Professor Kenneth Kovach Dies

Posted: January 21, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Amanda Adolph

Kenneth Kovach, professor of management in the School of Management, died on Friday, Jan. 16. He was 57.

Kovach came to George Mason in 1976 and served in key leadership roles, including most recently as area coordinator for management. “Ken was a leader in the School of Management and will be deeply missed by students and colleagues. His depth of expertise and commitment to teaching were reflected by the loyal following of students and alumni who kept in close contact with him. We are both shocked and saddened by his passing,” says Richard Klimoski, dean of the School of Management.

Kenneth Kovach

Kovach, a familiar face to students and the community, most recently taught two televised courses in human resource management and industrial relations on GMU-TV. GMU-TV honored his memory with a moment of on-air silence at 10:30 a.m. yesterday morning, the time slot in which his course was televised for many years.

“Dr. Kovach was able to engage his students with humor, personal life stories, his expertise and special brand of humanity. His legend loomed large when I chose his class. I have counted him as one of those professors I fondly remember and who I enthusiastically have recommended to others,” says Stacey Remick-Simkins, chair of the Staff Senate.

Kovach’s scholarship addressed a host of issues in labor relations and human resource management. His most recent work included articles on genetic testing in the workplace, baseball labor relations, employee privacy, and human resource information systems. He published eight books, including Strategic Labor Relations and Strategic Human Resource Management. Kovach was an active consultant in the areas of human resource management and industrial relations to both regional and national firms, with clients ranging from the National Hockey League Players Association to Goodwill Industries.

Over the years, Kovach received numerous awards for teaching, including the George Mason University Alumni Association’s Faculty Member of the Year Award, George Mason’s Distinguished Faculty Member and Teaching Excellence Awards, and the Faculty Award for Outstanding Contributions from Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society.

A funeral service for Kovach was held yesterday. Plans for a memorial service on campus are under way.

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