Index of Memorial Resolutions and Biographical Sketches
WALTER MARSHALL WILLIAM SPLAWN
Walter Marshall William Splawn, retired president and professor of economics, died on January 17, 1963. He was 79.
President Splawn was born on June 16, 1883, in Arlington, Texas. He earned a bachelor's degree from Baylor University in 1906. He received bachelor's and master's degees from Yale University in 1908 and 1914, respectively. He was awarded a PhD from the University of Chicago in 1921.
President Splawn was admitted to the bar and practiced law in Fort Worth. He joined the faculty of The University of Texas at Austin in 1919 and was named president of the University in 1924. During his three-year tenure as president, he ensured the success of the graduate school by acquiring a legislative appropriation of $50,000 for graduate professorships.
In 1927, after leaving the presidency of UT Austin, President Splawn served as a referee on the War Claims Commission. He also served as chairman of the Board of Arbitration of Western Railroads and Group of Employees in 1927 and settled disputes under the War Claims Act, 1928-30. President Splawn was dean of the graduate school of American University from 1929 to 1934.
President Splawn was special counsel to the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce of the House of Representatives during the early 1930s. His work on the communications, railroad, and security industries was instrumental to passage of regulatory statutes and the Federal Communications Act of 1934. From 1934 to 1953 President Splawn was a member of the Interstate Commerce Commission. He also served as chairman of the commission for a number of years.
President Splawn was the author of numerous studies on economics and public utility regulation, including Consolidation of Railroads, Government Ownership and Operation of Railroads, and Regulation of Stock Ownership in Railroads.
John R. Durbin, Secretary
The General Faculty
Biographical sketch prepared by Teresa Palomo Acosta and posted on the Faculty Council web site on January 18, 2001. Additional biographical sources can be found in the Barker Texas History Center and the New Handbook of Texas, Texas State Historical Association, 1996.