The University Record, April 24, 2000


John Arthos

John Arthos, professor emeritus of English, died April 11. He was 92.

Arthos was a Russel Lecturer and the Hereward T. Price Distinguished University Professor of English.

In adopting his retirement memoir in 1979, the Regents noted that Arthos’ “many books and articles range over several periods of English, American and continental literature. His major interest, however, was in the Renaissance, and then in the major figures of the Renaissance.

“Using his wide range of knowledge of languages and literature, he has made enduring contributions to our knowledge and understanding of what was a European, not just an English movement. No scholar has better understood, more clearly interpreted, or more deeply applied in his own thinking and teaching, the humanistic spirit which informed this important period in the history of literature.

“Prof. Arthos,” the Regents added, “brought his distinguished teaching career to culmination, after his appointment to a University Professorship, by designing and teaching a year-long course on ‘The Character of the Humanities.’ His whole teaching career exemplified what he taught at its conclusion: the unique importance of humanistic perspectives.”

Arthos, who held degrees from Dartmouth College and Harvard University, joined the U-M in 1938 as an instructor and was promoted to assistant professor in 1942. He was named associate professor in 1948 and professor in 1954.

He served with the 85th Infantry Division in 1942–45, receiving the Bronze Star.

Arthos is survived by his wife, Martha; five children: Lydie, John, James, Maria and Martha; and five grandchildren: Sophia, Lydie Bennett, Peter, Joseph and Christianna.

A graveside funeral service was held at St. Thomas Cemetery, followed by a memorial mass at St. Thomas Church April 15. A priest from St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church presided at the graveside service.

From the family and News and Information Services

Stanford C. Ericksen

Stanford C. Ericksen, professor emeritus of psychology and founding director of the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT), died April 10 in Florida. He was 88.

In 1962, Erickson was recruited from his position as chair of the Department of Psychology at Vanderbilt University to direct the center on university teaching, authorized by Regental action in September 1962. The new center was directed to assist faculty in the task of providing effective instruction of the highest quality.

CRLT was the first such center in the United States. Today, almost every U.S. university has such a center, and CRLT has been used as a model not only by American universities, but also by universities in many other countries.

Ericksen urged that “research” be included in the title of the Center because he believed that the work of the center needed to be grounded on research, not simply reflecting current unevaluated innovations. Ericksen’s own previous research on human learning, as well as the solid base of CRLT’s programs in theory and research on learning and instruction, helped the Center achieve credibility among skeptical academics at Michigan and nationally. Memo to the Faculty, which he edited and often wrote, became the most widely read publication in higher education in America.

The success of CRLT also was due in no small part to Ericksen’s success in recruiting and training an excellent staff for what was then a new career. Ericksen brought to the staff both well known established scholars and promising younger Ph.D.s—Donald Brown, James Kulik, Robert Kozma, Janet Lawrence and Karl Zinn. He also nurtured talent. Beverly Black, for example, began as a research assistant and developed into a national leader in faculty development.

Ericksen was a member of the founding committee for the Residential College. Within the Department of Psychology, he taught well regarded courses in human learning and college teaching. He retired in 1982.

Ericksen grew up in Salt Lake City, graduating from the University of Utah in 1933. He held a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Chicago and while at Vanderbilt University in 1946–62 he led the development of a strong Ph.D. program.

Following retirement from the U-M, he continued working at the University of Florida, writing thematic reports for the faculty similar to the Memo. His final professional essay, “Self-Knowledge of a Job Well Done: Reflections on a Teacher’s Self-Appraisal,” was published by the American Psychological Association Observer in January 1998.

Ericksen is survived by his second wife, Amyjo Smith; four children from his first marriage: Susanna Lewis (Timothy) of Brooklyn, N.Y., Eugene (Julia) of Philadelphia, Stanford Jr. (Eric) (Kate Kirkpatrick) and David of Ann Arbor; seven grandchildren, including Michael and Robert Ericksen of Ann Arbor; and three great-grandchildren. His first wife, Jane Pennell Ericksen, died in 1983.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 4225 NW 34th St., Gainesville, FL 32605.

Submitted by W.J. McKeachie and the family