Kauffman, Joseph F. 1921-2006

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Kauffman, Joseph F. 1921-2006
(Joseph Frank Kauffman)


See index for CA sketch: Born December 2, 1921, in Providence, RI; died of cancer, September 29, 2006, in Madison, WI. College administrator, educator, and author. A former president of Rhode Island College, as well as administrator at other universities, Kauffman was one of the founders of the Peace Corps and its first director of training. As a young man, he was a singer for big bands. When America entered World War II, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in the infantry in North Africa and Italy. After returning home, he completed a B.A. at the University of Denver in 1948, a master's at Northwestern University in 1951, and a doctorate at Boston University in 1958. Even before earning his Ph.D., Kauffman worked at Brandeis University as a lecturer and assistant to the president, and he was dean of students there in the late 1950s. From 1960 to 1961 Kauffman served as an executive vice president at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York City and as part of a committee established to organize what later became the Peace Corps. Kauffman was put in charge of training, and he set up a strict program in which volunteers worked fifteen-hour days for six days a week. To prepare them for work in third world countries, they studied medicine, politics, education, languages, and methods for defending against Communist subversion. Kauffman worked to ensure that training standards were consistent throughout the seventy participating college and university campuses. After leaving this work in 1963, he was named director of higher education for the American Personnel and Guidance Association in Washington, DC. During the turbulent years of 1965 to 1968, Kauffman was dean of student affairs, as well as a professor of counseling and behavioral science, at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. There he had the unpleasant duty of quelling student protests, which sometimes threatened the staff. When accused by students of being a fascist, Kauffman rather famously shot back that he had put his life at risk fighting real fascists. After acting as president of Rhode Island College from 1968 to 1973, Kauffman returned to Madison as professor of educational administration, and remained at this post until his retirement in 1987. He also served as executive vice president of the University of Wisconsin system from 1980 to 1983. Kauffman was the author, coauthor, or editor of several publications, including Education (1966), The Selection of College and University Presidents (1974), and On Assuming a College or University Presidency: Lessons and Advice from the Field (1989).



New York Times, October 3, 2006, p. C15.

Washington Post, October 2, 2006, p. B7; October 3, 2006, p. B10.

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Kauffman, Joseph F. 1921-2006

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