UMBC Remembers Dr. Alan Sorkin

Published: Aug 24, 2022

Dear Colleagues,

We are saddened to learn of the recent transition of Dr. Alan Sorkin who served as chair of the Department of Economics for 31 years. Dr. Sorkin passed away on Friday, August 19, 2022 at home surrounded by his family after a long battle with an illness. Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones and we know that many UMBC community members will mourn his loss. 

Dr. Sorkin joined the UMBC Economics Department in 1974 upon completing his undergraduate and doctorate in Economics at Johns Hopkins University. Prior to UMBC, he also spent two years with the Brookings Institution and five years with the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins. Under his leadership, the UMBC Economics Department more than doubled the number of faculty and student majors. The Department also introduced its Financial Economics B.S. and its M.A. in Economic Policy Analysis. He retired from UMBC and became Professor Emeritus in 2006.

His scholarly expertise focused on global public health but he also published innovative monographs in other areas of applied economics. He published twelve books and eight co-edited volumes. In addition to his books on health economics, the titles of his other books include Monetary and Fiscal Policy and Business Cycles in the Modern Era, Economic Aspects of Natural Hazards, Education, Unemployment and Economic Growth, and The Urban American Indian. His numerous contributions were recognized with the Heritage Award by the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University in 2019. 

After his retirement in 2006, Alan still returned regularly to the UMBC campus to visit and lunch with faculty colleagues up until the 2020 pandemic.  Economics Department Chair David Mitch recalls that during his visits Alan would frequently inquire about current department issues. Among his numerous non-academic interests, Alan was an avid coin collector. His presence will certainly be missed.  

A visitation will be held at Schimunek Funeral Home, 9705 Belair Rd, Nottingham, MD on Friday, August 26, 2022 from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Another brief visitation will be held Saturday, August 27, 2022 from 9 AM to 9:30 AM at St. Michael Lutheran Church Perry Hall, 9534 Belair Road, Nottingham, MD 21236. Funeral services will begin at 9:30 AM, followed by interment at Highview Memorial Gardens, 3433 Fallston Rd, Fallston, MD 21047. The website for the funeral home is Schimunek Funeral Home | Funeral & Cremation (
Contributions may be made in his memory to Harford County Public Library Harford County Public Library ( or to Fallston Volunteer Fire and Ambulance Company Donations – Fallston Fire Company (

Kimberly R. Moffitt, Dean

College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

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