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Winston W. Crouch

Professor of Political Science, Emeritus

Los Angeles



Winston W. Crouch, a distinguished teacher, scholar, and public servant, provided leadership for the program in state and local government and public administration. He had been a resident of California since 1911, received his higher education at Pomona College, Claremont Graduate School, and the University of California, Berkeley, finishing his Ph.D. there in 1933. He served UCLA from the spring of 1936 until his retirement in 1975 and continued to serve the community for many years after that. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1943 to 1946, rising to the rank of Commander. In 1954-55 he was a Fulbright Senior Research Fellow, Indian Institute of Public Administration.


Professor Crouch, the third tenured faculty member in the field, led it in a period of major growth in its teaching and research activities. He took over the courses in state and local government in 1937 and became director of the Bureau of Governmental Relations in 1948. The Bureau, focused on inter-governmental relations and political and administrative issues in providing services in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, was the first organized research unit approved at UCLA back in 1937. He then led the program in state and local government and public administration during its heyday, with greatly expanded faculty and students, until his retirement in 1975.


Professor Crouch’s participation in all aspects of university life and public service were sought because of his cool head, sound judgment and the straightforward and professional way he dealt with problems. As director of the Bureau of Governmental Research, 1948-1961, as department chair, 1956-1959, and as a member or chair of numerous university committees, both local and statewide, his talents for efficient organization and keeping an eye on major issues were well displayed.


A major dimension of his career was a commitment to public service. He believed not only that it was important to study and write and teach about it, but also that he should give personal service to it. Early in his career at UCLA he served Town Hall as a member of its Committees on the Revision of the Los Angeles County Charter and on its Committee on Municipal and County Government. In mid-career he served two six-year terms as a member of the Los Angeles County Civil Service Commission and as its president for four of those years. For 22 years, and well into retirement, he served the Los Angeles Community College District as a member of its Personnel Commission, and for 21 of these as its chairman. This public service both drew on and fed his research. His Guide for Modern Personnel Commissions (Chicago International Personnel Management Association, 1972/1973) and his Organized Civil Servants: Public Employer-Employee Relations in California, (Berkeley, University of California Press, 1978) reflect this.


His research and writing ranged over a much wider range of issues than personnel administration. From early work on The Initiative and Referendum in California with V. O Key Jr. (Berkeley, UC Press, 1939) to Southern California Metropolis – A Study In Development of Government for a Metropolitan Area with Beatrice Dinerman (Berkeley and Los Angeles, UC Press, 1964) his books, monographs and articles covered many aspects of California’s state and metropolitan problems.


He worked closely with his graduate students, collaborating with many of them on monographs and articles. He was a first rate collaborator, sharing with several of his colleagues authorship of a number of books on California government and politics. Many students in California’s universities and colleges remember him for his basic texts on state and local governments. California Government and Politics co-authored with D. E. McHenry, J.C. Bollens and S. Scott (Englewood Cliffs, Prentice Hall, 1956), which went through four editions. Your California Governments in Action with J. C. Bollens (Berkeley and Los Angeles, University of California Press, 1954) had six printings while the revision in 1960 had three printings.


Professor Crouch was a modest person, giving of his talents where he felt they were useful. His achievements in teaching, research, and public service were widely recognized by his professional colleagues, however. By the time of his retirement he had received the American Society for Public Administration’s Clarence A. Dykstra Award for Teaching and Research in Public Administration, the International Personnel Management Association’s Warner W. Stockberger Achievement Award, and the California School Personnel Commissioners Association highest award, the Schuyler Joyner Award “in recognition of his outstanding support of merit principles with consistent creativity, commitment, dedication and success.”


Just prior to his retirement the National Municipal League gave Professor Crouch its Distinguished Citizen Award “For his steadfast devotion and faithful service to his community and his self-sacrificing effort to make a reality of self-government. His demonstration of responsible citizenship above and beyond the call of duty has made his community a better place in which to live and work and has given high encouragement and inspiration to the people of many other communities.”


                            Charles R. Nixon