In Memoriam:
Steve Goldblatt

We are saddened to share that former Department of Construction Management Chair and Associate Professor Emeritus, Steve Goldblatt, passed away on February 7, 2022.

Born in Sacramento, California, Steve earned a Bachelor of Science, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley, and a JD degree from Golden Gate University School of Law, San Francisco. Before relocating to Seattle in 1982, Steve was an assistant professor of construction management at Purdue University.

Portrait shot of Steve Goldblatt

Steve started his 27-year career at the University of Washington as an associate professor, serving as Chair of the department from 1982 to 1991. He was the associate dean for external affairs at the College from 2002 to 2004 and also represented the Faculty Senate in Olympia. His teaching and research focused on design and construction law, with a secondary emphasis on construction labor law and policy. Steve was also an Adjunct Faculty in the departments of Architecture and Civil and Environmental Engineering. During his time, he also served as an advisor to the University’s Executive Vice President, Capital Projects Office, and Attorney General’s Division.

Steve was an absolute treasure! His intellect matched his wit. He had the wonderful ability to be so present, always showing such fierce advocacy to you as a student, colleague, and friend. He challenged us to be accountable, find the solution, and be our best. His impact was monumental to our Construction Management Program - we have lost a gem.
Lisa and Kurt BoydBCON, Class of 1986
Steve Goldblatt, Carrie Dossick, and two students wearing their graduation attire
Steve has been a great inspiration in my career here at the University of Washington. He welcomed me as a colleague and as a friend. His warm smile and support were so important to me as I was getting my feet under me in my early days as a faculty member. His impact in the Department of Construction Management and across the university will be long-lasting. I don't think I would be the person I am today without Steve’s encouragement and confidence. Thanks to Steve for being amazing, being a wonderful colleague, and being a trusted friend.
Carrie DossickProfessor in Construction Management and Associate Dean for Research, College of Built Environments
Steve’s passion and care for our local construction industry formed a platform on which the CM program greatly succeeds today. His connections to the industry outside of the Department stimulated a local culture unique to our community in many ways. I learned a great deal from him and feel privileged to have worked with him.
Ed KommersMCA of Western Washington

After six years as founding editor of ASC’s Construction Education Chronicle, Steve served as president of the Associated Schools of Construction for a year.

Over the years, Steve authored many articles and book chapters, including the 1991 Wiley Construction Law Update, and was responsible for four other pieces of Wiley’s former Construction Law Library—the 1989 and 1990 supplements to both Construction Industry Contracts: Legal Citator and Case Digest and Construction Industry Forms. He served as a contributing author to the Instructor’s Guide for the American Institute of Architects’ 1988 Handbook of Professional Practice.

Steve was a member of numerous organizations, including the Seattle School District’s Building Excellence Programs Oversight Committee, the American Bar Association and its Construction Industry Forum and Section of Public Contract Law, the Washington State Bar Association’s Construction Law Section, The Dispute Resolution Board Foundation, and the American Institute of Architects. From 1997 to 2003, he was a member of Sound Transit’s Citizen Oversight Panel and served as their first chair. He co-chaired King County’s Commission on Governance from 2003 – 2004, sat on Temple De Hirsch Sinai’s board, and was the first president of the 2200 Residential Association board of directors.

Steve will be fondly remembered for his sharp sense of humor and dedication to our industry. Not many people could make construction law and accounting somewhat interesting! Steve was always available, even as a resource after graduation. We were fortunate to have him touch our lives and the Seattle construction industry. Rest in peace Steve!
John Schuh, Brendon Warme, and George WardAldrich + Associates, Inc.

He mediated and arbitrated many Northwest construction disputes and served on many dispute review boards in Washington, including Seattle City Hall (as chair), Seattle Central Library (as chair), Safeco Field (as chair), the Spokane Arena, and WSU’s Compton Union Building and Student Recreation Center (as sole neutral).

In the spring of ’87, I was a directionless student on the UW campus. I started with a healthy helping of highly demoralizing Mechanical Engineering prerequisites followed by a similar exposure to the Business School. Fortunately, I did know how to swing a hammer and spent my breaks framing and remodeling houses. I started a company with a fellow student and friend called the Washington Group to build decks and fences. His story was similar to mine and one afternoon he suggested “BCON” which I had never heard of before. I looked into it and could not believe this was an actual major but was worried my GPA at the time would disqualify me. My friend said, “go see Goldblatt and tell him what you love to do”, which was build stuff. We met and talked for over an hour. At the end, Steve said, “take these prerequisites and if your grades are good we’ll see if we can find you a spot”. He did exactly that and I graduated with a BS in BCON in ’90. If it were not for this opportunity my diploma would have likely read General Studies and my career path, and life, significantly altered. That program and the last 2 years at the UW completely transformed how I viewed applying one’s self to learning. I was also exposed to the commercial side of an industry that I had only viewed through the window of my car as I passed projects that captured my imagination and interest. 35 years later and I have the honor of leading a company and team of highly skilled individuals that are building those very same projects. Hard not to understate the significance of that meeting with Steve and how grateful I will forever be that he saw something in me and gave me a chance.
Eric JonesPresident/CEO, Foushée
Steve with his arm around his wife Joan
Steve’s passing is sad news for me as an individual and as someone who is currently serving as department chair, which was Steve's seat. Steve is and will be remembered among his former colleagues and students. Whereas I joined UW and the construction management department after Steve's retirement, I had the opportunity to get to know him as we both served for several years on a university's committee. In my last 12 years at UW, Steve became more known to me through his many former students - some now industry advisors and instructors - who praised him for his department's leadership and commitment to students. This is a loss for all of us and especially for Steve’s family.
Giovanni MigliaccioConstruction Management Department Chair

Steve retired from the department in 2010. He was held in high regard by many and will be deeply missed. Steve is survived by his wife Joan, daughter Sarah and son-in-law Chris Emerson of Seattle, and two grandsons.

If you’d like to get a card to Joan, you can drop it off at Architecture Hall for us to deliver.