Bachelor, Williams College, 1959; Master of Arts, Northwestern University, 1960; Doctor of Philosophy, Northwestern University, 1964.
Instructor English, Northwestern University, 1963-1965; member of faculty, Michigan State University, East Lansing, 1965-1981; Professor of English, Michigan State University, 1972-1981; graduate and associate department chairman, Michigan State University, 1968-1975; director Honors College, Michigan State University, 1975-1981; dean College Humanities and Fine Arts, U. Houston, 1981-1990; senior vice president, provost, U. Houston, 1990-1992; president, U. Houston, 1992-1995.
Member College English Association (president 1980-1981), Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, Omicron Delta Kappa.
Married Patricia Paterson, August 18, 1962. Children: David Scott, Susan Elizabeth.