Keith Absher, dean of the McAfee School of Business Administration, passed away early morning March 24. Absher had worked at Union since 2004, according to a faculty directory.
Tim Ellsworth, associate vice president for university communications, confirmed Absher’s death but said the university did not know the cause as of Tuesday morning.
Absher’s wife, Beverly, is chair of the department of continuing studies and professor of educational leadership at Union.
“He was more of a friend than the dean of the business school,” said Dalton DeLuca, senior economics major. “He cared about every one of his students and did whatever he could to help us be successful.”
The business school held a short prayer gathering this morning for faculty and students, which Samuel W. “Dub” Oliver, university president, attended.
Walton Padelford, Porter family professor of business and economics, said Absher’s death came as a shock to the department.
“Dean Absher provided outstanding leadership for the McAfee School of Business and he led us through the AACSB accreditation process in a great way,” Padelford said. “… On a personal level, I found Keith to be easy to talk to, easy to converse with, reasonable in all of his dealings with the faculty and students. [He was] a personable guy in every way.”
Bryan Carrier, vice president for student life and dean of students, sent an email to inform students of Absher’s death. Funeral arrangements will be posted at www.uu.edu when they become available, he wrote.
Carrier also said that a special time of prayer will be held during the 10 a.m. chapel hour on March 25. Staff from the Offices of Student Life and University Ministries will be present in the Blasingame Academic Complex and will coordinate with counselors.