Francis Sheldon Hackney
|Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities|
|William R. Ferris|
|6th President of the University of Pennsylvania|
|Claire Fagin (interim)|
|President of Tulane University|
|Herbert Eugene Longenecker|
|Provost of Princeton University|
|Neil L. Rudenstine|
|Born||December 5, 1933|
|Died||September 12, 2013 (aged 79)|
|Spouse(s)||Lucy Durr Hackney|
|Children||1 son, 2 daughters|
|Alma mater||Vanderbilt University (B.A.) |
Yale University (Ph.D.)
Hackney was born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1933, and educated in the Birmingham public school system. He was a graduate of Ramsay High School. After graduating from Vanderbilt University, Hackney earned his Ph.D. in American History at Yale University, where he worked with eminent Southern historian C. Vann Woodward. He subsequently served in the Navy for five years.
Hackney began his career as a lecturer in history at Princeton University. There, he taught in an Upward Bound program for disadvantaged students and played a role in the creation of the university's African American Studies program. While at Princeton, he moved into administration, serving as the provost from 1972 to 1975.
From 1975 to 1980, Hackney was the president of Tulane University. At Tulane, Hackney was best known for approving the November 1979 decision to tear down Tulane Stadium, the on-campus home of the Green Wave football team from 1926 through 1974. The Wave moved to the Louisiana Superdome upon its completion in August 1975. Tulane Stadium stood vacant for nearly five years after Tulane and the NFL's New Orleans Saints played their final games there, hosting high school football games and an ill-fated ZZ Top concert in 1976.
Hackney was president of the University of Pennsylvania from 1981 to 1993. He was also the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) from 1993 to 1997, appointed by President Clinton. His defining initiative in the job was his first: "A National Conversation on American Pluralism and Identity," a project that helped finance and shape about 1,400 public meetings from 1994 to 1997.
Hackney specialized in the history of the American South since the Civil War. He had in an interest in American utopias and other social movements with an emphasis on the Civil Rights Movement and the 1960s. Among the articles and books on history that Hackney published, Populism to Progressivism in Alabama won the Albert J. Beveridge Award of the American Historical Association. Dixie Redux: Essays in Honor of Sheldon Hackney, an edited collection of essays authored by his former students and collaborators will be released in November 2013.
Hackney was credited at the University of Pennsylvania with raising undergraduate minority enrollment from 13 to 30 percent and with increasing the endowment from about $160 million to $1 billion. Towards the end of his tenure, there was the so-called Water buffalo incident, a controversial affair involving a student charged with racial harassment that raised issues involving free speech and university judicial procedures nationally. In particular, Hackney's role in the incident was a subject of his 1993 Senate confirmation hearings for the NEH appointment. Hackney's memoir about the turmoil of his confirmation, The Politics of Presidential Appointment: A Memoir of the Culture War ISBN 1-58838-068-8, was published in 2002. During his confirmation, critics derided him as the "pope of political correctness." "I resent bitterly being slandered by slogan", Dr. Hackney told the Senate committee. "I am not just a cardboard figure. I am someone who has spent years defending free speech, and I will do that at NEH as well." He was confirmed, 76 to 23, and assumed the job previously held by Lynne Cheney.
Herbert Eugene Longenecker
| President of Tulane University
| President of the University of Pennsylvania
|| Provost of Princeton University
Neil L. Rudenstine
| Chairperson of the National Endowment for the Humanities
William R. Ferris