Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Remembrances of Stanley Kutler from Jon Teaford and Andrew King

Here are two more in a series of remembrances of Stanley I. Kutler by his students.  The first is from Jon C. Teaford, Professor Emeritus of History, Purdue University.  Professor Teaford received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1973.  His dissertation was “The Municipal Revolution in America: Origins of Modern Urban Government, 1650-1825”
I was a graduate student working under Stanley Kutler in the early 1970s.  As has been too often the case over the past four decades, academic jobs were in short supply when I received my Ph.D. in 1973.  Moreover, I was relatively clueless about how to get a job or how to survive and get ahead in the academic world.  Stanley Kutler, however, came to the rescue.  He seemingly knew everyone in the history profession, and he was not reluctant to tell them all that they should hire me.  He was not one to shed his commitment to his graduate students once they had dotted the last "I" in their dissertations.  Instead, he was ready and willing to remain a mentor and aide.

I eventually obtained a tenure-track position, and throughout my years teaching United States Constitutional History I assigned Stanley Kutler's reader The Supreme Court and the Constitution.  Though I eventually left the field of legal history, I remained indebted to Stanley Kutler for his aid and guidance during the early years of my career when I very much needed the help he provided. 
The second is from Andrew King, Professor Emeritus of Law, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.  Professor King received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1976.  His dissertation was “Law and Land Use in Chicago: A Prehistory of Modern Zoning.”
Andrew King
I remember Stan with fondness.  He served as my dissertation advisor at Wisconsin during the 1970s.  Stan was a wonderful major professor.  He was always on the alert to ease my life as a graduate student coming to school after service in Vietnam.  He made sure that I had access to whatever sources of financial aid were available.  I worked as his research and teaching assistant.  All too often, major professors neglect the more mundane aspects of a graduate student's life.  Stan did not.  He was helpful to me in more unorthodox ways.  For example, he convinced the History Department to consider my law degree as proof of competence in one of the "foreign languages" required by the program.  That certainly simplified my entrance into the Ph.D. program.  He helped me choose a dissertation topic  and then took care in selecting the members of my dissertation review committee to guarantee that there would be no problems at the oral examination.  He took an active interest in casting about for jobs when I went "on the market" and, correctly, urged me to take on the Daniel Webster project with Fred Konefsky.  In retrospect that turned out to be great advice.  I will always cherish the active support and encouragement Stan gave me in my career.

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