In Memory of Professor Frances McCall RosenbluthWed, Nov 24, 2021
In Memory of Professor Frances McCall Rosenbluth
November 24, 2021
Professor Frances McCall Rosenbluth passed away in the morning of Saturday, November 20, 2021 (Eastern Standard Time in the USA). She had been fighting brain cancer (to be exact, glioblastoma) for eleven months.
Frances served as an external board member of Waseda University for three years, from November 8, 2018 until her passing. She had served as deputy provost of Yale University before she became an external board member of Waseda and thus was exceptionally well qualified to fulfill her role with us. With the permission of Yale University to work outside the University for one full day a week, she flew to Tokyo from New Haven via JFK Airport every month from November 2018 until February 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the US and Japan. During that time, she contributed greatly to the transformation of Waseda University under my administration.
Frances cared deeply about her work for us: even after she started treatment for brain cancer, she wrote to me every week or every other week to ask, “Tell me how I can help you or help Waseda.” Her last email was dated November 5, 2021. We are profoundly grateful for her dedication to her role at Waseda and shall miss her wise counsel.
Frances was well known to political scientists in the US and Japan. She was the scholar who changed the paradigm of research on Japanese politics by introducing rational choice theory to analyze Japanese politics. In September 1989, when I listened to her presentation, I was overwhelmed by her new perspective and very persuasive logic. I knew then that she would be an influential political scientist in the near future. And, my intuition was right. Furthermore, she became known to the entire political science community as an influential comparative political economy specialist.
Frances was also well known to all her students and colleagues for her unfailing kindness and generosity. She was always willing to help when people needed it, while she wished for no reward or return at all. My colleagues and I greatly respected and loved her personal integrity. May her soul rest in peace.
Aiji Tanaka, President