The Buffalo State community is saddened by the death of Keith M. Henderson, professor of political science, who died Sunday, June 22.
Dr. Henderson joined the Buffalo State community as professor and chair of the Political Science Department in September 1969; he received continuing appointment in 1972. Prior to his appointment, he served as associate professor of public administration at New York University. Earlier, he served as assistant professor of public administration at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon.
Before his academic career, Dr. Henderson worked for the city of Los Angeles in several capacities, including city councilman. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Occidental College in Los Angeles, and his master of science and doctor of public administration from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. At Columbia University, he pursued postdoctoral study of public law and government.
At Buffalo State, he continued to demonstrate the scholarship for which he had already established a national reputation. He also quickly began serving the community and was named to the Advisory Committee for Management Improvements for Erie County by County Executive Edward Regan.
His publications over the years included articles and a number of books, including The Study of Public Administration (1983) and Public Administration in World Perspective(1990), of which he was coeditor. He also coedited the forthcoming book The New Transatlanticism: Politics and Policy Perspectives, to which he contributed two chapters.
Dr. Henderson had a longtime interest in international study. He was a Fulbright scholar who studied public administration and nongovernmental organizations in countries including Iran and Croatia. He was president emeritus of the Western New York/Northwestern Pennsylvania Chapter of the Fulbright Association, and was very active in chapter activities.
He was instrumental in developing hands-on internships that provided students with the opportunity to work in government offices locally and in Albany and Washington, D.C. Most recently, he was serving as academic director for Buffalo State’s U.S. Department of Education Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) grant, which seeks to improve transatlantic undergraduate education in public administration.
Dr. Henderson helped to establish the master of public administration program at Buffalo State, and he served as coordinator of the program’s public administration track. This semester, he was serving as director of the Public Administration Division.
“Dr. Henderson loved teaching,” said Stephen Pendleton, associate professor and chair of the Political Science Department. “He had a strong interest in the public sector, and he worked hard to develop programs to prepare students for careers in public service.”
Dr. Henderson is survived by his wife, Behjat, lecturer of political science; and his daughter, Susan. Gifts in his memory can be made to the Buffalo State Foundation and designated to the Keith M. Henderson Endowed Scholarship Fund. This scholarship will be awarded on an annual basis to a sophomore or junior declared in the public administration minor.
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