Geographic Connection to Pennsylvania: Shamokin, Northumberland County
Castetter was the author of several books dealing with educational administration, like The Human Resource Function in Educational Administration.
William B. Castetter began his career in education as an undergraduate at the University of Mexico, and eventually received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, where he then became a professor of education. In addition to teaching, he published articles and books on the field of education. The University of Pennsylvania has an award named after him, which honors those who have made outstanding contributions to the Graduate School of Education. Castetter died in 2009.
William B. Castetter was born on August 31, 1914, in Shamokin, Pennsylvania, to parents Edward Franklin and Stella (Zimmerman) Castetter. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of New Mexico in 1936, and his Master's degree also from UNM in 1937. After graduating, he became a high school principal in Melrose, New Mexico, a job he held until 1940, when he entered the U.S. Army, Infantry division. Castetter served in the Army until 1945, leaving with the rank of captain.
After his military service, Castetter moved back to Pennsylvania and obtained a job as the Dean of Men at Lebanon Valley College, located in Annville. He also picked up his education again, and in 1947 earned his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. The same year, he married UP classmate Roberta Breitmeyer, who earned both her Bachelor and Master's degrees in education from the University. A year later, Castetter left his job at LVC to become an assistant professor of education at the University of Pennsylvania.
Castetter found his home at the University of Pennsylvania, progressing from assistant professor to professor of education. Retired, he currently maintains the title of professor emeritus. During his career in education, Castetter not only taught, but published many scholarly articles and books pertaining to educational administration. His first solo book, Public School Debt Administration, was published in 1958, and he wrote or contributed to a total of 14 books between 1952 and 1980.
Castetter's book The Personnel Function in Educational Administration, first published in 1970, currently in its eighth edition and renamed The Human Resource Function in Educational Administration, is still a widely used textbook in college education today. The explanation appearing on the hardcover edition of the book says: "With its comprehensive approach, this classic book is designed to cover each of the eleven processes related to the human resource function. The book focuses on the management of the school systems' human resources and discusses whose qualities and performance determine system outcomes in educational administration." To illustrate his points, Castetter discusses research, reform movements, political developments with educational significance, and new approaches to long-standing problems with the human resource function.
After his retirement, Castetter lived at the Waverly Heights retirement community in Gladwyne, PA. His wife died July 24, 2003. On February 23, 2009, Castetter passed away from pneumonia at Waverly Heights.
Castetter's legacy lives in the William B. Castetter Award, given to an alumnus or alumna of the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education. It recognizes significant service, extraordinary and voluntary, of the recipient to the school.
(Contributor) Problems and Issues of Public School Finance. New York: Bureau of Publications, Teachers College, Columbia University, 1952.
Public School Debt Administration. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1958.
Administering the School Personnel Program. New York: Macmillan, 1962.
Staffing Pennsylvania's Reorganized School Districts: A Study of Size and Composition. Danville, IL: Interstate, 1964.
Planning the Compensation of School Administrative Personnel. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 1965, 2nd ed. published as Planning the Financial Compensation of School Administrative Personnel, 1970, 3rd ed. 1974.
(Contributor) Problems and Issues of Public School Finance, 2nd ed. Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1966.
Educational Administration and the Improvement of Instruction. Danville, IL: Interstate, 1967.
The Personnel Function in Educational Administration. New York: Macmillan, 1970, 3rd edition, 1981, 6th edition retitled as The Human Resource Function in Educational Administration. Indianapolis: Merrill, 1996.
Educational Administration and the Ineffective Performer. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 1978.
Guide to Apportionment and Control of Pennsylvania Public School Funds. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 1980.