Former Harpur College Dean Peter N. Vukasin dies

Former Harpur College Dean Peter N. Vukasin dies

Peter N. Vukasin of Rehoboth, Mass., died Nov. 24, 2012. He was the husband of Eileen T. Farley, former president of Bristol Community College, to whom he had been married for 25 years.

Vukasin retired in 1988 from the State University of New York at New Paltz, where he served as professor of economics and vice president for academic affairs. He provided leadership for the expansion of the college’s professional programs to include nursing, business and computer science while ensuring the centrality of the college’s strengths in liberal and fine arts.

Prior to that (1957–1974) he was professor of economics at Binghamton University, where he also served as dean of Harpur College of Arts and Sciences. Colleagues at Binghamton credit him with exemplary leadership in helping to effect the transition of Harpur College from a liberal arts college to a major research institution. He was described as an acute listener who helped Binghamton navigate the troubled waters of the late 1960s and early ‘70s without the violence, disruption and acrimony that characterized many campuses.

In 2010, a former student whom he mentored 50 years earlier endowed the Peter N. Vukasin Lecture in Economics at Binghamton University in his honor.

Vukasin’s career included teaching at the University of California at Berkeley, where he earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees in economics; the University of Illinois; Cornell University and the University of Ghana as a Fulbright scholar.

Vukasin served for two years as an economic consultant to the government of Burma and held a social science research scholarship for two years in what was then Zimbabwe, studying the African labor force.

Vukasin served as a Captain in the United States Army in World War II in the China-Burma-India theater.

In addition to his wife, Vukasin is survived by his son, Dr. Alexander Vukasin and wife Dr. Nicole Vukasin of Princeton, N.J.; two grandchildren, Gabrielle and Alexander Vukasin; his former wife, Helen Vukasin of Lumberton, N.J.; and a brother, Vernon Vukasin of Hayward, Calif.