19 September 2001 |

Lyman Glenny
Professor Emeritus Lyman Glenny, an authority and influence on higher education, died Sept. 6 at his home in Walnut Creek after a brief battle with bone cancer. He was 83.

Glenny authored the first major study of the efforts of state governments to coordinate the public colleges and universities that grew rapidly in the wake of World War II. Under his direction, Berkeley’s Center for the Study of Higher Education was the nation’s leading university-based research center on higher education. He taught, published and consulted widely about higher education topics.

“He understood, far earlier than most, that quality higher education systems would become essential for individual opportunity and economic prosperity,” said Paul Lingenfelter, executive director of the State Higher Education Executive Officers in Denver, Colo.

A native of Trent, S.D., Glenny developed an indomitable spirit despite a childhood spent in poverty and constantly on the move, said stepdaughter Jean Thompson. He joined the Signal Corps in World War II and saw duty in France. During the Korean War, Glenny was assigned to the Pentagon.

In 1942, he married Joy Ballou; they divorced in 1977. He married Helen Thompson in 1978. She died of cancer in 1986, and he remained a widower.

Glenny earned his Ph.D. in political science from State University of Iowa in 1950. He launched his teaching career in 1948 at the University in Iowa and served from 1962 to 1968 as associate, then executive director, of the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

Glenny joined Berkeley’s Graduate School of Education in 1968 as a professor of higher education. In 1983, he became an emeritus professor, but actively consulted on higher education issues for a multitude of clients including the National Education Association and the U.S. Office of Education.

Colleagues say that Glenny took the lead in developing community colleges to serve local communities, working for articulated systems of higher education that let students transfer between institutions without losing credits, and establishing a system of more affordable fees for education.

Professor of Education Bernard Gifford, former dean of the School of Education, met Glenny when Gifford took over the school’s reins in 1983. Gifford came from outside the UC system, was the youngest dean on campus and the only African American dean on campus at the time. The school was scheduled for closure due to years of poor ratings. He said he was young, alone, and under tremendous pressure when Glenny befriended him.

“Lyman was ... one of the first senior professors to invite himself into my office,” recalled Gifford. “He just sat down, shook my hand and said, ‘I’d like to help you be successful.’...He didn’t know me, but he was willing to help. He really cared deeply about teaching and learning.”

Glenny had a great love of running. A Contra Costa County running club, the Diablo Valley Roadrunners, named Glenny runner of the year in 1998.

He is survived by his son Terry Glenny of Los Angeles; daughter Celia Baker of Camarillo, Calif., stepdaughter Colleen Sullivan of Chandler, Ariz., stepdaughter Cindy Thompson of Tacoma, Wash., stepdaughter Diana Thompson of Santa Rosa, stepson Doug Thompson of Fremont, and stepdaughter Jean Thompson of Oakland.

A memorial service is planned for Tuesday, Oct. 2, at Alumni House.

In lieu of flowers, family and friends may make contributions to the Lyman Glenny Memorial Fund through University Relations, 2440 Bancroft Way, Berkeley CA 94720-4200.


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