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Richard A. Siggelkow

Published May 15, 2014

Richard A. Siggelkow, who served as dean of students and vice president of student affairs at UB during the time of campus unrest during the 1960 and early 1970s, died May 9 in Williamsville. He was 96.

Siggelkow received his PhD in counseling from the University of Wisconsin in 1953, where he taught and served as associate dean of the School of Education. He came to UB in 1958 as dean of students and to teach in the Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology.

He was vice president for student affairs from 1967-83, his tenure coinciding with years of enormous change and disruption. Among the key events occurring on his watch were the merger of the private University of Buffalo into the SUNY system, and student and faculty protests on campus against the Vietnam War — including the occupation of the campus by Buffalo police.

Siggelkow, who served under four UB presidents during his 25 years at the university, retired in 1983 as a professor emeritus.

In addition to 50 articles in educational journals, he authored “Dissent and Disruption: A University Under Siege” (Prometheus Books, 1991), which explored the campus political uproar of the 1960s that earned UB the trite moniker “Berkeley of the East.” He also authored “The Unmaking of a College President” (1996), a fictional account of how four inside candidates compete for a college presidency that is desired also by others not officially in the chase.

Siggelkow served on the executive committees of the UB Faculty Senate and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, and was the first editor of the NASPA Journal in 1964.

A charter member of Sigma Delta Chi, the professional journalism fraternity, he served as president of the Buffalo chapter in 1980-81.

A resident of Ellicottville for many years, he served as president of the village historical society and as a commissioner for the volunteer fire department. He also was a member of the Ellicottville Property Tax Board and Salamanca hospital board.

Siggelkow and his wife of 69 years, Lois, rehabilitated the oldest abandoned cemetery in the town, which included restoring the grave of a Revolutionary War veteran. The plot is now listed in the National Registry of Historic Sites.