Richard Bailey appointed Fitzpatrick Professor of History at Canisius College

Some of you may recall our July 2020 post on Canisius College’s decision to remove three history professors. Richard Bailey, an early American historian and author of a great book on race and religion in Puritan New England, was one of the professors cut. (He also happened to be the department chair).

I am happy to report that Bailey not only got his job back at Canisius, but he also landed an endowed chair! Congrats. Here is the press release:

BUFFALO, NY – Canisius College has named Richard A. Bailey, PhD, the Fitzpatrick Professor of History.  In this new role, Bailey will collaborate with faculty colleagues to bring a diverse and engaging number of prominent speakers to campus, under the auspices of the college’s Fitzpatrick Lecture Series.  Bailey is an associate professor of history at Canisius and chair of the History Department.  He joined the college faculty in 2008 as an assistant professor of history with an academic focus on early American history to 1815, American religious history, African-American history, slavery in the Americas, and race and critical race theory. 

“Dr. Bailey’s expertise in the intersection of race and religion, and his ongoing research on public intellectual life fit with the Fitzpatrick endowment’s emphasis on politics, leadership and public life,” said Sara R. Morris, PhD, vice president for academic affairs, in announcing the appointment.  

Bailey is the author of Race and Redemption in Puritan New England and The Salvation of Souls: Nine Previously Unpublished Sermons on the Call of Ministry and the Gospel.  Among other projects, he is currently working on a study of the life, thought and writings of Wendell Berry, identifying the farmer and poet as one of America’s public prophetic voices of both the 20th and 21st centuries.  

Bailey holds a BA in religion from the University of Mobile, AL; a master of divinity degree in Biblical and theological studies from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; and a PhD in history from the University of Kentucky. 

The Fitzpatrick Lecture Series at Canisius is part of the larger Fitzpatrick Institute of Public Affairs and Leadership at the college, which provides an array of opportunities for Canisius students to develop leadership potential through close contact with and exposure to those who contribute to American public affairs and societal issues.  

The institute and the Fitzpatrick Lecture Series are named for William H. Fitzpatrick, a South Buffalo builder and longtime chair of the Erie County Democratic Party.  His sons, Paul E. and Walter D. Fitzpatrick, endowed the Fitzpatrick programming at Canisius in 1958, in memory of their father.  A few years later, in 1962, the Hon. Harry S. Truman, 33rdpresident of the United States, inaugurated the Fitzpatrick Lecture Series at Canisius.  Each year since, Canisius has hosted national figures in politics, government, academia and media, including Jane Goodall, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Bernice King, all under the auspices of the Fitzpatrick family.

In addition to the annual lecture series, the Fitzpatrick Institute of Public Affairs and Leadership sponsors and facilitates public affairs and leadership programming, workshops and symposia, as well as travel experiences to Washington D.C., Albany, New York City, and internship experiences in Western New York and beyond.  

It’s always great to hear positive stories in these days of budget cutting and faculty lay-offs in American academia.