colleagues, were of a man who was always available for help and consultation on issues ranging from emotional support to help with issues of research design and publication.
Kircher is survived by four daughters: Mary Kircher Hoverson, Elsa Kircher Cole, Helen Kircher Everts and Carol Kircher Sampson. His wife Hester predeceased him.