David Dodds Henry Lectures in Higher Education UIC Home

David Pierpont GardnerDavid Pierpont Gardner, Ph.D.

Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy, University of Utah Graduate School of Education
President Emeritus, University of California
Professor Emeritus, UC-Berkeley Graduate School of Education
Professor Emeritus, UC-Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy

For more than 40 years, David Pierpont Gardner has set a standard of excellence for higher education leadership. Gardner is nationally recognized as a visionary for his work at the University of California, the University of Utah, and throughout America’s higher education structure today. UIC is delighted to welcome David Pierpont Gardner to campus to share his thoughts on governing and management principles in higher education and their link to academic excellence.

From 1983 to 1992, Gardner served as the 15th president of the 10-campus University of California system, one of the worlds’s most distinguished centers of higher learning. During his presidency, he successfully led the university through periods of intense controversy over affirmative action, animal rights, AIDS research, weapons labs and divestment in South Africa. In 1992, he was named president emeritus of the University of California.While serving as president of the University of Utah from 1973 to 1983, Gardner chaired the U.S. Department of Education’s Commission on Excellence in Education, which helped spark a national effort to improve and reform United States schools through its influential report A Nation at Risk.

Prior to his tenure at the University of Utah, Gardner spent seven years as a faculty member and vice chancellor of the University of California, Santa Barbara, during a tumultuous era of culture wars, ethnic division and anti-Vietnam-war protests.The author of many articles and books on educational policy reform, Gardner’s seminal work includes A Life in Higher Education: Fifteenth President of the University of California, 1983-1992; The California Oath Controversy; Higher Education and Government: An Uneasy Alliance; and Earning My Degree: Memoirs of an American University President. Most recently, Earning My Degree has garnered high praise from distinguished peers. Gardner has earned numerous awards for his work in higher education, including the California School Board’s Research Foundation Hall of Fame Award, the James Bryan Conant Award, and the Fulbright 40th Anniversary Distinguished Fellow Award. He is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, a member of the National Academy of Education and the American Philosophical Society, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is also an honorary fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge University, England. Gardner received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1966. He served as president of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation from 1993 to 1999 and most recently chaired the board of the J. Paul Getty Trust from 2000 to 2004. At present, Gardner spends time sharing his knowledge of higher education to current and future administrators, speaking at campuses across the nation about his recent book, Earning My Degree.

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