The Faculty History Project documents faculty members who have been associated with the University of Michigan since 1837. Key in this effort is to celebrate the intellectual life of the University. This Faculty History Website is intended as a component of the effort to document the extraordinary academic achievements of Michigan’s faculty in building and sustaining one of the world’s great universities. It provides access to a comprehensive database of information concerning the thousands of faculty members who have served the University of Michigan.
Find out more.
Regents' Proceedings 375
Ernest N. McCarus, professor of Arabic and Kurdish in the Department of Near Eastern Studies, retired from active faculty status on May 31, 1995, after a distinguished career as a scholar, teacher, and linguist.
A native of West Virginia, Professor McCarus received his AB. degree in Japanese in 1945, his M.A degree in Spanish in 1949, and his Ph.D. degree in linguistics in 1956, all from the University of Michigan. He joined the faculty of the Department of Near Eastern Studies as an instructor in 1952; he was promoted to associate professor in 1961 and professor in 1967. During his career, he served as department chair from 1969-77; director of the Center for Arabic Studies Abroad (CASA) from 1974-83; director of the Center for Middle and North African Studies from 1983-92; and director of the Program for Inter-institutional Cooperation in Area Studies (PICA) from 1988-95. He also was active in the Middle East Studies Association of North America (chair, 1975); the American Association of Teachers of Arabic (president, 1973); and the Arabic Linguistic Society (president, 1992).
Professor McCarus is a gifted linguist and polyglot, who has pioneered in the teaching of Arabic and Kurdish languages. His role in the Department of Near Eastern Studies has been crucial, and the department's program enjoys the reputation of being the leader in the field of modern Arabic language and culture. A dedicated teacher and advisor, many of Professor McCarus' more than 50 doctoral students have gone on to become university professors, deans, and leaders in business and government. His scholarship and wise judgment have been recognized and repeatedly sought for consultation on and evaluation of Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies programs in American and Middle Eastern universities and governmental institutions.
His long, distinguished career at the University has been marked by his dedication to the Arabic teaching profession. More importantly, Professor McCarus is known for his warmth, decency, humanity, and concern for the welfare of his students, colleagues, and friends. His service has enriched his department, his university, and his profession.
The Regents now salute this distinguished scholar and linguist for his dedicated service by naming Ernest N. McCarus professor emeritus of Arabic and Kurdish.