One West University Boulevard, Brownsville, Texas 78520 | 956-882-8200

Remembering Dr. Norman “Joe” Binder

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

The University of Texas at Brownsville has lost a friend and longtime member of the faculty. 

Dr. Norman Binder † Dr. Norman Binder †

It was with great sadness that we learned Dr. Norman “Joe” Binder passed away Thursday, January 10 at the age of 72. He was an important person in our lives who taught us the value of authentic friendship and personal commitment.
Dr. Binder joined Pan American University at Brownsville as a professor in the Department of Social Sciences in 1973. During his 34-year career, he served as chair of the Departments of Political Science and Social Sciences, Director of the Office of Assessment and Evaluation and the University Experience, and was a valuable participant on countless university committees. He also served as interim chair of the Criminal Justice Department before retiring in 2007.

He was a popular classroom teacher. Whether they were Government majors or majors in other disciplines, students were enthralled with his broad knowledge of life’s subjects beyond those related to politics and American Government. In the classroom, he was an energetic figure, challenging students and leaving them both enthusiastic and exhausted at the end of a class. He was a performer in that regard, an academic entertainer, but always a teacher.
He was an encyclopedia of knowledge about the University, its history, and its rules and processes. But no matter how busy he was, he always took the time to listen to colleagues and students alike, gently offering his insights and suggestions. He made a difference.
Many in our campus community have begun to share their memories of Dr. Binder. History Professor William Harris remembers him as “a dear, dear friend and an unfailing advocate for his students. He cannot be replaced. Joe was excited because he was scheduled to teach again this semester. I miss him already.”
University Relations Officer Angie González was a former student of Dr. Binder’s. She wrote to share, “Dr. Binder was a wonderful mentor, advocate for students and a great friend. He shared his knowledge about making the world a better place and he inspired many. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”
Dr. Binder received a B.A. in Government from The University of North Dakota in 1969 and an M.A. in Government in 1971 and Ph.D. in Government in 1974 from The University of Arizona.
Funeral services are under the direction of Sunset Funeral Home, 31201 State Highway 100 in Los Fresnos, Texas. Visitation will be held from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, January 14 at the funeral home. A Service of Remberance will take place at 10 a.m Tuesday, January 15 at the funeral home.
A scholarship endowment in memory of Dr. Binder will be established at UTB. Gifts can be sent to: UTB Division of Institutional Advancement, 80 Fort Brown, Brownsville, TX 78520. For more information please contact Angie Gonzalez at 956-882-4324 or
With great sadness and fond memories,
Dr. Juliet V. García

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