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Memoir

James H. Robertson
Regent's Proceedings 691

James H. Robertson, professor of english, will retire from active faculty J. H. Robertson status as of May 31, 1983, after an illustrious career as a teacher, advisor, associate dean of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, and director of the Residential College.

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Dean Robertson completed his undergraduate studies at New York University in 1937, subsequently, receiving his M.A. and Ph.D. in English at The University of Michigan. He began teaching at Michigan in 1938, his career interrupted by four years of military service concluding as major of the G-1 staff of General Omar Bradley in the European Theatre of Operations. In the period 1947-1950, he served as instructor and then associate professor of English, as well as assistant dean of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. His associate professorship in 1957 was followed a year later by appointment as associate dean of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, a position he held until 1967, when he became director of the Residential College.

Professor Robertson's many years as Associate Dean to the University were notable for the humanity and wisdom of his decisions. His fair-mindedness and intelligent counsel were instrumental in coping with student ebullience, which accompanied the early years of the Residental College. Unlike many administrators, Jim Robertson did not react personally to student dissent, and thus, he was able to engage in a continuing dialogue with even the most vociferous activists. It is the contention of some that it was his voice of reason that prevailed and kept The University of Michigan relatively calm during that difficult period. His legendary fair-mindedness and compassion earned for him the appointment at the LSA Ombudsman from 1971 to 1976.

Professor Robertson's efforts were central to the establishment of the Junior Year Abroad Program at Aix-en-Provence and Freibourg, and he was largely responsible for the development of a strong LSA undergraduate counseling program. His published works focus upon the problems and challenges of undergraduate education, in which area he distinguished himself as a teacher of rhetoric.

The Regents now salute this distinguished administrator and educator by naming him Professor Emeritus of English.