Posted on April 28, 2024 by Wendy Frost

Dale Truett, professor emeritus of economics in the Carlos Alvarez College of Business at UTSA passed away this month at the age of 83.

Dale and Lila TruettA founding faculty member at UTSA, he joined UTSA in 1973 when classes were being held at the Koger Center. Truett, who retired in 2019, was the first director of the college’s Division of Economics and Finance.

“We were fortunate to have someone like Dale at UTSA to help provide the foundation for our economics department,” said Dan Hollas, professor emeritus of economics. “He was a highly intelligent professional and knew his economics, but just as important, he was a wise, kind and gentle person who was a very supportive colleague. I have fond memories of Dale and his kindness. He was a jewel.”

With prior teaching experience at the University of Florida and Florida International University, Truett was awarded an Ashbel Smith Professorship in 1997, UTSA’s highest honor for professional scholarship.

At the time he said, “Ashbel Smith was one of the most renowned and internationally-recognized economics professors on the faculty while I was a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin. To have the same title as that person is quite an honor.”

Throughout his career Truett established a long and distinguished record of teaching, research and service to the college, the university and his profession. Passionate about traveling internationally to collect economics research data, he specialized in international economics, economic development, industrial development and economic theory.

“You could walk into Dale’s office at any time and receive a warm welcome, some anecdotes of his latest travels to Italy or closer to home in Lake Tahoe,” said Karan Bhanot, chair of the Department of Finance in the Carlos Alvarez College of Business and a colleague.  “If you really got him excited, he would talk about marginal costs and revenues.  He is someone that I will greatly miss.”

Truett noted previously that, “When I began my career I thought that since the United States has so many economists working on U.S.-related problems why do they need me. I started with Mexico and branched out to other countries.”

His dedication earned him the honor of being one of the most published U.S. economists on the subject of Mexico. Truett researched and published information on international economics and development for over 35 different countries including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Korea, several African countries and Spain.

He twice received the college’s Advisory Council Research Award. He also held visiting professorships at the University of Texas at Austin and the Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey in Mexico.

His partner in his work and in life was his wife, Lila, professor emeritus of economics at UTSA and also a former director of the college’s Division of Economics and Finance. 

He received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Texas at Austin in 1967, his M.A. in Latin American studies from the University of Texas at Austin and his B.A. in social sciences from Purdue University.

Public services are not being held. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations can be made instead to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

— Wendy Frost