James Robert Charles Leitzel
On February 25, 1998 Jim Leitzel's many friends at Ohio State and elsewhere were saddened by the news of his untimely passing. Jim and his wife Joan had been respected and admired long time members of the Department of Mathematics at Ohio State.
James Leitzel was born in Shenandoah, PA. and attended Pennsylvania State University, where he obtained a B. A. in 1958 and an M. A. in 1960. Subsequently he was employed as an instructor at State Teachers College in Bloomsburg, PA. In 1963 he entered the mathematics graduate program at Indiana University, where he obtained a Ph. D. in 1965, writing a dissertation in the field of number theory. There he also met his wife Joan (nee Phillips), a fellow mathematics graduate student, who obtained her Ph. D. the same year.
Jim and Joan Leitzel joined the mathematics faculty at Ohio State in 1965, where they remained until 1990. Jim was promoted to associate professor in 1971, and in 1988 he was appointed Vice Chairman.
In 1990 Jim took leave from Ohio State to go to Washington, D.C. to join Joan, who had been appointed division director at the National Science Foundation. In Washington Jim served as visiting mathematician and special projects director at the Mathematical Association of America. In 1992 Jim officially retired from Ohio State, and became associate professor of mathematics at the University of Nebraska, where Joan had been appointed senior vice chancellor. In 1996 Jim Leitzel was appointed professor of mathematics at the University of New Hampshire, where Joan had been appointed university president, and where he remained till his death after a five month battle with cancer.
At the time of his death Jim was co-director of the national Exxon Project NExT to support young mathematics faculty. He also served with many groups concerned with mathematics education, including committees of the National Research Council, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Jim was survived by his wife; his sons John and James; and a granddaughter, Hannah.
- Jim Leitzel: An Appreciation - MAA online article
Resolution in Memoriam: James R. C. Leitzel
The Board of Trustees of The Ohio State University expresses its sorrow upon the death on February 25, 1998 of James R. C. Leitzel, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Mathematics.
Professor Leitzel was born May 27, 1936, in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania. After receiving Baccalaureate and Master's degrees from Penn State and a doctorate from Indiana University, he joined The Ohio State University Mathematics Department in 1965. While serving as vice-chair of the Department of Mathematics, he created and fostered a sense of community among mathematics graduate students. He was instrumental in creating the Master of Arts in Teaching degree program and served as chair of the MA coordinating committee from 1980 until his retirement in 1992. Professor Leitzel was also a visiting mathematician and director of special projects for the Mathematical Association of America from 1990 to 1992.
Professor Leitzel provided exemplary service and leadership to The Ohio State University as Secretary of the University Senate from 1984 to 1987.
Upon his retirement from The Ohio State University, Professor Leitzel joined the faculty of the University of Nebraska and later the University of New Hampshire. He devoted himself to the enhancement of mathematics education nationally. He served with many groups concerned with math education, primarily the Mathematics Association of America, but also committees of the National Research Council, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the American Association of the Advancement of Science. At the time of his death, he was co-director of the widely recognized national Exxon Project NEXT (New Experiences in Teaching) providing for the professional development of beginning faculty in mathematical sciences departments.
On behalf of the University community, the Board of Trustees expresses its sympathy and understanding to his family and friends. It was directed that this resolution be inscribed upon the minutes of the Board of Trustees as an expression of the Board's heartfelt sympathy.