WMU Home > About WMU > WMU News

WMU News

Ralph C. Chandler

March 20, 2007

Dr. Ralph Clark Chandler, who was a well-known figure across campus and throughout the community during his tenure as a Western Michigan University faculty member, died Saturday, March 17, after a lengthy illness. He was 73.

Chandler was professor of public affairs and political science and director of the WMU School of Public Affairs and Administration. He joined the WMU faculty in 1976, and retired in 2000.

Chandler earned a doctoral degree from Columbia University in 1970 and had two master's degrees, one from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1966 and another from Rutgers in 1962. He also had two bachelor's degrees, from Stetson University in 1956 and Union Theological Seminary in 1965.

His career included more than 30 years of teaching experience in the areas of constitutional law, civil rights, the political process and race relations, and he was recognized for his efforts to promote public understanding of the U.S. Constitution.

He had many awards to his credit from the University and local and state organizations. The Kalamazoo Bar Association presented Chandler with a Liberty Bell Award, while the State Bar of Michigan recognized his contributions toward furthering the understanding of the justice system and the rights of citizens. Among his other awards was a Teaching Excellence Award from the WMU Alumni Association and a Local Treasure Award presented by the Kalamazoo Gazette.

Chandler wrote more than 100 articles in his fields of interest and was the author or co-author of some 23 books, including several volumes of "The Constitutional Law Dictionary" as well as "A Centennial History of the American Administrative State," "Civic Virtue in the American Republic" and "The Public Administration Dictionary." He also was the author of the 1988 play, "When Eagles Gathered," about the Constitutional Convention.

A memorial service was held March 21 at First Presbyterian Church of Kalamazoo.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400