Harvard Business School (HBS) Professor Emeritus Francis J. Aguilar, an authority on strategic planning and general management who also made his mark on generations of students as a gifted and caring teacher, died on Feb. 17 in Portsmouth, N.H., at the age of 80. He had been battling gallbladder cancer for the past three years. He was a member of the active HBS faculty for more than three decades. He joined the HBS faculty in 1964 while still a doctoral student and became a full professor with tenure in 1971.
“Frank Aguilar was a serious student and insightful observer of what general managers do and how they do it,” said Stephen A. Greyser, the Richard P. Chapman Professor of Business Administration Emeritus, and a longtime friend and colleague of Aguilar. “For more than 30 years, Frank helped countless students and practitioners understand the complex responsibilities facing business leaders through his exemplary teaching and well-regarded books on general management issues. Beyond that,” Greyser continued, “he was a wonderfully considerate person who treated everyone with kindness and respect.”
At HBS Aguilar taught courses in general management, accounting and control, business policy, and ethics in the M.B.A. program and several executive education programs. A prolific case writer, Aguilar authored or co-authored more than 100 case studies during his career.
His involvement in business education went beyond HBS. To increase the number of minorities embarking on careers in management, in 1992 he helped create the Management Education Alliance, an organization dedicated to improving business education in universities serving African-Americans and Hispanic Americans.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated at the Immaculate Conception Church, 98 Summer St., Portsmouth, N.H., on March 9 at 11 a.m. A reception will follow in St. James Church Hall, 2075 Lafayette Rd., in Portsmouth.
Read the complete obituary.