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   from the issue of January 27, 2005

A Piece of University History

In 1968, soon after Richard Nixon was elected to office, the state of Nebraska learned that one of its leaders had been tapped to head the Department of Agriculture. Clifford Hardin had served 15 years as the 12th University of Nebraska chancellor, taking the position in July 1954. He had previously served as dean of agriculture and experiment station director at Michigan State University. During his chancellorship, the university saw tremendous growth, including the merger of Omaha University into what became the University of Nebraska System in 1968


In 1968 president-elect Nixon named Hardin U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. Hardin was sworn into office on Jan. 20, 1969 as the 17th secretary. He served for three years. In 1971 he joined the Board of Ralston Purina.

Hardin believed that during his tenure at NU, people were working hard for the good of the institution. In a 1975 interview, he said, "I have looked back on it many times and wondered what we did that inspired that kind of cooperation and loyalty to the institution that we had during this period....Everybody was on a good, wholesome and friendly relationship and much was accomplished because of it. I rather think it had something to with the times. We had an awful lot of work to do. They all knew it was important and there just wasn't time to do anything but go out and get the job done. I think people like to succeed and I think we were succeeding and success builds success..."

His daughter, Cynthia Hardin Milligan is dean of the College of Business Administration and the Clifford M. Hardin Center for Continuing Education building (under renovation for the School of Natural Resource Sciences) was named for him.


University of Nebraska Department of Public Relations Biography 1968

Oral History Interview, George Round and Clifford Hardin, June 28, 1975

In this weekly feature, the Scarlet takes a look back at a moment of UNL's past through a historical photo, story or short trivia item.

Information for "A Piece of University History" is provided by the University Archives and Special Collections, University Libraries. For more information or to suggest a topic for this feature, call 472-8844.



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