June 16, 2004 :: No. 283
Management Professor Gustavo Vargas
Dead at 61
Gustavo A. Vargas, 61, professor of management
and associate director of the Center for International Business
at Cal State Fullerton, died Sunday, June 13, after suffering a
Funeral services for the Irvine resident are scheduled
for 10 a.m. June 19 at St. Angela Merici Catholic Church in Brea,
with burial to follow at Memory Garden Memorial Park, also in Brea.
An expert on international business operations, logistics
and operations management, Vargas also directed INTERTECH, the university’s
International High Technology Business Partnership Project.
Previously, he coordinated the Inter-Americas High
Technology Business Partnership Project, a joint effort with the
World Trade Center of Orange County and funded by the U.S. Department
of Education. He also conducted studies into the status of quality
management practices in Spain and the applicability of quality management
practices in Iberian-American environments.
From 1997-2000, Vargas was director and Iberia chair
of major service corporations at the Instituto de Empresa in Madrid,
Spain. He also was a visiting professor at universities throughout
In addition to teaching, the professor authored several
monographs, book chapters and articles that were published in such
periodicals as the International Journal of Operations and Production
Management, International Journal of Production Research, Journal
of Operations Management and Integrated Manufacturing Systems Journal.
His involvement on campus included serving on the
Academic Senate, Graduate Education Committee, and College of Business
and Economics International Business Program Committee.
Before joining the university faculty in 1986, Vargas
was project manager of automation/materials handling systems for
Sietam-North America, industrial engineering manager of Uniroyal-Tires
Worldwide Inc., manager of industrial engineering and manufacturing
systems of B.F. Goodrich-Mexico, and professor of management at
the University of Arizona.
From 1972-73, he was an economic and engineering consultant
with the U.S. Agency for International Development/Center for Productivity
and Development of Paraguay.
In the late 1960s, Vargas served as president of the
University Federation of Paraguay, a national student leadership
organization. He advocated on behalf of democracy and led a student
protest movement against that country’s dictatorship. He fled
the country in 1971.
“He was respected and admired by many in Paraguay,
and continues to be, because of the strong stand that he took,”
said Vargas’ daughter, Carla L. Vargas Rivas. “He was
very proud of this part of his past and it shaped a huge part of
who he was.”
Vargas received his doctorate from Pennsylvania State
University, and was a graduate of Paraguay’s National University
College of Engineering and Peru’s Graduate School of Management.
In addition to his daughter, he is survived by his
former wife of 27 years, Olga Vargas of Placentia, and his son-in-law,
Robert A. Rivas of Fullerton.
Donations may be made to the Gustavo A. Vargas Memorial
Award to fund scholarships for international graduate students studying
management at Cal State Fullerton. Checks made out to the University
Advancement Foundation Account #10140, may be mailed to:
University Advancement Foundation
Attn: Julie Chung
2600 E. Nutwood Ave., Ste. 850
Fullerton, CA 92831-3112
||Pamela McLaren of Public Affairs