China Institute

Remembering Dr. Ratcliffe

Dr. A. F. ''Rick'' Ratcliffe


After studying physics as an undergraduate, he obtained a master of science and later a doctor of science degree in engineering from UCLA. His academic areas of interest included control systems theory, dynamics, and applied mathematics.

Dr. Ratcliffe joined the ECE Department in 1975
Appointed Chair in 1978
Associate Dean in 1980
Dean in 1981-1991

One of the first African-American deans of an engineering school in the nation, He continued his involvement with the College after retirement and served as a member of the College's Industry Advisory Board until recently. He distinguished himself as an engineer, scientist, consultant and educator.

Dean Ratcliffe told students: "I was black. I was poor. ... I made it. You can make it."

"The low number of blacks in the science and medical fields can be attributed to a lack of role models, a lack of competent teachers in mathematics and science assigned to the black and Hispanic schools and a lack of understanding on the part of the community that math and science are important," Ratcliffe said. 


From College of Engineering and Computer Science