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Memoir

Ralph Carr Fletcher
Regents' Proceedings 85

Professor Ralph Carr Fletcher of the School of Social Work retired from the active faculty on his sixty-fifth birthday, which fell on the eleventh of this past August. He had taught here for twenty-five years.

Professor Fletcher was graduated with distinction from Washington University in St. Louis, and he earned also his master's degree there following periods of study at the Brookings Graduate School and The University of Wisconsin. Remaining at his Alma Mater for eight additional years as a teacher of economics and statistics, he moved to Pittsburgh in 1935 to direct the Bureau of Social Research and to undertake offices of communication and consultation among the social agencies of that city. After 1939 he further held an appointment as Associate Professor of Social Research at the University of Pittsburgh. After a brief period of teaching at the University of California, he came to Michigan as Associate Professor of Social Work. The University elevated him to a full professorship in 1952.

Being expert in techniques of social inquiry, Professor Fletcher taught the research courses required of master's candidates and developed additional courses in the research sequence. Calling on the same expertness, he chaired his school's Thesis Committee and personally oversaw much of his fledglings' work. Within recent years, he himself supervised or personally conducted sustained studies of deprived persons in Toledo, of probationers and parolees in Saginaw, and of children committed to Michigan mental hospitals. And not only was he widely known and consulted here in the Midwest, but his personal geniality and comprehensive intellectual interests won for him a respectful professional acquaintance far beyond the purview of his immediate duties.

His colleagues gratefully admit the precision and rigor which he lent to the programs of instruction and research in social work here, and his students are deeply indebted to him for his close personal concern.

The Regents of the University, who now appoint him Professor Emeritus of Social Work, express their own thanks to him for his able and devoted services. Cordially inviting him to receive the courtesies extended the emeritus faculty, they wish him continued satisfaction in his professional endeavors.

Bio - The History of Social Work - Fellin

Ralph C. Fletcher received his A.B. from Washington University in 1924. He was a fellow at the Brookings Institution from 1924 to 1925, attended graduate school at the University of Wisconsin in 1926, and received his M.A. in economics from Washington University, St. Louis. Before joining the U-M School of Social Work faculty, he held academic positions in institutions such as Washington and Duquesne Universities; the Universities of Indiana, Pittsburgh, California, and Wisconsin; and the Carnegie Institute of Technology.

Being an expert in techniques of social inquiry, upon joining the faculty in 1941 Fletcher taught the research courses required of master's candidates and chaired the school's Thesis Committee. He also taught courses on Budgeting in Social Agency Administration, Programs of Social Security, Labor Problems, and Social Legislation. He supervised or personally conducted studies of deprived persons in Toledo, of probationers and parolees in Saginaw, and of children committed to Michigan mental hospitals.

In 1966 the Board of Regents noted in the memoir making Fletcher professor emeritus, "And not only was he widely known and consulted here in the Midwest, but his personal geniality and comprehensive intellectual interests won for him a respectful professional acquaintance far beyond the purview of his immediate duties. . . . His colleagues gratefully admit the precision and rigor which he lent to the programs of instruction and research in social work here, and his students are deeply indebted to him for his close personal concern" (Board of Regents, 1966).