Obituary: Robert Shanley, Professor Emeritus of Political Science

Robert Shanley

Robert A. Shanley, 92, professor emeritus of political science, died Nov. 17 in Longmeadow.

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., he served during World War II with the U.S. Army Signal Corps in the occupation of Okinawa from 1945-46.

He received an A.B. at Columbia College in 1946, an M.A. at Columbia University in 1948, and a Ph.D. at Georgetown University in 1955. While attending Georgetown, he held positions in the Documents Division, Congress, and later as a research assistant for U.S. Air Corps Intelligence.

He taught political science at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, the University of Detroit and American International College in Springfield before he came to campus in 1962 as assistant director of the Bureau of Government Research, where he published studies and assisted in conferences on state and local issues.

In 1965, he was appointed an assistant professor in the department of government. In 1971, he was promoted to associate professor and he left his position with the Bureau of Government Research. He was promoted to professor in 1993.

In the political science department, his teaching and research centered on the American presidency, as well as environmental and energy politics and policies. His research focus was on the administrative presidency, particularly presidential executive orders.

After his retirement in 1994, his volunteer activities included assisting immigrants in passing their citizenship exams, reading aloud to Springfield 4th graders, Meals on Wheels and Rachel’s Table. He also sponsored children in developing countries whose parents died of AIDS and children in the Philippines who were abandoned by their American soldier fathers.

His wife, Charlotte Belenky Shanley, died in 1998.

He leaves a cousin, Walter Strohmeyer, of Orient, N.Y., nieces Gloria Rothman of Enfield, Conn., and Susan Haskell of Boston, a nephew, Neil Belenky, Greensboro, N.C.; Yvonne and Dr. Robert Baevsky, and the family of Charlotte Pollak and Sheryl and Gary Okun, of Longmeadow, and his caring home companions, Jackie Howell, Maureen and Daenia Bernard and Shanice Brown.