Obituary | Michael Combs

Photo Credit: Michael Combs
Fri, 08/30/2019 - 11:00

Michael Combs, professor of political science, died August 29.

Combs joined the Husker faculty as an associate professor in 1978 after completing his doctorate at Washington University in 1978.

Combs' research examined African American political behavior, the context of race in the United States Supreme Court and urban politics. He co-authored textbooks on civil liberties and the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as American government. He also published numerous articles focusing on race and its impact on public policy and public opinion.

"Race and Place: Race Relations in an American City," a book he co-authored that explored racial integration in the suburbs and urban centers, won Best Book on Urban Politics from the American Political Science Association in 2001. Combs also served as the president of the National Conference of Black Political Scientists.

Combs was a frequent contributor to MLK Week activities on campus, serving as a panelist, a keynote speaker or organizer for many years. He was the recipient of the Chancellor's Fulfilling the Dream Award in 2001, which honored Combs' continued leadership in promoting the goals and vision of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

His advocacy in the Lincoln and university communities could be seen year-round through various events and discussions he organized, including three Hendricks symposia on affirmative action, challenges of inclusion and the implications of the election of Barack Obama, as well as a panel discussion following the officer-involved deaths in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York, and the subsequent protests.

He won numerous awards for teaching, including receiving the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Parents' Association and Teaching Council Award for Contributions to Students nine times during his UNL career.

Combs' funeral service is Monday, Sept. 9 at 11 a.m. at Mount Zion Church, 3301 N. 56th Street.