Passing of Bernie Klein (April 12, 2020)

Dear Colleagues,

It is with great sadness that I share the passing of Bernard W. Klein, professor emeritus of political science and public administration and a long-time pillar of the University of Michigan-Dearborn community. Bernie, as he was affectionately known, and who led the campus on three different occasions as interim or acting chancellor over a span of 21 years, died this morning at the age of 91.

Before joining the Dearborn faculty in 1971, Bernie held many leadership positions including controller of the City of Detroit, assistant director of the state’s workers’ compensation program, and vice president and interim provost at Wayne State University.

At UM-Dearborn, in addition to his professorial duties, Bernie directed the Center for Urban Studies from 1971 to 1975 and was the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award in 1990. Bernie deeply loved our university, our students and our alumni.

On a personal note, I had the honor and pleasure of being introduced to Bernie shortly after my arrival on campus, when he came to meet me and share his experiences at UM-Dearborn. His vigor and good humor belied his years, and his enthusiasm for our campus was as palpable as a graduating senior. He was truly an inspiration. Bernie was also kind enough to attend my inauguration, I was touched by his support and good wishes.

Susan and I, along with our university community, express our deepest and most sincere condolences to the Klein family. We have lost an icon of our UM-Dearborn community.


Domenico Grasso

Office of the Chancellor

1070 - Administration Building
4901 Evergreen Road
Dearborn, MI 48128
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Phone: 313-593-5500
Fax: 313-593-5204