James Conway, Retired UB Education Professor, 74

By Mary Cochrane

Release Date: July 3, 2007 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- James Arthur Conway, a professor who taught in the University at Buffalo Graduate School of Education from 1967 until retiring in 2000, died June 28 in Siesta Key, Fla., of cancer. A former resident of Amherst, he was 74.

Conway, who taught in the UB Department of Educational Leadership and Policy and maintained the title of professor emeritus, was an expert in school-based management and leadership and decision-making in education.

He was born in Bronxville and raised in Riverdale, and graduated from the University at Albany. He earned a master's degree in school administration from Columbia University in 1955, and entered the U.S. Army to serve with the counter-intelligence corps in Japan. Upon his return to the U.S., Conway taught in Yonkers. In 1963, he received the first earned doctorate to be awarded by the State University of New York.

He taught at Buffalo State College and in 1967, joined the faculty of the University at Buffalo to teach educational administration.

While at UB, he authored several books and articles on leadership in education, and was co-author of the book "Expecting Excellence: Creating Order Out of Chaos" that traced the success over 13 years of the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda Union Free School District as it applied industrial principles of shared decision-making to the development of a school-based system of management. The result, according to Conway and co-author Judith A. Shipengrover, was the district transformed itself into "a teaching and learning community for the 21st century."

Conway also was a visiting professor at the University of Miami and the Principal's Center at Harvard University, as well as at Didsbury College in England and University College in Galway, Ireland. He served as a consultant at Oxford University.

He was a member of Phi Delta Kappa, the American Educational Research Association and the Great Debate Society of UB.

In addition to his wife of 44 years, Linda, he is survived by three sons: Dr. James, Matthew and Christopher; and two sisters, Betty Ricciardi and Barbara Burchell.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 7, in the Newman Center at UB, 495 Skinnersville Road on the North (Amherst) Campus.