Posted by Joseph Phillips, Jr. on Friday, May 25, 2012 at 10:11 PM PDT
When the title is "Rex," everyone knows what the topic of this posting is about!!. Professor Rex Toh is retiring from our faculty at the end of this year. Rex has been a member of our faculty since 1980, so he has been at the university for over 30 years. Rex has taught primarily courses in marketing research, statistics, and transportation.
Everyone is going to miss Rex. Rex has a unique style, which everyone seems to have learned how to navigate. Basically, Rex can be very "direct." If it were someone else, you might worry about it. But it is Rex, so you don't worry about it. There is a certain charm to it all that only Rex can pull off.
Rex has been a great champion for the importance of faculty scholarship. He has been a leader in this regard within Albers, and therefore on the SU campus. He leads by example - he has nearly 90 journal articles to his credit!
He has also tried to assist colleagues with their scholarship, either making suggestions to improve their work or inviting them to join him in research projects. He has co-authored with a number of our faculty and served as a valuable research mentor for them. Rex has not only had an impact on campus, but he has also impacted the profession. For example, he recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, recognizing his work as both an author and reviewer for the journal. It is also important to acknowledge that Rex was a "research pioneer" at SU, throwing himself into his scholarship at a time when research received little support from the university.
I discouraged Rex from retiring. I asked him what he plans to do in retirement. Surely, he will miss his teaching and research?? No, he says, he will keep busy with his gardening and travelling (Rex just loves a good cruise!). I'm betting not and he will be back before long begging me to let him teach! :}
Rex is very devoted to the concept of "efficiency." He does not like take long to get things accomplished. My favorite memory of Rex in this regard will be how he orchestrated the elections of Marketing Club officers. I always imagined it as the way elections worked in the USSR!
On May 25th we hosted a dinner to honor Rex and recognize his contributions to SU. His colleagues in attendance noted his dedication to efficiency and scholarship, but also his success in the classroom. He was very successful as an instructor of statistics, something his colleagues admire since they know what a difficult topic it is to teach.
At the dinner, Rex was presented the plaque listing him as the 1982-83 MBA Professor of the Year. It was retrieved from the "Albers Archives" and given to Rex for safekeeping -- until someone else on the plaque retires and we need to present the plaque to her or him!
We will miss Rex, and will always admire the legacy he has created at Seattle University. Thanks, Rex!