Tribute to my late father from the Society for Consumer Psychologists

He was a pioneer in joining the fields of psychology and business, as mentioned on their website. Some of his colleagues from Amoco also commented about his contributions on his page from Chicago Jewish Funerals.

My father’s official name was Dr.Joseph M Kamen (with the M standing for “middle initial”). He changed the name in the 1950s from Joe Kamenetzsky. I’m not even sure if that was the spelling, but I know it was a long name with lots of consonants. He died January 30, 2014, very suddenly and unexpectedly of a heart attack. This March 26 would have been his 85th birthday.

Since then, I’ve been trying to get his achievements recognized. One of the most notable is that he was very likely the inventor of the post-baccalaureate degree while a professor at Indiana University NW in Gary, Indiana in the 1970s.  But I’m having trouble documenting this because he pushed it through on the down low without approval of the mother ship in Bloomington, in fear that the official process would cause it to die, or delay it for years. So he never tooted his own horn publicly about it. The degree was mainly meant for women who had perfectly fine liberal arts college degrees, such as in psychology or sociology, but who needed to get a job quickly in a practical field to support their families. This degree in accounting fulfilled that purpose at a low cost to the student, and just 36 hours of required class. According to Dr. Sid Feldman, my dad’s dean at the time, who supported the program, these graduates had a very good record of getting certified as CPAs. The program was so successful that other Indiana University campuses introduced the degree,and then it spread to possibly hundreds of universities nationwide. That program is still going strong.

He also pulled an impressive prank on an Ivy League business journal in the 1980s or 1990s of a fake article, titled something like, “The Metaphysics of Pricing.” to satirize excessive lingo in business. It was replete with charts and statistics, and utterly bogus.  I know the journal was furious afterward and blacklisted him from publishing with them ever again. This was mentioned in an essay about him in the journal Teaching Business Ethics in 1997, by the late R Rosenberg then of the Technion in Haifa, Israel. i But I’ve been unable to find the journal. The odds are that the journal redacted any reference to it in its electronic listings, but the original is out there somewhere in paper. If anyone has a lead for me, I much appreciate it.

 

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