Department of  Political Science
2040 FAB 656 W. Kirby
Detroit, MI 48202 United States
P: 313-577-2630
F: 313-993-3435

In Memorium: Professor Richard Elling

Date: 7/17/2018

In Memorium: Professor Richard Elling  

Professor Richard Clement Elling died in December of 2017.  He held a professorial appointment in the Department of Political Science at Wayne State University for thirty-five years (1978-2013).  His area of expertise was public administration.

Richard produced an exceptional record of research over his academic career.  He authored a book, Public Management in the States: A Comparative Study of Administrative Performance and Politics (published by Praeger [1992]), and co-authored another, The Political and Institutional Effects of Term Limits (published by Palgrave-MacMillan [2004]). He also authored or co-authored seventeen articles and twelve book chapters in some of the most prestigious university presses and refereed journals in our profession.  He served as Chair of the Department of Political Science (1999-2004) and was a driving force in the Graduate Program in Public Administration from 1978 to 2013.  Richard received the Wayne State University Board of Governors Faculty Recognition Award in 1994 for his book with Praeger, and was selected for the Outstanding Educator/Advocate Award by the Detroit Metropolitan Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration.  He chaired nine doctoral dissertations during his academic career, including some of the most successful graduates of our Ph.D. program.

Richard was a pillar in the foundation of the Department of Political Science.  Although I knew him for only 14 years – much less than most of the faculty, staff, and friends here – I came to quickly appreciate his devotion to the M.P.A. program and his willingness to do whatever necessary to ensure its success.  Richard helped me in my first few months as Department Chair to understand the structure and processes of the college and university, and I considered his guidance to be invaluable.  After his retirement, whenever Richard returned to the Department to participate in meetings of the M.P.A. faculty, he never failed to stop by my office and discuss who was in worse shape – the Tigers or the Yankees -- and to query me on how things were going.  He always took time to ask if there was anything he could do to help with the Department.  I enjoyed his company and friendship.  He will be greatly missed by the faculty, staff, and students with whom he was so close.  We wish him peace.

Daniel Geller