Indiana University Bloomington


European Union Center


Roy Gardner’s loss is sorely felt in WEST where students and faculty shared a special relationship with a man called by many their favorite professor.  He earned this designation through his incredible generosity with his professional time and ready willingness to serve both students and the university on countless committees. To my knowledge he never declined a request to serve.  But he is also distinguished by the great depth and breadth of his knowledge and remembered fondly by so many for the impromptu conversations around the coffeepot about current events in Europe where his wry wit and savvy understanding of the world were easily apparent. He kept us all on our toes.   As important as he was to WEST and how greatly we feel the loss of his passing, we know this sense of loss resonates throughout the university community because he had such a large presence in many different programs. He was a great colleague, mentor, and friend.
Because of Roy Gardner’s special relationship with West European Studies students and his extensive service on MA thesis committees, West European Studies has established the Roy Gardner Best Thesis Award for the best thesis submitted to WEST in a calendar year in his honor.  The recipient will be announced at our spring reception on April 20th.
Please join me in sending thoughts and prayers to his family and friends. 
Lois R. Wise, Ph.D.
Professor, School of Public & Environmental Affairs  (1 812 855 4944)
Indiana University
Bloomington, IN 47405

Professor Roy J. Gardner passed away unexpectedly on Monday, January 10, 2011 at his residence in Bloomington.  He was 63 years old.  He leaves his wife of 42 years, Carla Gardner (Reardon), son James C. Gardner and his partner Alice Moffatt of Seattle, and daughter Sara A. Gardner and her partner Betsy Williamson of Bloomington, and numerous friends, colleagues, and students. 

Roy Gardner was born on May 21, 1947 in Peoria, Illinois to Harold and Ann Gardner (Firtik), both deceased.  He was valedictorian of his high school class of 1965 at Limestone High, Peoria as well as the state Latin champion.  He graduated summa cum laude from Bradley University in 1968.  He served as an artillery officer in the US Army-Vietnam and won the Bronze Star for his service to his country. Roy earned his Ph.D. in economics from Cornell University in 1975.  He recently retired from Indiana University where he had been since 1983.  He held the titles of Chancellor’s Professor of Economics (since 1996) and Henry H. H. Remak Professor of West European Studies (since 2004).  Roy specialized in the theory of games and economic behavior.  He was a member of a large multidisciplinary NSF grant, “Mathematics across the Curriculum,” (Indiana University), as well as a large German Science Foundation grant (University of Mannheim), and two large TransAtlantic Cooperation grants from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (University of Bonn and Humboldt University Berlin).  He also served as the Academic Director of the MA program in Economics at the Ukranian National University “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy” since 2002.  He applied game theory to such topics as class struggle, spoils systems, draft resistance, alliance formation, monetary union, and corruption. Roy was dynamic and full of life and will be deeply missed by each person who knew him. 

A celebration of Roy’s life will be held at the Frangipani Room, at the Indiana Memorial Union on January 29, 2011 at 2 p.m. Arrangements are through Allen Funeral Home 4155 South Old Highway 37 and online memories may be sent to the family at


"I am forever indebted to Professor Roy Gardner for his commitment as my professor, his selfless dedication as my thesis committee chairman, as a fellow veteran of the armed services, and most importantly as an inspiring mentor and friend.  I am infinitely blessed to have known this great man.  My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends." - Jason Gonzales, WEST MA Alumnus 2010

"I am stunned and saddened.  Roy was always friendly, cheerful and fascinating to talk to. He will be sorely missed." - Prof. Allen Douglas, WEST & History Faculty Member

"Professor Gardner was both a joy in class and extremely considerate and helpful out of class.  He was a wonderful addition to the IU community and he will be missed." - Roger Munson, WEST MA/MBA student

"Roy Gardner was a great mentor to me as a professor and also served as the chair of my MA thesis committee. His passion for and knowledge of economics was such a joy to experience. In addition to his intellect, I particularly admired his sense of humor and approachable, completely unpretentious nature." - Kerstin Picht, WEST MA Alumna 2006

"One the pleasures of coming to work at IU was discovering how many legends of Soviet studies were members of the faculty or faculty alumni.  As a graduate student at Duke, I had read Roy’s insightful papers on the Soviet economic system.   When I met him at the Ostrom Workshop, I saw a whole new side of him and his research program.  I always enjoyed his humor and wit.  When we met on campus or around town, he never failed to engage me in a conversation about Russian developments.  We disagreed about a lot of what was happening in Russia and I knew that Roy thought I was crazy and naïve, but it was never acrimonious and was always interesting.  His disagreement was more likely to be communicated with a smile and a twinkle in his eye than sharp words.  I will miss those impromptu debates and the insights he contributed in Workshop seminars.  I will miss Roy’s gruff good humor." - Regina Smyth, Political Science Faculty Member

"Of the many great professors I had during my short stay at IU, Roy was certainly one of my favorites.  We just exchanged emails before Christmas, and I will certainly miss the opportunity to have dinner with him that we had arranged during his planned trip to Prague this summer.  My thoughts and prayers go to his family and extended family at IU, who have lost a great mentor and friend." - Charles Wilson WEST MA Alumnus, 1995

"Roy was a favorite of the Hutton Honors College students and staff.  He had a multi-year stint teaching honors-level macroeconomics, and for many years, he helped select recipients of the Hutton Honors College Scholarship.  In the latter role, Roy would take a huge stack of scholarship applications, put his feet up on a table in the Honors College living room (it was old furniture) and read each file, one by one, until he was done.  Reading the files in one fell swoop appealed to his inner economist, we think." - Matthew Auer, Dean Hutton Honors College

"During my ten-year term as chair of WEST, the very best thing I did was to bring Roy into what was then a department.  He was a marvelous and dedicated colleague, passionately engaged with all the students but particularly with our graduate students from the various branches of the armed services.  Unlike most faculty members who complain about reading applications and theses, Roy never felt it was beneath him to spend his precious research or instructional time on these sometimes tedious but academically essential chores.  His linguistic abilities, his profound knowledge of European history and culture, and his prowess in economic and game theory made him stand out in the classroom, the university, and beyond.  In short, Roy was one of the truly outstanding people on the Bloomington campus, and his death represents a huge loss for the university community.  We shall all miss him a great deal." - Peter Bondanella, Comparative Literature, Film Studies and Italian Professor Emeritus

"Professor Gardner was a one-of-a-kind teacher, mentor, advisor, and friend.  I never experienced a dull moment around him and we spent countless hours talking about everything from White Sox baseball to regulatory economics.  I am blessed to have known Roy and will miss him" - Andy Satchwell, WEST MA 2008

I was a West European Studies MA student in 1996-97 and it didn't take long for me to realize what a fine professor and a fine man that Roy was.  I soon asked him to be my academic advisor and the chair of my thesis committee.  He was just an outstanding professor and had a gift of making economic theory seem simple and clear - I remember that I couldn't WAIT until his discussions started.  He was full of energy and made learning fun.  His expert advice helped guide me through my thesis and turned an academic project into a learning model that I have used repeatedly since.  Not only did I leave Indiana with a degree, I also left with a great mentor.  My family and I were fortunate to meet with Roy on several occasions in Europe and Virginia after we left IU and our relationship blossomed into a lifelong friendship.  He was one of only a few who I think really understood my wife and I, understood our approach to life, understood our intellectual pursuits, and understood what we were all about.  Roy didn't seem to be particularly concerned about life's superficialities - displaying a healthy disdain for them.  Rather, we shared an intellectual quest to find logic and timeless intellectual truths - it was a fascinating journey and far too short.  As I was also an Army officer Roy and I often shared war stories and his experience from Khe Sanh in particular would garner the respect of any individual who ever wore the uniform - perhaps another side to him that few understand.  He was a great leader for the men under his command with an appropriate focus on what mattered.  When his commander flew in to Roy's surrounded position he apparently said, "Gardner!! You look like Crap!"... Roy laughed a lot about that - we all did.  The absurdity of Army life when one is surrounded by a tenacious enemy for months and cut off from your own lines where water was a precious resource - Roy obviously had better things to worry about than his appearance -  Obviously a soldiers' soldier - concerned for the welfare of his men rather than trying to please the boss.  My wife and I will forever cherish the evenings we spent in Bonn Germany, smoking Quinteros, drinking scotch, and discussing life and it's absurdities and contradictions - We've just lost a great comrade and friend.
Eric and Jean Hartman   


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