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Duke Professor, National Security Expert Richard Stubbing Dies

Stubbing was also an active member of the community, started a regional chapter of Handicapped Encounter Christ and in 1998 was named the recipient of Duke's Humanitarian Award.

Richard A. Stubbing, a national security expert and public policy studies professor at Duke University, died Thursday from cancer. He was 74.

Stubbing, a professor of the practice emeritus, taught courses in U.S. National Security and Public Budgeting.

He was also an active member of the community, and started a regional chapter of Handicapped Encounter Christ that holds twice-yearly retreats at a handicapped-accessible camp in Smithfield owned by the Catholic Diocese of Raleigh. These retreats provide an opportunity for able-bodied and disabled people of all races and religions to share their life experiences with each other.

In 1998, Stubbing was named the recipient of Duke's Humanitarian Award.

Before joining Duke's Sanford Institute of Public Policy in 1982, Stubbing worked for nearly 20 years in the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB), serving as OMB representative on the major defense policy and strategy studies of the Nixon, Ford and Carter administrations. He testified before Congress on numerous occasions during the 1980s on defense program and budgetary issues.

From 1962 to 1981, Stubbing worked at OMB on defense and intelligence budgets. From 1974 to 1981, he served as the deputy chief of the National Security Division. Principal duties involved recommending overall budget levels and identifying marginal program changes to the budget director. Among his accomplishments at OMB, Stubbing led efforts to improve defense purchasing practices, became the expert on contracting for new weapons and equipment, and chaired a 1975 working group to impose tighter controls on the CIA.

Stubbing's publications include the 1986 book, "The Defense Game: An Insider Explores the Astonishing Realities of America's Defense Establishment," which describes the workings of the defense establishment and assesses the performance of five secretaries of defense.

In 1999, together with the Duke School of Engineering, Stubbing conducted a three-day conference on land mine policy, mine removal and the 1997 Ottawa Treaty. The conference addressed the technical, financial and political obstacles to worldwide removal of land mines and the role of technology in formulating long-range policy.

Stubbing also was an active member of the Duke and Durham community, serving on a number of university committees as well as an assistant provost for academic policy and planning from 1981-85. He was an active member of Holy Cross Catholic Church in Durham.

Faculty and staff remembered Stubbing as the faculty member who attended the most student weddings and kept in touch with dozens of graduates.

Ted Triebel, lecturer in public policy studies and a close friend and colleague of Stubbing, said, "The critical core of Dick Stubbing was that he put others first, and he was a great teacher because of that. That's why students kept coming back to him for counsel and advice. And he loved it when they succeeded - “ that was his reward."

One of those students, Duke graduate Amy Hepburn, said Stubbing was sincere, funny and "a champion for his students. He always had time for you and made you feel like there was nothing more important to him than talking to you."

Phil Cook, former director of the Sanford Institute and a professor of public policy studies, called Stubbing "the compassionate cynic, the happy skeptic, the man with few illusions who nonetheless dedicated his career to improving the institutions of which he was a part. His mission in the classroom was to set the students straight about how things really worked in Washington while all the time insisting that they could and should do better when it was their turn."

In an interview after he received Duke's Humanitarian Award, Stubbing said, "We're all here on this planet Earth and we all have something to do. Whatever that happens to be “ large or small “ that's OK. We all have gifts and we all have to find ways to use them."

Stubbing earned an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1954 and a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1952.

He is survived by his wife, Patricia, four grown children and 11 grandchildren.

The funeral is planned for 11 a.m. Wednesday in Duke Chapel. Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Hall-Wynne Funeral Service, 1113 W. Main St., Durham.