Robert E. Gaines, vice provost for Faculty Affairs, professor and faculty member of Colorado State University since 1967, died Sunday, April 29, 2001. He was 59.
"Bob Gaines was a good man who cared deeply about this university and its people," said Colorado State President Albert Yates. "Often he served as the glue that helped hold things together. He was a thoughtful person who listened before he spoke, who possessed great knowledge and experience but never felt the need to prove it. He approached each challenge with a sincere desire to make things work for the better. This is a great loss, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time."
Dr. Gaines was born Aug. 16, 1941, in Champaign, Ill., and raised in Villa Grove.
He came to Colorado State in 1967 after receiving his doctorate in applied mathematics from the University of Colorado. He was a mathematics professor and, for 20 years, chairman of the Department of Mathematics.
"He was a consummate scholar and teacher, a man who truly dedicated his life to his students and to the academy," said Provost Loren Crabtree. "He was not only a person of great integrity, but among the most humble, compassionate and humorous people on campus. His wit, intelligence and calm in the midst of sometimes trying circumstances were irreplaceable anchors of the Provost’s Office, the administration and the entire university. To say he will be missed seems trite, and it greatly understates the debt we all have to Bob."
Rick Miranda, who became chairman of the math department in 1997, noted at that time that Bob Gaines was "very fair and concerned about all the faculty and how their work was going. He was great with students, too, and over the years strengthened an already solid undergraduate program. He left quite a solid legacy to the department."
Dr. Gaines was a Visiting Professor at the Wharton School of Economics in fall 1994. He also was a Visiting Professor at the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium, first in spring 1983 and again in fall 1995. He received a Distinguished Service Award from Colorado State in 1981 as outstanding department head.
Dr. Gaines received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics from the University of Illinois in 1963. He was valedictorian of his graduating class when he received his bachelor’s.
Survivors include his wife, Martha Jean, and two daughters, both graduates of Colorado State.