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Memoir

Isaiah Leo Sharfman
Regents' Proceedings 571

The Regents of the University of Michigan hereby express to Isaiah Leo Memoir Sharfman, Henry Carter Adams University Professor of Economics, upon the occasion of his retirement from active membership in the University faculty, their genuine appreciation of his many valuable services as teacher, scholar, administrator, and friend to thousands of Michigan students and alumni.

Professor Sharfman's association with the University of Michigan from 1912 to 1955, a period of forty-three years, began when he was twenty-six years old, after he had earned the A.B. and LL.B. degrees at Harvard University, had been Assistant in Economics at Harvard, had been admitted to the Massachusetts Bar, and had been Professor of Law and Political Science at the Imperial Pei-Yang University inTientsin, China. Coming as Lecturer in 1912, he became Professor of Economics in 1914 and Chairman of the Department of Economics in 1927. He was named the Horace H. Rackham Professor of Economics for 1936-37. Two years later Harvard University awarded him the James Barr Ames Prize for legal writing in recognition of his five-volume work on the Interstate Commerce Commission, the most definitive study of public regulation in the railroad industry. In 1943 he was appointed Henry Russel Lecturer; in 1947, Henry Carter Adams University Professor of Economics. Only the firmest allegiance to academic life could have held Professor Sharfman at the University in the face of wide outside recognition of his abilities, both in government and in private business. His services in the settlement of labor disputes, mainly in the railroad industry, were constantly sought and resulted in his being a member, and often chairman, of various emergency and arbitration boards under the Railway Labor Act. To those who have been closely associated with him, his extraordinary sense of duty has been a continuous challenge and inspiration. Through his membership on the Executive Committee of the Coflege of Literature, Science, and the Arts, on the Executive Board of the Graduate School, and on the Executive Committee of the Institute of Public Administration, he influenced educational administration and policy formation within the University.

The Department of Economics stands as a monument to his intellectual integrity, to his foresight and wise planning; his students have carried his love of learning and his respect for hard thinking to all parts of the world. The Regents hereby express their deep appreciation to Professor Sharfman for the distinguished services he has rendered to the University, and hope that he may for many years enjoy his well-earned leisure. They furthermore confer upon him the title Professor Emeritus of Economics, inviting him to avail himself of all the courtesies that are customarily shown to emeritus members of the faculty.