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In Memorium: PA Professor Emeritus Kevin Michael Clarke

Michael Clarke
June 4, 2021 – “Waiting for Death with Dignity.”  Michael Clarke 

Beloved Professor Emeritus Kevin Michael Clarke. who dedicated more than 41 years to teaching and mentoring students, died July 8 after a sustained battle with cancer.   

Clarke was born in Sligo County, Ireland on May 5, 1946. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Dublin and his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Georgia. He joined the Department of Public Administration in 1976 where he remained for 41 years until his retirement, but he continued to teach for the department until 2017.  At CSUSB he served in a variety of capacities, rising to full professor, department chair and chair of the faculty senate. He was very active in the faculty union and held various positions in the CFA. In his final years he served as labor relations director for academic affairs. 

Clark was loved for his ethics and integrity, his iconoclastic personality, his outspoken drive to speak truth to power and his wonderful sense of humor, often supported by photographs of signs and bumper stickers. Students said he was incredibly clever, knowledgeable and entertaining. Even after 20 years since taking Clarke's course, one student wrote in an online review that "If there was ever a professor who was so opposite as I and yet taught me how to think for myself Professor Clarke did this for me. What a hero!" He will be especially missed by CSUSB colleagues past and present who met with him weekly the past couple of years for Zoom lunches. He is survived by his wife, Karen, and children and grandchildren. 

The photograph here was taken by Clarke’s son several weeks before his death. According to those who knew him, It captures the fortitude and equanimity with which he faced his situation, as well as the sense of humor that graced his every interaction with others, until the very end.