Longtime UConn Political Science Professor Howard Reiter Dies

A candle burning.

There will be a public memorial service in celebration of Professor Howard Reiter’s life and career on Saturday, March 31 at 10 a.m. in the Konover Auditorium at the Dodd Center. A reception will immediately follow.  All are welcome to join others from the University community and Howard Reiter’s family at this event.

Howard Reiter, emeritus professor of political science. (Daniel Buttrey/UConn Photo)
Howard Reiter, emeritus professor of political science. (Daniel Buttrey/UConn Photo)

Howard L. Reiter, who spent 35 years as a well-known and highly-respected political science professor at the University of Connecticut – including five years as department head – died at his home on Jan. 10 following a long illness. He was 66.

Reiter, whose expertise was often sought out by journalists writing about state and national politics, specialized in American politics, with a focus on political parties and elections. He was a Fulbright Research Scholar in Western Europe, a recipient of Choice magazine’s Outstanding Academic Books Award, and a lecturer on American politics in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. He also served as president of the New England Political Science Association from 2010 to 2011.

“Howard was the model of what a scholar-teacher should be,” says political science department head Mark Boyer. “He was a superlative mentor of students, and through his frequent writings provided a great example to students and colleagues about how to be a public intellectual. His innate kindness showed through in all aspects of his personal and professional life. He will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him.”

Reiter received his BA from Cornell and his master’s and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard. He joined the UConn faculty in 1974, served as department chair from 2003 to 2008, and retired in 2009. He remained on the faculty as an emeritus professor.

He was a visiting professor at the University of Tartu in Estonia in 1997, and at the University of Essex in England in 1984. From 2002 to 2003, he was the executive editor of the journal Public Perspective, published by the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at UConn. He also held the Uppsala Chair in American Studies, part of the Fulbright Distinguished Chairs Program, at Uppsala University in Sweden from 2001 to 2002.

Reiter was the author of numerous books and articles, including Counter Realignment: Political Change in the Northeastern United States with Jeffrey Stonecash (Cambridge University Press, 2011); Parties and Election in Corporate America (St. Martin’s Press, 1987), and Selecting the President: The Nominating Process in Transition (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1985), which won the Choice magazine award.