Obituary: Loren Baritz, former provost and acting chancellor

Former provost and acting chancellor Loren Baritz, of Sunderland, died Dec. 31 at Cooley Dickinson Hospital. He was 81.

Born in Chicago, he earned his bachelor’s degree at Roosevelt University before going on to the University of Wisconsin, where he received his master''s and doctoral degrees.

He was an assistant professor of history at Wesleyan College in Connecticut, an associate professor at Roosevelt University and professor and department chairman at the University of Rochester before joining the faculty of the State University of New York-Albany.

He then served as provost, executive vice president and acting president of SUNY’s Empire State College. Later he was provost and acting vice chancellor for academic policies for SUNY system. From 1979-80, he was director of the New York Institute for the Humanities, an organization affiliated with New York University.

He was appointed provost in 1980 and served as acting chancellor in 1982 following the resignation of Henry Koffler. Baritz stepped down as provost in 1983 and returned to teaching as a professor in the History Department. He retired in 1991.

He was the author of several books, including “The Good Life: The Meaning of Success for the American Middle Class,” “Backfire: A History of How American Culture Led Us into Vietnam and Made Us Fight the Way We Did,” “The American Left: Radical Political Thought in the Twentieth Century,” “City on a Hill: A History of Ideas and Myths in America” and “The Servants of Power: A History of the Use of Social Science in American Industry.” He was also the editor of “The Culture of the Twenties: 1920-1929” and the two-volume “Sources of rhe American Mind: A Collection of Documents and Texts in American Intellectual History.”

In 1991, he was awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters by Empire State College.

He leaves his wife, Phyllis Handelsman, and two sons, Tony Baritz and his wife, Polina, of Troy, Mich., and Joseph Baritz of Baldwin, N.Y.; two granddaughters and nieces and nephews.

There are no calling hours or formal funeral service.