Paul Heyne: Distinguished Economics Lecturer

Economics Lecturer Paul Theodore Heyne did not let his diagnosis with kidney cancer get in the way of his love for teaching. Throughout his two-month struggle with his disease, he taught last winter despite his pain and failing health. He died April 9, at the age of 68.

Paul Heyne

In a 1995 interview, Heyne estimated he had taught more than 15,000 UW students in introductory economics. "In the early years I lectured. I was entertaining my students more than I was educating them. Then I realized the only way they are going to master these concepts is by reading, writing and talking," he said. "Now the class starts out with a small quiz on the reading material. There might be two or three short writing assignments. We break out into small discussion groups."

Heyne received two divinity degrees from Concordia Lutheran Seminary in St. Louis, got his master's from Washington University and a Ph.D. in ethics and society from the University of Chicago. He came to the UW in 1976, and turned down a tenured position to become a senior lecturer because of his love for teaching undergraduates.

"Paul was completely dedicated to teaching undergraduates," says George Bridges, associate dean of undergraduate education. "He made very big classes seem small."

Heyne promoted economics through his interests with religion, social issues, justice and free market economies. His critically acclaimed book The Economic Way of Thinking, sold 200,000 copies in Russia alone and translations also exist in Czech, Romanian and Hungarian. He was also a recipient of the UW's Distinguished Teaching Award in 1979.

"This is a huge loss to the University. I wish that future generations of Huskies could have him as an instructor. He was just the best," Bridges says.

To contribute to the Paul Heyne Fund, an endowment to bring visiting scholars to lecture on social and ethical issues, make your check payable to the University of Washington Foundation and send it to Paul Heyne Fund, c/o Beth Altman, UW Department of Economics, Box 353330, Seattle, WA 98195-3330. —Hallie Fortt

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