The University Record, January 9, 1996

Regents grant emeritus status to eight faculty members

Eight faculty members were given the emeritus title by the Regents at their December meeting.

Those retiring are Frederick W.

Gehring, the T. H. Hildebrandt Distinguished University Professor of Mathematics; Helen M. Graves, associate professor of political science at the U-M-Dearborn; Joel Isaacson, professor of history of art; Harold R. Johnson, professor of social work and of health behavior and health education;

Robert B. Keller, associate professor of mechanical engineering; Howard Schuman, professor of sociology and research scientist; John W. Shy, professor of history; and Ninfa S. Springer, associate professor of nursing and assistant research scientist.


Gehring, who joined the U-M in 1955, served three terms as chair of the Department of Mathematics. Among his honors are the Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award (1981), the Henry Russel Lecturer (1990), and the Sokol Faculty Award (1994). He was invited three times to address the International Congress of Mathematicians and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1989.

"Throughout his career, Prof. Gehring has maintained close ties with Finnish mathematicians," the Regents said. "He speaks fluent Finnish, has made many visits to the country and has received several high honors from Finland."


Graves, who joined the Dearborn faculty in 1972, has "distinguished herself as the director of the Political Internship Program on the Dearborn campus," the Regents noted.

"Two major commitments, one to political internships and experiential education, and the other to women's education, have marked Prof. Graves' academic career. The innovative internship models that she introduced have received state, national and international recognition. She organized the first `Women, Politics and the Law' course on the Dearborn campus in 1974 as well as the first women's studies minor certified by the college."


Isaacson, who joined the faculty in 1964, "enjoys an international reputation as a specialist in the impressionist painters," the Regents said. "His publications range from books on Monet to major Museum of Art exhibitions and catalogues of profound scholarly impact.

"Throughout his years at Michigan, Prof. Isaacson has been an inspiring teacher to undergraduate students and to the many graduate students who have flocked to Ann Arbor to study the impressionists with him. He served as chair of his department in 1982-85, during which time he had oversight of the renovations and addition to Tappan Hall."


Johnson, who joined the faculty in 1969, has "a distinguished record of scholarship and publications on gerontological, organizational and human services issues, and has consulted broadly on these matters.

"In 1974-81 he was the director of the Institute of Gerontology. He served as dean of the School of Social Work until 1993, when he became special counsel to the president. In this role, he assisted with the many issues challenging the University at that time and provided leadership and a respected presence in the Detroit area. In 1994 he served as interim secretary of the University. His wisdom, skill and expertise in this role afforded the University the continuity and stability needed throughout this transition period."


Keller joined the U-M in 1961, and his research "has focused on the area of fluid mechanics, and he has published papers on forced and self-excited oscillations in propellant lines, dynamics of two-dimensional confined jets, thermistor probe for low-velocity flow measurement, air-breathing engines in a first stage boost vehicle and electrical hazards posed by graphite fuses.

"In recognition of his outstanding efforts as a teacher throughout his career, Prof. Keller received the 1992 MEAM Teaching Excellence Award. Among his achievements as an educator are his coordination of the Whirlpool Fellowship Program and his design and development of experiments and instrumentation for a number of laboratory courses."


Schuman joined the faculty in 1964 and "much of his research has arisen out of his concerns for peace and social justice," the Regents said. "Other work reflects a lifelong dedication to understanding survey research and to improving the quality of survey instruments and the information they convey. His publications include important works on racial attitudes in the United States and the methodology of attitude surveys.

"He has served as director of the Survey Research Center, chair of the Department of Sociology and director of the Detroit Area Study. He has mentored many graduate students and has co-authored numerous journal articles with them. He has also been a valued undergraduate instructor."


Shy, who joined the faculty in 1967, is "the preeminent American authority on the military aspects of the Revolutionary era. He has led the way in emancipating military history from its traditionally narrow focus upon strategy and tactics, making it instead an essential component of any full understanding of humanity's past."

"Prof. Shy's courses in military history and in the American colonial period are models of their kind, extremely popular with students, and he has been equally successful in teaching the survey course in American history. He has presided over the creation of the Military Studies Group, an informal but impressive gathering of those with such interests that is now nationally recognized for its quality."


Springer, who joined the U-M in 1969, was "among the first School of Nursing faculty members to utilize computer exercises in her courses. Her recent focus has been on the continuing development of Clinical Computer Aided Simulation Exercise, which is a user-friendly software package that allows faculty to develop units specific to their specialties," the Regents noted.

"Her research endeavors focused on the nutritional status of pregnant women, infants and children. Most recently, she served as co-investigator on a five-year project comparing services and outcomes of pregnant women served by certified midwives or obstetricians."