UH MOURNS THE DEATH OF PROMINENT SOCIOLOGY
Janet Chafetz’s Career Spanned More Than 30 Years
HOUSTON, July 10, 2006— Janet Saltzman Chafetz, professor
of sociology and longtime faculty member at the University of Houston,
passed away Thursday, July 6, 2006 after a battle with cancer. She
was 64 years old.
Professor Chafetz called UH home for 35 years. For 12 years she
served as the chair of the sociology department.
“Janet Chafetz was not just an accomplished scholar, but
also an effective leader in the college,” John Antel, dean
of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, said. “Most
significantly, however, Janet was totally dedicated to the university
and the students. She was a member of a generation of faculty who,
with more grit than real resources, helped build UH into a research
Chafetz focused her teaching and research energies on the study
of gender roles and the sociology of gender. Her many publications
included the books “Gender Equity” and “The Handbook
on the Sociology of Gender.” With fellow sociology professor
and longtime friend, Helen Rose Ebaugh, she co-wrote the book “Religion
and the New Immigrants.” Chafetz also served on the council
of the American Sociological Association, as president of the Sociologists
for Women in Society and the Southwest Sociological Society.
Ebaugh said their offices were side-by-side, and they began each
morning with a cup of coffee and conversation.
“Janet was a woman of integrity who could not be swayed by
majority opinion,” Ebaugh said. “She was a challenger
of the taken-for-granted, both for students and colleagues. She
loved intellectual discussions, heated arguments over issues, Russian
novels, the New York Times crossword puzzles, writing scholarly
articles, and especially her husband, Hank, and son, Josh.”
Hank Chafetz is a professor in the UH geosciences department. Their
son, Josh, is a former Rhodes Scholar and currently at Yale Law
“Hank and Josh were her pride and joy,” Ebaugh said.
Chafetz graduated from Cornell University in 1963 with a bachelor’s
degree in history. She completed graduate studies in sociology at
the University of Connecticut in 1966, and received a doctorate
in sociology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1969.
A memorial service at the University of Houston is planned for
early fall. In lieu of flowers or the usual remembrances, friends
are asked to consider a donation to the Janet S. Chafetz Fund, Department
of Sociology, University of Houston, 4800 Calhoun, Houston, Texas
77204-3012. This fund will support graduate and undergraduate programs
in the sociology department.
About the University of Houston
The University of Houston, Texas’ premier metropolitan research
and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers
and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate,
civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university
in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and
service with more than 35,000 students.
For more information about UH visit the universitys Newsroom at www.uh.edu/admin/media/newsroom.