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KU remembers William Scott for Shakespeare scholarship, work on faculty rights

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas is mourning the loss of William Scott, a professor of English at KU for more than 55 years. He died in August at the age of 82.  

Scott was a Shakespeare specialist and had a particular interest in recent years in Shakespeare and the law, over the last decade penning respected articles on “Richard II,” “King Lear” and “The Merchant of Venice.” He regularly presented at the major Shakespeare conferences. 

At KU, he was best known for his work on faculty rights and with the American Association of University Professors. The Faculty Senate at KU approved this month a resolution commemorating Scott’s contributions both at the university and with AAUP.

“On behalf of the KU community, I offer my sympathy to William Scott’s family, friends and colleagues,” said Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little. “We remember him as a scholar who showed us Shakespeare in a new light and as a professor devoted to pushing faculty governance forward.”

Scott came to KU as a faculty member in 1958. He earned his doctorate from Princeton University in 1959 and held degrees from Duke, the University of Michigan and the University of Chicago.

“Bill's devotion to ideals of faculty governance stands out in my memory,” said Richard Hardin, professor emeritus in the Department of English. “In the English department he headed an especially helpful committee when we developed a new system of appointing department chairs."

“I knew Bill as a great Detroit Tigers fan and as a colleague who continued his active scholarly career well past the conventional retirement age,” said James Carothers, professor of English.

A memorial service took place last month in Lawrence.