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Remembering former School of Social Work director Roy Rodenhiser

Roy “Butch” Rodenhiser

Roy “Butch” Rodenhiser, the former director of Boise State’s School of Social Work, passed away on Aug. 19 in Twin Falls at the age of 73.

Rodenhiser directed the School of Social Work from 2005 to 2015. Upon his retirement, he was awarded the rank of Professor Emeritus.

Prior to joining Boise State, Rodenhiser was a faculty member at the Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of North Dakota, and led the social work program at the University of North Florida.

Prior to earning his doctorate, Rodenhiser was a social worker in the U.S. Army, serving on active duty as well as in the reserves. His dissertation, titled “The effects of relocation program participation of job related attitudes and retention of Department of the Army civilians,” was focused partly on this work as an army social worker.

In addition to his successful career, Rodenhiser was the drummer in the Shameless Blues Band, a group made up of social work educators who performed at social work conferences around the country. Boise State School of Social Work faculty who worked with him noted his depth of commitment and caring for the program. There also were many fond memories of lasagna parties at his home.

“Butch was an extremely social person,” said Randy Magen, director of the School of Social Work. “Even though I only knew him for a short period of time, he was always friendly, seemed to know everyone and appeared to be most happy when surrounded by people.”

Social work educators from across the country have offered their condolences and remembrances of Rodenhiser.

“I remember Butch as a person with a kind smile and always something positive to say,” said Martell Teasley, dean of the University of Utah College of Social Work.

“Butch was incredibly positive, funny and called things exactly the way he saw them,” stated Nancy Smyth, dean of the School of Social Work at the University of Buffalo. “The world is emptier without him.”

Boise State’s School of Social Work is hosting a virtual remembrance for Rodenhiser on Thursday, Oct. 1, at 5:30 p.m. It will be streamed on Zoom.

– By Randy Magen