Sociology Professor Agger Passes Away


An award-winning researcher and former Dean of Liberal Arts, Professor Ben Agger (Sociology) passed away July 14.

Agger, who also helmed the Center for Theory, was the author of a number of books on culture, media and the Internet. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto in 1976 and completed undergraduate and graduate degrees at York University.

Husband to Professor Beth Anne Shelton (Sociology), Agger served as the dean of the College of Liberal Arts from 1994-1998. Agger taught at Bishop’s University in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada, and at the State University of New York in Buffalo where he was the chair of the department of sociology.

Associate Professor Bob Kunovich, chair of the Department of Sociology & Anthropology, said Agger showed tremendous commitment to UT Arlington students.

“On top of being a prolific and respected writer, Dr. Agger was usually the first to volunteer to help with special projects,” Kunovich said. “Last spring, for example, the department organized a final exam support station for students on the recommendation of Dr. Beth Anne Shelton. Students could drop by to pick up free Scantron forms, coffee and snacks. We also configured a quiet space for students to study. Dr. Agger and Dr. Shelton were there before 8 a.m. to assist. Ben has been a trusted colleague and a mentor to students and new faculty over many years at UTA. He will be greatly missed.”

Agger often wrote about many of the events and issues in today’s society. In 2008, he and colleague Timothy Luke published a look at gun violence in the wake of the Virginia Tech tragedy. In 2013, he published articles and a book on texting and teenage perspectives on over-sharing in social media. Agger and Shelton often collaborated on published journal articles.

No public memorial is scheduled. Donations may be made to the Ben Agger Memorial Scholarship, 703 Findlay Drive, Arlington, Texas, 76012, to fund an annual tennis scholarship for Lamar High School students.

Read student reaction in an article by The Shorthorn.


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