Portrait of Hinderaker, Ivan H.

Hinderaker, Ivan H.

June 5, 1998

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Ivan and Birk Hinderaker, UC Riverside's revered and longest serving Chancellor and First Lady, chronicle their fifteen years of leadership on the UCR campus and offer a candid appraisal of the pressures the campus faced in competing within the university system.
Excerpt from Transcript
Hinderaker: That brings me to a quote from Bill Trombley who wrote the education articles for the LA Times about a week after the inauguration. He made the point that because of the things that had been done during the year that there was no bitterness there was a completely different climate with the students.

Erickson: You mean since you came.

Birk: Comparing it to Berkeley.

Hinderaker: Well no, comparing to Berkeley. I will not compare it to the climate before I got here.

Erickson: Ok.

Hinderaker: But at least I think it was better than that. But anyway, Bob Holcomb, the Student Body President well, here, I should I want to read you something. I told you that I wrote a Chancellor's column. Okay, now, and I did it regularly. My first Chancellor's column on September 14, 1964, included this:

"This campus should be a place never afraid of a steady flow of creative ideas, not only in matters academic, but also in ways of doing many other kinds of things on the campus. Without such ideas forward movement cannot begin. It should be a place of pressure with departments and other units constantly pressuring both sideways and up to accomplish objectives we regard as important. Without such pressures nothing was likely to happen even if ideas are good. It should be a place of challenge with everyone stirred up enough about life and things to try to achieve always a higher level of performance. Without that stirring up, we couldn't be a university worthy of the name, and in addition, we wouldn't have any fun." Okay, that's my first column.

Two days later, Bob Holcomb, who wrote a column in the Highlander pledged, "the greatest possible effort toward working with the administration and faculty."

He added, "Contrary to an opinion I once held, the natural divergence over issues between students and administration does not necessitate antagonism. The new administration has indicated the desire to listen to student recommendations and consider them on merit. Let me assure you that the Executive Council has the same view toward cooperation, recognizing that intelligent compromise can result in progress, but meek acquiesce will always end in mediocrity."

Ok, that really set the tone, not only for this first year, but really in relations with students for all the years that I was a Chancellor.

Questions Regarding this Oral History Project should be directed to Jan Erickson at jan.erickson@ucr.edu.