In Memoriam: Michael Robert Williams, 1952-2016

mwilliams-headMichael Williams, director of Black studies at Cleveland State University in Ohio, died on July 12 at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center. He was 64 years old.

A native of Youngstown, Ohio, Dr. Williams was a graduate of Mount Union College in Alliance, Ohio, where he majored in sociology and was an All-American in track and field. He earned a master’s degree in social work from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. Dr Williams held a second master’s degree in public health and a doctorate in social work from the University of Pittsburgh. Later, he studied for a master of divinity degree at the Ashland Theological Seminary in Ohio.

Dr. Williams joined the faculty at Cleveland State University in 1985 as an assistant professor of social work. He was granted tenure and promoted to associate professor in 1991. In 2004, Dr. Williams was named director of the Black studies program at the university and remained in that post until his death. The university awarded its first bachelor’s degrees in Black studies in 2010.

Related Articles


  1. So very sorry to hear of the passing of Dr. Williams. I knew him in Pgh. through friends in University.

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

In Memoriam: O. Jerome Green, 1954-2024

President of historically Black Shorter College O. Jerome Green passed way unexpectedly on April 8. Since he became president in 2012, the college has experienced record-breaking enrollment and graduation rates, created new academic programs, and established the STEM Center for Academic Excellence.

Federal Report Uncovers Lack of Faculty Diversity and Delay in Federal Discrimination Complaint Processing

In addition to a lack of diversity in higher education faculty, the report revealed a frequent delay by the Department of Education when referring discrimination complaints to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Christopher Span Appointed Dean of Rutgers University Graduate School of Education

Dr. Span, professor of education policy, organization, and leadership at the University of Illinois, is a scholar of African American educational history. He has experience in both academic and administrative leadership positions.

Lingering Mistrust From Tuskegee Syphilis Study Connected to COVID-19 Vaccine Reluctance

African Americans who lived within 750 miles of Tuskegee, Alabama, were more reluctant to receive the COVID-19 vaccine than their White neighbors, as well as Black Americans from other United States regions. The authors attribute this finding to lingering mistrust of public health services as a result of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study which ran from the 1930s to 1972.

Featured Jobs