December 21, 2020  |  News & Events, Sad News, Timely Announcements

Dear Colleagues,

I share with you sad news from the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare. Dr. R.L. McNeely, Professor Emeritus of Social Work, passed away on December 9, 2020.

R.L. received his MSW from the University of Michigan and his PhD from Brandeis University. In 1975, he joined UW–Milwaukee as a faculty member in the School of Social Welfare. He was one of the first people to publish an anthology on race and crime with former professor Carl Pope of the Criminal Justice department back in the late 1970’s. His seminal work (2 editions) entitled “Black Milwaukee” was a treasure trove of details and facts that highlighted the enormous disparities that existed between black Milwaukeeans and white Milwaukeeans. He was a well-known professor and scholar, and he published dozens of academic articles. In 1994, he obtained a law degree from Marquette University. He worked with numerous social service agencies and non-profit organizations to assist those who were caught up in the criminal justice system and suffered its indignities. He testified before Congress on the issue of domestic violence, and additionally, an NBC documentary was inspired by his research.

After a 37 year career at UWM, R.L. retired in 2012 as a professor emeritus. His later activities included working with the Felmers O. Chaney Advisory/Advocacy Board as board president over the past 10 years to improve the lot of offenders returning from prison. His interests in the city of Milwaukee were unparalleled, as he fought for equality for all persons.

For additional information, please see R.L.’s Life Tribute page, and his obituary, as well as a written tribute from HBSSW professor and former dean Stan Stojkovic. Our condolences to R.L.’s family and to the many others whose lives he touched.

Take care,

Johannes Britz
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs