Last updated on: 3/13/2013 | Author:

Michael Summers, PhD, MBA Biography

Former Professor of Management Science at Pepperdine University
Not Clearly Pro or Con to the question "Should the Death Penalty Be Legal?"

“The conclusion that each execution carried out is associated with the saving of dozens of innocent lives creates an extraordinarily difficult moral dilemma for those who campaign against the death penalty. Until now, those activists could look into the eyes of a convicted killer, hear his or her sad story, work tirelessly to set aside the execution and, with that goal accomplished, feel good about themselves for having ‘saved a life.’ These data suggest that the moral equation is not nearly that simplistic.

It now seems that the proper question to ask goes far beyond the obvious one of ‘do we save the life of this convicted criminal?’ The more proper question seems to be ‘do we save this particular life, at a cost of the lives of dozens of future murder victims?’ That is a much more difficult moral dilemma, which deserves wide discussion in a free society.”

Cowritten with Roy Adler, “Capital Punishment Works,”, Nov. 2, 2007

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Former Professor of Management Science, Pepperdine University, 1980-present
  • Taught courses in Statistics, Operations Management, and Quantitative Analysis
  • Former Member, Decision Sciences Institute
  • Former Member, Production and Operations Management Society
  • Former Reviewer, Applied Business and Entrepreneurship Association International
  • PhD, University of Illinois, 1978
  • MBA, University of Illinois, 1970
  • BS, Highest Honors, University of Illinois, 1969
  • Died in Aug. 2016
  • Recipient of a Fulbright fellowship
  • Present a case study titled “How to Win in the NBA Playoffs: A Statistical Analysis” to the 2012 conference of Applied Business and Entrepreneurship Association International
  • Presented an operations management case study on Benedict Community Medical Center (Kingston, NY) to the 2007 conference of the Western Decision Sciences Institute
  • PhD dissertation titled “A Goal Programming Model for National Energy Policy”
  • Lists academic interests as “Applications of quantitative methods to sports and other areas” and “Writing and presenting case studies in operations management”
Quoted in:
  1. Does the Death Penalty Deter Crime?