Professor Frank Way, An Advocate for UCR’s Early Graduate Programs, Has Died

A memorial service will be held in the spring of 2017 in his native Missouri

H. Frank Way, professor emeritus of political science at UC Riverside. Photo courtesy of the UCR Libraries Special Collections

UC Riverside Professor Emeritus Harold Frank Way, Jr., an expert on criminal justice and one of the people who shaped UCR’s early history, died at his home in Pasadena on Dec. 4. He was 87.

Prof. Way came to the University of California, Riverside in 1957, when it was still just a three-year old liberal arts college, to teach in the Department of Political Science. Over the years he participated in building UCR into a modern university complete with sophisticated graduate programs. He served as a dedicated teacher, researcher, and administrator until his retirement in 1991.

An expert on constitutional law, criminal justice, and religious liberty, he was author of many books and articles on these subjects.  His 1964 book, Liberty in the Balance, went through five editions.

A gifted and committed educator, he received the Distinguished Teaching Award in 1988 from the UCR Academic Senate, especially for his work in the course “Constitutional Law: Fundamental Freedoms.”

In addition to his scholarship and teaching, Prof. Way served as Divisional Dean of Social Science from 1968 to 1969, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Academic Services from 1970 to 1973 — and Chair of the Political Science Department from 1977 to 1988, the longest term in the history of the department.

“While not a founding faculty member in the strict sense, Way helped sustain UCR through its earliest growth,” said Milagros Peña, dean of the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.

In an oral history recorded in 1998, he described his advocacy for increased enrollments and new graduate programs. He also described his impressions of Riverside and the fledgling campus during his first year at UCR, during which he got around by bicycle and shared an office with the first Provost, Gordon Watkins.

“There was smog, but I was attracted by all the orange groves and the fragrance of orange blossoms in the winter,” Way told Jan Erickson, who did the oral history interviews for the campus. “There were enough movie houses and a few things to do on campus, so it was a good year.”

Prof. Way was born in Chillicothe, Missouri, the son of a baker and a homemaker, and earned his bachelor’s degree at Northeast Missouri State (now Truman State), and his Ph.D. at Cornell University.

Following his retirement in 1991, he did volunteer work at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in Claremont , and was a volunteer reading tutor for elementary students in the public schools of Claremont and Pasadena.

He is survived by his wife Barbara; two daughters; a stepson; and five grandchildren. He has a large extended family in Missouri where a memorial service will be held in the spring of 2017. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that a contribution be made to a local food bank.

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