Half-Century Mark

Michael KutnerMichael Kutner grew up with biostatistics at Emory, which he first joined in 1971.

After nearly 50 years of teaching, Michael Kutner honors students and professionals in biostatistics

The back wall of Michael Kutner’s office is a tapestry of achievements and honors earned during nearly five decades as a biostatistician, professor, author, and administrator.

Reflecting on the 35 years he has spent at Emory, Kutner recognizes the parallels between the RSPH’s rise among the ranks of U.S. schools of public health and the success he has enjoyed in his career.

To honor that relationship, Kutner has made a generous gift to MyEmory, the employee component of Campaign Emory. His gift will endow the Michael H. Kutner Award for Excellence in Biostatistics, which will recognize an RSPH graduate for distinguished achievement in the field, and the Michael H. Kutner Fund for Biostatistics to support outstanding PhD candidates in the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics.

“If it weren’t for Emory, I probably wouldn’t have accomplished the things I have in my career,” says Kutner. “It is time for me to pay back my gratitude for what I have achieved as a biostatistician.”

Kutner grew up with biostatistics at Emory. In 1971, he joined the Department of Biometry and Statistics in the School of Medicine and later became director of biostatistics in the newly merged Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. When the department moved to the new School of Public Health in 1990, so did Kutner as director of the biostatistics division and the school’s first associate dean for academic affairs.

He left Emory in 1994 to build the biostatistics and epidemiology department at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation but returned to Rollins in 2000 and subsequently was named Rollins Professor and department chair. He stepped down as chair in 2009.

Today, he is revising his seminal textbooks on Applied Linear Regression Models and Applied Linear Statistical Models and co-writing a new textbook, Introduction to Business Statistics.

From the undergraduate statistics courses he taught as a master’s student at Virginia Polytechnic to the PhD-level courses he has taught in recent years, Kutner has always enjoyed being in the classroom.

“When all is said and done,” he says, “I hope that I have given my students the desire and courage to be inquisitive, think creatively, and know that I have taught them the skills that will allow them to participate in the development of new ideas and knowledge.”—Maria Lameiras

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