Allan Kornberg, former chairman of Duke’s Department of Political Science, has passed away

After 43 years of service to the university, guiding the department in various scholarly and administrative ways, Allan Kornberg passed away, on July 31, 2018.  Georg Vanberg recounts his service, writing, “He was a prolific and distinguished scholar of legislatures, parties, and comparative political behavior. Allan served as the department’s chair from 1983 to 1992, and retired as the Norb F. Schaefer Professor of International Studies in 2008. From 1993-1995, he served as the first Director of the Division of Social, Behavioral, and Economic Research of the National Science Foundation.”

Thomas Spragens remembers Allan to have guided the department to higher levels of national prominence.  “It was surprising to some when Allan was appointed as Chair of the Department, because he had the reputation of being something of a maverick; and he was never shy about speaking his mind, even if there were those who did not want to hear what he had to say. But he excelled in scholarship. He excelled in mentorship. And, as it turned out, he excelled in his academic leadership as well. Allan was fortunate in the timing of his chairmanship, in that the University was in an expansionary mode at the time. But the Department benefited enormously from his ability and determination to take full advantage of those circumstances to improve the Department and to enhance its national stature.”

Michael Gillespie and Peter Lange echo that sentiment, “As chair of the Political Science Department, Allan Kornberg led the transformation of the department  from an excellent regional program into a top ten nationally ranked program.  His colorful personality and forceful leadership style will never be forgotten by those who knew him.”

Professor Kornberg was APSA vice president (1992-1993) and served on the Centennial Center Executive Committee (1998-2003)”. A longtime member of the Association, he was the recipient of 1989’s Samuel Eldersveld Career Achievement Award; the recognition of a scholar whose lifetime professional work has made an outstanding contribution to the field. More recently, in 2011, he also received The Mildred A. Schwartz Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes scholarship and leadership in bringing the study of Canadian Politics to the international political science community.

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