Roland J. Liebert was a visionary with great ability to bring diverse groups
together, which is a key quality when building a coalition. Roland
took the organization from its conception to fruition with great
passion and hard work. He strongly believed in substance abuse prevention
and community involvement. His many contributions in local and state
substance abuse advocacy are just part of Rolandís legacy. He was
an educator, associate editor, writer, consultant, facilitator,
and manager in community building, organizational and program development,
and evaluation research.
Roland James Liebert was born on December 16, 1942 in Green Bay,
Wisconsin. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where
he received a Bachelorís degree in American History and Master of
Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Sociology.
While teaching at Florida State University and Florida Atlantic
University in the early 1970's, Dr. Liebert conducted evaluation
research on goal setting and decision making at all levels within
American higher education and on long-term trends in decision-making
priorities among municipal governments in the United States. In
the late 1970's, he was Program Director for Sociology at the National
Returning to the Midwest, he taught statistics and community building
for 19 years at the University of Illinois-Urbana. Additionally,
he conducted action oriented community research, facilitated community
development and program assessment in the depressed neighborhoods
of East St. Louis. Moreover, Dr. Liebert carried out thirteen large
sample social surveys of community concerns and needs, and directed
a student internship program.
As a community volunteer in central Illinois, Dr. Liebert also
designed and administered programs for community reintegration of
recovering addicts and alcoholics. He witnessed many transformations
of previously destitute persons into outstanding citizens and community
Dr. Liebert wrote Disintegration and
Political Action: The Changing Functions of City Governments in
America, Power, Paradigms, and Community
Research (Roland J. Liebert and Allen W. Imershein, eds.),
and Voices of Sociology.
He also wrote chapters in other three books, 19 monographs and reports,
over 25 papers, 6 articles, and 5 book reviews.
Retiring early from the University of Illinois and moving to Sarasota
in August of 1999, Roland J. Liebert promptly got involved with
the Coalition and became its founding Executive Director. His dedication
to comprehensive countywide initiatives involving collaborative
community education and advocacy for more effective prevention services
and reclamation of lives went beyond SCoSA. Roland was a member
of the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association, Florida Youth
Initiative Advisory Council of the Florida Department of Children
and Families, Public Safety Coordinating Council of Sarasota County,
and the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America. He also served
in the Circuit 12 Juvenile Justice Board, Juvenile Justice Council
of Sarasota County, Florida Statewide Juvenile Justice Coalition,
and Community Alliance of Sarasota.
Roland James Liebertís sudden demise on August 3, 2003, left us
in shock and deeply saddened. His loss not only affected his wife,
two sons, and other family members, but all the people whose lives
he touched. We will remember this great man and the work he started.
SCoSA is committed to continue Rolandís dedication to substance
abuse advocacy and improvement of Sarasota Countyís quality of life.