Leonard “Pat” Goodall, who served as UNLV’s president from 1979 to 1984, died Monday after a long illness.
Goodall, who was 75, had suffered from inoperable brain cancer and was under the care of an in-home hospice program. His wife of 53 years, Lois, was by his side, university officials said.
“Pat Goodall was known for his monumental contributions to UNLV during a critical phase of our growth, but more importantly, a kind and gentle man who always had a good word for everyone,” UNLV President Neal Smatresk said.
Goodall was the university’s fourth president, and he guided it through a period of expansion and growth. During his tenure, the Frank and Estella Beam Hall and the Alta Ham Fine Arts building with its Donna Beam Fine Art Gallery were built, and the 18,000-seat Thomas & Mack Center was completed.
He also established the UNLV Foundation, the university’s fundraising arm. The foundation recently completed a $500 million capital campaign that was seen as a huge success.
He also worked to create the school of engineering and computer science, which later became the Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering.
After his presidency, Goodall stayed on at UNLV as a professor, teaching management and public administration until his retirement in 2000. He was a specialist in urban politics.
Carol Harter served as the university’s president from 1995 to 2006, and she said she became close to Goodall.
“He was one of the first people when I came to UNLV to greet me,” she said. “He was just a great citizen of UNLV and a friend right from the time I first got here.”
She said Goodall was always involved in the university, but she never felt like he was intruding on her turf as its president. He was respectful.
“He was generous with his insights, with books,” she said. “If he came across something he thought I’d be interested in, I’d have the book on my desk in a couple of weeks.”
She said Goodall was one of those people for whom academics was not just a career – it was a vital part of his character.
Goodall continued studying almost up until the end. He was the author of nine books, the most recent, “An Investor’s Memoir,” was published this year. It recommends a conservative approach to investing.
Originally from Missouri, Goodall earned a bachelor’s degree in social science from Central Missouri State College, a master of arts degree in political science from the University of Missouri and a doctorate in political science from the University of Illinois.
Before joining UNLV, he worked at Arizona State University, the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Michigan-Dearborn.
He also served in the U.S. Army Reserves from 1958 to 1964.
In addition to his wife, Goodall is survived by daughters Karen Crane and Karla Powers, son Gregory and nine grandchildren.
Information about services was not available Tuesday.
Contact reporter Richard Lake at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0307.