Gerry Weitz, a highly-celebrated information systems director for the University and the School of Medicine, died of a stroke Feb. 8 in Albany, Calif., at the age of 67.
“Gerry was one of those rare people who was held in extremely high esteem by seemingly everybody,” said Michael Halaas, chief technology officer at the School of Medicine, in a press release. “He was fantastic as a boss and mentor, and always made everybody feel that he cared about them personally. He took the time to get to know people and established deep friendships with a wide variety of individuals at Stanford in a way that is really remarkable.”
Having studied physics and graduated from UC-Berkeley in 1968, Weitz worked at IBM for a few years before beginning his career at Stanford in 1974. During his career, which spanned more than 30 years, Weitz moved between various roles on the University level and positions in the School of Medicine.
After his first seven years of service, Weitz was named the University’s director of financial information systems in 1981. In this position, Weitz helped create the Stanford University Financial Information Network and the Stanford Network for Acquisitions and Payables, among other financial systems.
Through his work, Weitz ushered in the age of online reporting and paperless transactions for the University.
Weitz began his work with the School of Medicine in 1987, when he began his role as co-director of the Information Systems Group.
“I recall being amazed that there were actually people out there like Gerry, who understood both IT and administrative information,” said David O’Brien, director of the Office of Institutional Planning at the School of Medicine. “We’d not had anybody like that at the school before.”
Weitz went back to the University side of operations in 1998, when he began a position as director of information systems architecture and oversaw Y2K efforts.
In 2000, Weitz returned to the School of Medicine to direct MedIT, now Information Resources & Technology (IRT).
Among Weitz’s achievements during this time were replacing all mainframe systems with new technologies, overseeing the expansion of the school’s network and introducing wireless technology into the system.
Weitz retired from his position as the director of IRT for the School of Medicine in 2007, at which point he was granted emeritus status.
“Gerry’s combination of technical experience along with his deep understanding of school and department administrative processes and his calm, approachable manner made him a unique and valued contributor,” Linda McIntyre, a retired Stanford business analyst who worked with Weitz for more than 15 years, said upon his retirement in 2007.
“Gerry made us better for having known him,” O’Brien said.
A memorial service will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 3 at the Millie and Paul Berg Hall in the Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge.
-Kristian Davis Bailey