Albert E. Brown

To:  All Staff Members
From:  J. W. Maucker, President
Date:  October 17, 1968

Albert E. Brown, former emeritus professor of education, passed away on October 16, 1968, at the Western Home in Cedar Falls.  He was born in Moran, Kansas, on June 21, 1882.

Dr. Brown received the B. S. degree from Baker University in 1909, the M. A. degree from Yale University in 1910, and the Ph. D. degree from the University of Iowa in 1931.  After having served as principal and superintendent in the public schools of Kansas and on the staff at Colorado State College, he joined the staff at University of Northern Iowa in 1924 as Assistant Professor of Education.  He was advanced to the rank of associate professor in 1937 and to the rank of professor in 1938.  He served with emeritus status from 1952 until 1966, part of the time as archivist.

Dr. Brown had been a member of the National Education Association, the Iowa State Teachers Association, and Phi Delta Kappa.  Active in committee work, he had served as chairman of the Committee on Institutional Philosophy (1942-1944) and chairman of the Educational Policies Commission (1944-1945).  During 1939-1940, he served as president of the Faculty Men's Club.

The Nelson Funeral Home is in charge of the funeral arrangements.  Services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, October 18, 1968, at the First United Methodist Church in Cedar Falls, and burial will be in Fairview Cemetery.

The flag will be flown at half-mast Friday afternoon, and the Campanile bells will be played during the time of the funeral service in memory of Dr. Brown.


Dr. Albert E. Brown, retired Professor of Education, Unlversity of Northern lows, passed away on October 16, 1968.  He retired from active teaching in 1955 and assumed the role of Emeritus Professor.  Dr. Brown remained active in the Department of Education on a part-tlme basis until 1966.  He was appointed College Archivist in 1959, a part-time position he filled until 1966.  It was then that he moved into the Western Home in Cedar Falls.

He was born June 22, 1882, in Kansas, where he attended high school.  His bachelor's degree was received from Baker University at Baldwin, Kansas, in 1909.  He earned a master's degree in Education from Yale University in 1910 and a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Iowa in 1931.  Dr. Brown served as Principal of the High School at Lyons and at Atwood, Kansas, from 1912 to 1917; as Superintendent of Schools at Lyons, Kansas, from 1920 to 1923; and as Principal of the Laboratory School at Colorado State College, Greeley, Colorado for three years.  He then came to Iowa State Teachers College in 1924 where he taught in the Department of Education until his retirement.

While at the University of Northern Iowa, he was a prime mover and researcher for the "Committee of Eight", a pioneer committee which in the 1940s studied and made recommendations to the faculty concerning general education requirements for students preparing to enter the teaching profession.  During his most active years, he contributed leadership to a department which functioned with diginity and showed prestige throughout the entire state.

Dr. Brown was an active member of the First Methodist Church of Cedar Falls, where he also served as church treasurer and as a member of the choir.  He was Chairman of the committee in charge of the construction of the Wesley Foundation (Methodist) Student Center across from the campus of the University of Northern Iowa.

Typical of the many comments to be found in the several school yearbooks in which his name appears is this one from the Blue and White of 1915 from Lyons, Kansas.  "A. E. Brown, has been with us three years and we hope to keep him longer.  Sometimes we think him too stern, but in the end we always see the wisdom of his methods."  Dr. Brown never lost this air of sternness, but he never misused the opportunity to help guide a student or a fellow worker.

The Laboratory School at Greeley, Colorado, saw him initiate and carry out many ideas which are popular today: individual pupil motivation, independent study, individualized curricula, and progressive methods of pupil evaluation. His Workbook in Educational Psychology, which grew from his doctoral dissertation, is as timely and challenging in 1969 as any material currently being published.  His doctoral dissertation on large class instruction became an important pioneer study in the field and led to many additional research studies and changes in methods of instruction.

One side of Dr. Brown not seen by some was his aggressive sense of humor.  He was eighty years old, had suffered a stroke, and was at home waiting for an opportunity to move into the Western Home.  His son, John, had given him a quick hair trim and shave, then backed off and said, "Daddy-o, you now look ten years younger."  Dr. Brown's response, without a moment's hesitation, was to jut his chin forward and reply, "Do it again."

We are privileged to convey this sincere expression of remembrance of the man we knew as a teacher and friend and the gratitude we feel for all that he so freely gave, and recommend that this expression be made a part of the records of the University Faculty Senate and that a copy be sent to his son.

Merritt E. Melberg
Gordon J. Rhum
Julia Sparrow


Rod Library Special Collections and University Archives
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, Iowa 50613-3675
Telephone: (319)-273-6307
Fax: (319)-273-2913
Email: Gerald.Peterson@uni.edu