Reid, Social Work Pioneer, Dies at 75
Heidi Weber (518) 437-4980
N.Y. (November 20, 2003) - William J. Reid, a distinguished
professor of Social Welfare and an internationally recognized
scholar in social work practice and research at the University
at Albany, died Nov. 17 at age 75. He was the principal architect
of UAlbany's doctoral program in social welfare, which he
chaired since 1985, and which has been recognized as one of
the top programs in the country.
is renowned as the “inventor” of the task-centered approach
to social work, a pioneering method and philosophy of practice.
His research contributed to a significant shift in methods
of working with individuals and families. His recent work
focused on working with families who have children at risk
of failure in school.
was awarded every major research prize in social work including
the George Herbert Jones Professorship at the University of
Chicago, the Award for Excellence in Research from the National
Association of Social Workers and the Distinguished Achievement
Award of the Society for Social Work and Research. In addition,
he was awarded the Chancellor's Research Recognition Award
from the State University of New York.
began his career as a psychiatric social worker in the U.S.
Army and went on to academic posts at Columbia University
and the University of Chicago. He joined the University at
Albany faculty in 1980 and was the recipient of the Excellence
in Research award in 1986.
authored 20 books and more than 160 articles and chapters
in scholarly books and professional journals. His books, translated
into as many as seven languages, include Research
in Social Work (1999), The
Task Planner (2000) and Educational
Supervision in Social Work (2003). He is the recipient
of Research Excellence Awards from the University at Albany
and from the National Association of Social Workers and of
the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Society of Social
Work and Research.
he was named a Distinguished Professor of the State University
of New York in 1998, Chancellor John Ryan quoted from one
of Reid's nomination letters, "It is no exaggeration
that there would be few social workers in the world who would
not know of and respect Reid's work. There are few persons
in our field of whom this can be said."
earned bachelor's and master's degrees from the University
of Michigan in 1950 and 1952. He was awarded the Doctor of
Social Welfare degree from Columbia University in 1963.
is survived by his wife Anne E. (Ricky) Fortune, also a professor
at UAlbany's School of Social Welfare; as well as his daughter,
Valerie Reid Twentyman of New Jersey and her husband Mark;
a grandson and twin newborn granddaughters.