September 17, 2018
Midwestern University mourns the passing of long-time executive and beloved colleague and friend, Arthur G. Dobbelaere, Ph.D., who died on September 4, 2018.
Dr. Dobbelaere served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Midwestern University, a position he held since 1995. He was responsible for the on-going operations of the University and planning in areas such as physical plant, campus administration, campus engineering, human resources, media resources, information systems, and risk management. In this role, he masterfully managed the projects related to the design and construction of 52 buildings, including state-of-the-art classroom and laboratory spaces, simulation labs, student housing, support facilities, and parking on the University's 105 acres in Downers Grove, IL, and 156 acres in Glendale, AZ. The legacy he left at Midwestern University is immeasurable.
Beyond his numerous professional contributions to Midwestern University, what Dr. Dobbelaere will most be remembered for are the countless ways he impacted the lives of his colleagues, his employees, and our students. He was the master of ceremonies at every campus event, from White Coat and Commencement ceremonies, to faculty and staff recognition dinners and holiday celebrations. His warm smile, quick wit, and genuine affection for every member of our academic family will never be forgotten. At every meeting he ran and on every committee he served, Art always set a high level of expectation for excellence, and he always asked exactly the right questions. Most notably, no one was more proud of his team and this University than Dr. Dobbelaere.
Dr. Dobbelaere was a member of the University's Board of Trustees from 1989 to 1995, serving as the Chair of the Human Resources Committee from 1991 to 1992 and as Vice Chair of the Board and Chair of the University Oversight Committee from 1993 to 1995.
One of his dearest friends on the Midwestern University Board, Mrs. Gretchen Hannan, expressed, "Art was a visionary who brought his many talents to Midwestern. His dedication was unbelievable; he lived for his family and for the University. He was a true friend to all."
University Board member and Chair of the Finance Committee, Gerrit van Huisstede noted, "Art was always a rock in our midst, confident, modest, and most important of all, competent and professional. He just made a complicated job look easy. I will always treasure the memories of Art in our meetings and our personal interactions."
University Board member and long-time construction partner Steven Chanen stated, "Dr. Dobbelaere will always be remembered as his good works live on in the brick, mortar, and spirit of Midwestern University."
Prior to being employed by the University, Dr. Dobbelaere had 20 years of academic experience at Loyola University Chicago, beginning as an assistant professor in the Department of Economics. From 1986 to 1996, he was professor and Director of Loyola's Institute of Human Resources and Industrial Relations, a graduate program offering the Master's Degree in Human Resources and Industrial Relations. While at Loyola he served as an expert witness on economic matters in personal injury litigation and as a management consultant to various corporations nationwide.
He served on the City of Glendale Municipal Properties Corporation, Arrowhead Hospital Board, and Glendale Planning Commission. He was the Past Chair of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce.
Dr. Dobbelaere made a home in the Glendale community, alongside his longtime business partner and dearest friend, Kathleen H. Goeppinger, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Midwestern University. From their faculty positions at Loyola University, to their consulting business, and culminating in their leadership at Midwestern, they truly created a world-class University with a national reputation for excellence in the health professions. Their focus on nurturing people coupled with an emphasis on sustainable business practices served to greatly expand the University over the last 23 years. Dr. Dobbelaere had a great appreciation for the history of the University, and took tremendous pride every year as our student population grew to over 6,800 students with 11 colleges offering 27 degrees. The vision and commitment of Drs. Goeppinger and Dobbelaere are reflected in every aspect of the University's success.
Dr. Dobbelaere received a B.A. in economics from St. Benedict College in 1970, an M.A. in economics from the University of Notre Dame in 1973, and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Notre Dame in 1975.
A lifelong sports fan, Dr. Dobbelaere was known to cheer on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team, the Arizona Cardinals, and the Chicago Cubs. He loved golfing, reading, traveling, and spending time with his loved ones.
Memorial services for Dr. Dobbelaere will be held on each campus later this year. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Arthur G. Dobbelaere, Ph.D., Student Scholarship Fund at Midwestern University.