Casey Ichniowski, 58, teacher and administrator at Columbia University

Posted: February 12, 2014

CASEY ICHNIOWSKI was an esteemed economist with numerous research papers behind him and a teacher highly regarded by his students, but when it came to fantasy football, he could trash talk with the best of them.

"His fantasy-football opponents were awed by his moves and his good-natured trash talk," his family said.

A graceful shortstop in high school, Casey never lost his love of sports, even when he became a distinguished professor and researcher at Columbia University.

" 'Casey at the Bat' may have failed, but the brothers and teammates of our Casey know that he was the one player you wanted in the clutch," his family said.

Bernard Eugene Casimir Ichniowski, chairman of the management division of the Columbia University Graduate School of Business, with which he was associated for 30 years, and a strong family man, died Sunday from a ruptured cerebral aneurysm. He was 58 and lived in Bala Cynwyd and Brooklyn, N.Y.

Casey was a teacher who "cared deeply about engaging his students," his family said.

He joined the school in 1984, and in 1997 was appointed the Carson Family Professor of Business.

"Casey was a renowned scholar who researched and published extensively," his family said. "He made seminal contributions to the field of human resource management practices and their impact on the economic performance of businesses and to the study of public-sector unionization."

He recently developed a new elective for his students - the Management and Economics of Professional Sports.

Casey made a study of soccer so he could coach his children's recreational-league soccer teams in Bala Cynwyd and Stony Brook, N.Y. His teams were often contenders for state titles and progressed to regional championships.

Casey was born in Baltimore, the third of four sons of Casimir Thaddeus Ichniowski, a professor of pharmacology and assistant dean at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, and the former Felice Marie Wassell, an elementary- and middle-school teacher.

He graduated in 1973 from Loyola-Blakefield High School, where he played baseball and was student-government president in his senior year.

He received a bachelor's degree from Harvard College in 1977, and went on to the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he earned a master's degree in 1981 and a Ph.D. in 1983.

He married Anne Preston in 1984.

"He was a superb colleague, a trusted friend, and a man of uncommon good sense and warmth," his family said. "He did everything well."

A devoted family man, Casey was proud of the fact that his three children all attended Columbia University. "They shared special times at lunch between classes and in the shelter of Casey's office," his family said.

"Casey is remembered for his giant heart, his good humor and his vast knowledge of things important and trivial."

He was a member of St. Matthias Church in Bala Cynwyd.

Besides his wife, he is survived by two daughters, Elizabeth Ichniowski and Carolyn Ichniowski; a son, Timothy, and three brothers, Thomas F., Michael J. and Stephen Ichniowski.

Services: Were Saturday.

Donations may be made to the Casey Ichniowski Memoral Fund at Columbia College, Attn.: Amanda Lasker, Office of Alumni and Development, Columbia University, 622 W. 113th St., New York, NY, 10025.

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