Dr. John B. Stranges

University Professor

Marian House, Room 109

Office Hours:
W: 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
TTH: 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Phone: 716.286.8471



Dr. John Stranges


John B. Stranges began his career at Niagara University in 1968, and served consecutively as a faculty member, department chair, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and as the institution’s first University Professor. During his long tenure as chief academic officer, he led a major expansion of the university’s academic programs and professional accreditations and acted decisively to improve the qualification of its faculty. His proposal in 1979 to create a new Department of Computer and Information Sciences, establish an Academic Computing Center, and send a faculty member to the Courant Institute (NYU) for training in order to lead a new department in this field received a grant of $1,000,000 from the U.S. Office of Education, and brought the faculty into the computer age. Another federal grant of $300,000 enabled the university to introduce the first interdisciplinary courses into its General Education core. Dr. Stranges led the drive or obtained the necessary support for new undergraduate degree programs in Social Work, Psychology, Criminal Justice, Biochemistry, Biotechnology, and a master’s degree program in Business Administration (MBA). He also established the principle that the university should obtain every professional accreditation, beginning with Social Work and Education, resulting in accreditation of both programs on the first attempt and a continuance of this quest for every appropriate program. In 1984, Dr. Stranges led the University’s effort to obtain its first Ministerial Consent from the Province of Ontario to offer for the first time a complete graduate degree program at approved sites in the province.

Dr. Stranges created the Academic Exploration Program to assist undecided students in the choice of a major field of study, and co-founded (with Dr. Judy Willard) the University Honors Program. He also created the first comprehensive faculty development program in the university’s history to assist faculty in their research and teaching. The program was described by the university’s principal accrediting agency as “a potential model for other institutions.” He also led the drive to create the first Academic Senate in the university’s history empowering the faculty for the first time with policy-making authority, and served as its founding chair. As a member of the university’s first negotiating team with the faculty union, and later its chair, Dr. Stranges negotiated six collective bargaining agreements, and conceived and wrote many of the articles that have formed the bases of the agreements for many years.

In recognition of his service to the university community, Dr. Stranges has received the Father John J. Lynch Award, the Caritas Medal, the Dunleavy Award, and the Niagara University Medal of Honor. He has also received the College of Arts and Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award, the national Delta Epsilon Sigma Distinguished Service Award, and the Great Achievement Award from the Center for the Study and Stabilization of the Black Family.

For the past two decades, Dr. Stranges has taught courses in the Departments of History and Political Science.


  • B.A. Niagara University, (History), summa cum laude; gold medalist (Pere Blake Award) in Philosophy.
  • Ph.D. Columbia University (History), First Column Honors; Canada Council Fellow.
  • Member, Columbia University Seminars on China and War and Peace, 1994-1995.


History Department
The United States in the Contemporary World
Why Presidents Fail

Political Science Department
American Political Thought
United States Foreign Policy in the Post-Cold War Era


Dr. Stranges’ basic teaching style is to open a class with a brief commentary on an assigned reading and generate discussion by posing various types of questions to individuals or groups of students. He varies this method by asking each student to lead, or join as a panel member, one presentation/discussion session during the semester. He is a proponent of using the insights of other disciplines, particularly economics and psychology, to examine problems in history and political science. PowerPoint presentations are used to convey specific images and quantitative data, not as a substitute for class discussion.

Research and Writings

Dr. Stranges has written on a range of subjects in history, the most recent of which have a central theme: individual and organizational leadership which has mastered both design and technology in the hope of producing highly valued outcomes. His most recent publications on the creation of the Chrysler Building in New York City and the rehabilitation of the Love Canal area focus on that theme. His articles have appeared in Peace and Change, Columbia Journal of American Studies, Columbia Library Columns, National Issues in Higher Education, ICON: The Journal of the International Committee for the History of Technology, and the Delta Epsilon Sigma Journal. He has also written several articles on General Education and individual leaders at Niagara University, and published interviews with persons honored by Niagara University such as Tim Russert and Wei Jingsheng, all in the alumni quarterly, The Eagle.
His history of Niagara University, entitled The Rainbow Never Fades: Niagara University 1856-2006, was published in 2007.

Other Activities

  • NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative, 1997-2019.
  • Moderator, Niagara University Chapter of Delta Epsilon Sigma, the National Honor Society for Catholic Colleges and Universities.
  • Principal recruiter of honorary degree recipients.