The Passing of Robert Agranoff

by John Kincaid, Lafayette College

The intergovernmental relations community mourns the loss of Robert Agranoff, 83, who passed away on November 14, 2019. Born in Minneapolis on May 25, 1936, he retired in 2001 as Professor Emeritus of Public Administration at Indiana University’s O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs. He remained an active scholar until his death.

Bob was recognized internationally as an authority on collaborative management in the public sector and intergovernmental management. His research focused not only on the United States but also on Spain and Ukraine. His best-known books included Intergovernmental Management: Human Services Problem Solving in Six Metropolitan Areas (1986), Collaborative Public Management: New Strategies for Local Governments coauthored with Michael McGuire (2003), Managing Within Networks: Adding Value to Public Organizations (2007), and his edited volume Accommodating Diversity: Asymmetry in Federal States (1999).

He also published in Publius: The Journal of Federalism and was a life-long friend of the founder of the Center for the Study of Federalism, Daniel J. Elazar, since childhood in Minneapolis. As Bob noted in his tribute upon Elazar’s death on the CSF website, Elazar’s work “carried me a long way in my study of intergovernmental management.”

Agranoff received a BS in political science and economics from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in 1962 and an MA (1963) and Ph.D. (1967) in political science from the University of Pittsburgh. He taught at Northern Illinois University from 1966 to 1980 when he joined Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

He received the Louis Brownlow Book Award from the National Academy of Public Administration in 2003 and was elected a fellow of the Academy in 2011. He also received the Martha Derthick Book Award from the Section on Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations of the American Political Science Association in 2014.

Instead of flowers, friends can donate to the IU O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs Robert Agranoff Ph.D. Fellowship. Make memorial gifts payable to the IU Foundation and indicate “Robert Agranoff Ph.D. Fellowship” on your gift. Mail to: IU O’Neill SPEA; 1315 E 10th St. Suite 310; Bloomington, IN 47405.