Longtime USC administrator Alan Kreditor, who laid the foundations for today’s USC Price School of Public Policy and set a new bar for advancement when he served as the university’s chief fundraiser, died Oct. 7. He was 84.
“Alan’s impact was immeasurable and far-reaching. First and foremost, he was a teacher who touched many lives — but he was also a visionary who helped define the fields of urban economics and real estate at USC Price and a historically successful strategic fundraiser,” said Dana Goldman, the interim dean and a professor at USC Price. “Through his leadership, he laid the groundwork for the school to emerge as a national and global leader.”
Kreditor’s 50-year stint at USC began in 1966 when the young city planner moved to Los Angeles from Dublin, Ireland, where he had worked as a United Nations adviser to the Irish government. He taught in USC’s graduate program in city and regional planning and soon rose to lead the program as director.
In 1974, the program achieved school status, and he became the first dean of the USC School of Urban and Regional Planning. It was one of the first independent schools of its kind in the nation. The school merged with the USC School of Public Administration two decades later to form what is now the USC Price School of Public Policy.
Alan’s impact was immeasurable and far-reaching.
During his time at the school, Kreditor established the Master of Real Estate Development degree, which was endowed by alumnus David Dollinger in 2012. He also was instrumental in establishing what is now known as the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate, which helped promote real estate as a field of study and professional discipline. Kreditor served as executive director of the center and held the Lusk Chair in Planning and Development for many years.
As USC’s leadership changed, so did Kreditor’s role at USC. In 1992, he left his role as dean to become USC’s senior vice president for university advancement, and new President Steven B. Sample called on him to lead his Building on Excellence campaign. It raised $2.85 billion by its conclusion in 2002, making it the most successful campaign in the history of higher education at the time.
Over Kreditor’s 16-year tenure, USC raised more than $5.5 billion in gifts and pledges and the university’s relationship with alumni flourished. He returned to the USC Price faculty as a professor emeritus in 2008.
Alan Kreditor’s life and career beyond USC
Despite being a native of New York City and graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, Kreditor spent most of his professional life in Southern California. He was involved with several foundations and committees, serving as chairman of the California Building Industry Foundation and the Los Angeles Urban Design Advisory Committee.
Kreditor also served on numerous national and international boards and commissions and advised corporations, foreign governments, international organizations and other universities. He was a member of advisory committees for a variety of agencies, ranging from the National Science Foundation to the National Institutes of Health. He contributed his time and expertise to groups such as the American Planning Association, the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning and the American Institute of Architects, and he was a fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners.
His work spanned continents. He was vice president of the International Association of Urban and Regional Research and Education, a Paris-based organization supported by UNESCO, and a founding member of the board of the Pacific Rim Council on Urban Development. His discipline took him across the world to places like Kenya, Mexico, Venezuela, Taiwan, France and the Middle East.
In 2009, Kreditor was honored by USC Price with the Guardian Award for Vision and Leadership in recognition of his tremendous contributions to the university.
Kreditor is survived by his wife, Marcia MS ’69; son Eoin (and Tina); daughters Juliet (and Eddie) Straker and Claudia (and Kevin) Reilly; daughter-in-law Erin Kreditor Gilmour; grandchildren Tyler and Justin (and Rachelle) Straker, Lauren Reilly, and Brendan, Caitlin, Courtney and Colin Kreditor. He was preceded in death by his son, Garrett.