Bill Meezan

Bill Meezan was a social worker dedicated to child welfare services and LGBT-related causes.

Early life

Bill Meezan
Personal details

Born: 1947
Died: May 2016


Bill earned his bachelor’s in psychology at UVM in 1967, a master’s in social work from Florida State University in 1969 and his doctorate in social work from Columbia University in 1978.


Bill had a wide range of careers all through his adult life. From 1984 to 1985 Bill served as a Congressional Science Fellow and a faculty member of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Jane Addams College of Social Work, where he rose through the academic ranks and attained tenure in 1981 and the rank of full professor in 1986. In 1988, he was the John Milner Professor of Child Welfare at the University of Southern California. From 1993 to 1994 he was a Senior Fulbright Scholar in the Baltic States, helping to start the first social work program in the former Soviet Union. Prior to his work at Ohio State, Bill was the Marion Elizabeth Blue Professor of Children and Families at the University of Michigan School of Social Work, a position he had held since 1999. Bill then became Dean of the Ohio State University School of Social Work in 2005 and held the position until 2009. In 2013, he became a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Social Service, holding the Mary Ann Quaranta Chair for Social Justice for Children. In 2013, Bill Meezan was appointed to the University of Vermont Alumni Foundation Leadership Council, where he consistently advocated on behalf of the student body.


Bill Meezan died in May 2016.


Honors and Awards

A list of Bill's awards and honors goes as follows:

•In 1997, he received an honorary degree from the Higher School of Social Work and Social Pedagogics "Attistiba," Riga, Latvia. Five years later Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, Lithuania would recognize his contribution to their social work program.

•In 2005 he was inducted into that institution’s School of Social Work Hall of Fame in Columbia

•In 2007 he won the Society for Social Work and Research’s Outstanding Social Work Dissertation Award

•The National Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi inducted him in 2007

•In 2009 he won the Herbert A. Raskin Child Welfare Article Award.

•He was named a Pioneer by the National Association of Social Workers.

•In 2009, Bill received a Leadership Recognition Award from the Institute for the Advancement of Social Work Research and the Pro Humanitate Literary Award

•Bill received an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from UVM at the May, 2013, commencement ceremony


Bill wrote extensively on child welfare and other subjects, including more than 50 articles and chapters in peer-reviewed journals and anthologies such as Social Service Review, Children and Youth Services Review, Child Welfare, Research on Social Work Practice, Families in Society, Social Work with Groups, Administration in Social Work, Family Preservation Journal, The Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services, Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping, Smith College Studies in Social Work, the Journal of Evidence-Based Practice, and The Future of Children. Also co-authored four books and co-edited six other volumes. The following is a list of some of Bill's publications:

•Meezan, William; Katz, Sanford N; Russo, Eva Manoff (1978). Adoptions Without Agencies: a Study of Independent Adoptions. New York: Child Welfare League of America. ISBN 0878681744.

•McGowan, B. & Meezan, W. (1983). Child Welfare: Current Dilemmas‑Future Directions. Itasca, IL: F.E. Peacock Publishers.

•Meezan, W. & Shireman, J. (1985). Care and Commitment: Foster Parent Adoption Decisions. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

•Pecora, P., Fraser, M., Nelson, K., McCroskey, J. & Meezan, W. (1995). Evaluating Family-Based Services.New York: Aldine de Gruyter.

•McCroskey, J. & Meezan, W. (1997). Family Preservation and Family Functioning. Washington, D.C.: CWLA Press.

•Meezan, W. & Martin, J. (2003). Research Methods with Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Populations. Binghamton, NY: Harrington Park Press. (Published simultaneously as an extended double issue of the Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services, 15 (1/2)).

•Meezan, W. & Martin, J. (2009). Handbook of Research with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Populations. New York: Routledge.


In 2015, Bill Meezan and his partner Michael Brittenback, established the Meezan/Brittenback endowment fund for the University of Vermont LGBTQA Center. The endowment aims to support and expand student programming and provide emergency assistance for students in financial need. The full impact of Bill Meezan and Michael Brittenback’s generosity is unknown


Categories: People