Former Social Sciences Dean Jack Meltzer Dies
May 14, 2010
Jack Meltzer, dean of the School of Social Sciences at UT Dallas from 1983 to 1986, died May 5 in Washington, D.C.
Meltzer, 88, came to UT Dallas toward the end of a distinguished career in urban planning and teaching. Dr. Brian Berry, current dean of what became the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences, was a friend of Meltzer for nearly 50 years and collaborated with him on many projects.
“He took the first major steps in hiring new faculty who could help steer the school to a new role in graduate education,” Berry said. “During his years at UT Dallas, he played a critical role in the development of what is now the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences.”
Meltzer was raised in Hamtramck, Mich., and graduated from Wayne State University with a bachelor’s degree. He then moved on to the University of Chicago, where he earned his master’s degree in public administration.
He soon was hired to direct the South East Chicago Commission, an organization affiliated with the university and charged with bolstering the neighborhood surrounding the school. He eventually started his own urban planning firm in Chicago and consulted on many projects.
Meltzer is credited with playing a major role in helping reshape and strengthen the South Side Chicago neighborhood of Hyde Park during the 1950s and 1960s. He went on to teach at the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration and was chairman of the public affairs program.
Meltzer joined UT Dallas during a period when the school was seeking to expand its areas of expertise and attract a more diverse variety of students. He retired in 1986 and moved to the Washington, D.C., area, where he could be closer to family members.
Meltzer died of complications from emphysema at a nursing home in Washington, D.C. He previously lived in Chevy Chase, Md.
His wife, Rae, died two years ago. He is survived by two sons, Marc and Richard; a daughter, Ellen Meltzer Schneider; eight grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.