Dr. Keith M. Henderson, political science professor - The Buffalo News
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Dr. Keith M. Henderson, political science professor

May 24, 1934 – June 22, 2014

Keith Meader Henderson, of Buffalo, a SUNY Buffalo State political science professor for 45 years, died June 22 in Erie County Medical Center of injuries suffered in a traffic accident. He was 80.

He helped to establish the master of public administration program at Buffalo State and developed internships for students in local, state and federal government offices.

“Dr. Henderson loved teaching,” said Stephen Pendleton, chairman of the college’s 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.”

Born in Bakersfield, Calif., he attended Reed College in Portland, Ore., and in 1956 earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Occidental College in Los Angeles.

From 1956 to 1961, he was an administrative analyst for the City of Los Angeles and completed his doctorate in public administration at the University of Southern California.

In 1961, he became an assistant professor of public administration at American University of Beirut, Lebanon. He returned in 1964 to become an associate professor at New York University and took post-doctoral studies at Columbia University.

Dr. Henderson joined the Buffalo State faculty in 1969 and served as department chairman from 1982 to 1984.

He was twice a senior Fulbright lecturer abroad, in 1975-76 at the University of Tehran, Iran, and in 1998-99 at the University of Rijeka, Croatia.

He was academic director for Buffalo State’s U.S. Department of Education Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, which supports trans-Atlantic undergraduate education in public administration.

The author of the 1983 book, “The Study of Public Administration,” he was co-editor of the 1990 “Public Administration in World Perspective.” He also co-edited the forthcoming book, “The New Transatlanticism: Politics and Policy Perspectives,” and contributed two chapters.

He was president emeritus of the Fulbright Association of Western New York/Northeastern Pennsylvania and a member of the Buffalo Council on World Affairs, the International Political Science Association, the New York State Political Science Association and the American Society of Public Administration, which honored him with an award in 1997.

He was named to the Advisory Committee for Management Improvements for Erie County by County Executive Edward Regan.

He is survived by his wife, Behjat “Behi”; a daughter, Susan; a brother, Tom; and three grandchildren.

A memorial service is planned at a later date.

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