Sherman Merle

Published March 21, 2013

Sherman Merle, dean emeritus of the School of Social Work, died Dec. 31 in Wilcox Memorial Hospital in Kilauea, Kauai, Hawaii. He was 90.

Merle was associate dean of the Catholic University of America’s School of Social Science when he was recruited to UB in 1972 by Bernie Gelbaum, then UB vice president of academic affairs, during one of the most turbulent times on campus. Merle replaced two interim deans who had each served less than a year and faced disgruntled students and accreditation issues with the Council on Social Work Education.

During his tenure as dean, Merle rebuilt the reputation of the school, reshaping the curriculum to meet accreditation standards, and restored professional relationships with community partners. He also eliminated the undergraduate program in 1977 and introduced the part-time MSW program in 1979.