Philip Shafer Kronenberg, professor emeritus within the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, died on Aug. 1, 2019, after a short illness.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1977, Kronenberg was a co-founder of the Center for Public Administration and Policy in the School of Public and International Affairs, which provides education, research, and outreach in the theory and practice of public administration, management, and policy in the support of the U.S. constitutional republic. Kronenberg’s life consistently embodied Virginia Tech’s motto of Ut Prosim with his military service in the U.S. Air Force, within the university environment, to his academic discipline, and in the public sector.

Born in Chicago and raised in Peoria, Illinois, he received his bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from Bradley University, a master’s degree in economics from Syracuse University, and a Ph.D. in public and international affairs from the University of Pittsburgh. Before coming to Virginia Tech, he was a professor at Indiana University in Bloomington, where he was director of the Institute of Public Administration. He was also a professor at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville prior to beginning his Virginia Tech career in Blacksburg in 1977.  

In 1983, he transferred to the greater Washington, D.C., metro area following appointments as a visiting research professor at the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base (1981-82), and as a special assistant to the director, European Forces, in the Office of the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon (1982-83). While in Washington, D.C., area, he taught graduate students as the director of Policy Systems Management Studies in the Center for Public Administration and Policy.

A dedicated teacher, he was honored with Virginia Tech’s Outstanding Dissertation Advisor for the Social Sciences Award in 2005-06 and received a Certificate for Excellence in Teaching Award of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies in 2006. He was also awarded the James E. Webb Award from the American Society of Public Administration in 2003. Additionally, he served as the president of the faculty association of Northern Virginia and as chair of the Center for Public Administration and Policy Ph.D. admission committee and Ph.D. steering committee.

A prolific researcher, he contributed extensively to academic public management literature, publishing on topics in homeland security, program evaluation, national security policy, technology policy, strategic management, and public policy theory in the context of chaos and complexity, including four books. He also served on the editorial boards of the Public Administration Review, Administration and Society, Journal of Political and Military Sociology, The Journal for Public Managers, and the International Journal of Public Administration.

Kronenberg was conferred the professor emeritus title by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors in 2006, the same year he retired.

He had a lifelong and enthusiastic interest in photography, which he combined with a love of travel with his wife of 46 years, Renee Loeffler, also a professor at Virginia Tech.

Kronenberg's obituary can be found on

— Written by L. Maria Ingram

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