The Passing of Arthur “Ben” Chitty

The Library mourns the loss of Arthur “Ben” Chitty, Higher Education Associate, who served as long-time Library Systems Officer, and PSC-CUNY union activist.

From Simone Yearwood, Interim Dean, School of Arts and Humanities:

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Arthur Ben Chitty on Sunday, February 11. Shortly before his retirement in Summer 2023, Ben was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.    Ben began working at Queens College in 1984 as an assistant professor in the Paul Klapper Library. With the opening of the Benjamin S. Rosenthal Library in 1988, he transitioned to an administrative role as the library systems officer (HEO), where he remained until his retirement. Throughout his tenure, he took on various responsibilities including acting acquisitions librarian and acting head of technical services. Before his retirement, he served as the assistant to the chief librarian for special projects, focusing on the assessment of the college’s Federal Depository Library Program. He previously taught as an adjunct at the Queens College Graduate School of Library & Information Studies.  

Ben was a champion in promoting health and safety practices and contract enforcement. He worked tirelessly and was a staunch advocate for the PSC and DC37 unions. He played a key role in organizing the Queens College Unions Joint Committee on Quality of Work Life, the sole cross-union committee in the City University, which convened monthly for over a decade. Alongside his wife Priscilla Murolo, he co-authored From the Folks Who Brought You the Weekend: A Short Illustrated History of Labor in the United States. Ben’s activism extended beyond academia. He was involved in the antiwar veteran’s movement since his discharge from the US Navy in 1969, initially with Vietnam Veterans Against the War and then with Veterans for Peace, advocating for peace and social justice. He leaves behind his wife, two stepsons, and two grandchildren. Information on his memorial service will be forthcoming.