The Faculty History Project documents faculty members who have been associated with the University of Michigan since 1837. Key in this effort is to celebrate the intellectual life of the University. This Faculty History Website is intended as a component of the effort to document the extraordinary academic achievements of Michigan’s faculty in building and sustaining one of the world’s great universities. It provides access to a comprehensive database of information concerning the thousands of faculty members who have served the University of Michigan.
Find out more.

The Bentley Historical Library serves as the official archives for the University.


William M. Cruickshank
University Record

William M. Cruickshank, professor emeritus of child and family health, died Aug. 13 at the U-M Hospitals. He was 77.

Cruickshank, whose research focused on special education for children, had a productive career as an administrator, teacher and researcher. He joined the U-M in 1966 as director of the Institute for the Study of Mental Retardation and Related Disabilities, a position he held until 1980. He also was professor of psychology and of education in 1966–85.

Born in Detroit, he received his bachelor’s degree from Eastern Michigan University (1937), his master’s degree from the University of Chicago (1938) and his doctoral degree from the U-M (1945).

Cruickshank served in the U.S. Armed Forces as a clinical psychologist in 1942–45. During 1946–66, he was professor of psychology and of education and then directed the Division of Special Education and Rehabilitation, Syracuse University. He was appointed dean of special services and the Margaret O. Slocum Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Education at Syracuse in 1952.

Active in both domestic and international research on children with physical and mental disabilities, Cruickshank received numerous awards from foreign governments and domestic organizations. They include two appointments as a Fulbright lecturer to the Ministries of Health Education in Peru, five honorary doctoral degrees from U.S. universities, and one from the Universidad Nacional Major de San Marcos de Peru.

He also served as a consultant to approximately 30 foreign ministries of education and, in similar capacities, to nearly every state and province in America and Canada.
Cruickshank published widely in scholarly journals and authored, coauthored, edited or coedited more than 40 books.

He is survived by his wife, Dorothy; and daughters, Penny Dorsey of Seattle, D. Patricia Crosson of Denver and Carol Cruickshank of Arcata, Calif.; six grandchildren; and a brother.