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Retired Chancellor Ivan Hinderaker Dies

Retired Chancellor Ivan Hinderaker Dies

UC Riverside’s third leader is remembered as an advocate of students, the community and the arts.

(September 24, 2007)

Ivan HinderakerEnlarge

Ivan Hinderaker

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Ivan Hinderaker, UC Riverside’s longest-serving chancellor, died Sunday evening in Irvine. He was 91.

Hinderaker, widely revered as a champion of students, the community and the arts, was named UCR’s third leader on July 1, 1964 and served until his retirement in 1979.

“Ivan Hinderaker had a profound impact on UC Riverside during the formative years of the university,” said Acting Chancellor Robert D. Grey. “His emphasis on academic excellence and advocacy of the arts helped establish the university as a center of intellectual life, important research and artistic expression in the community.”

Francis Carney, a founding faculty member who taught at UCR for 50 years, met Hinderaker as a graduate student at UCLA.

Hinderaker endeared himself to students during the anti-war protests in the 1960s by inviting protestors into his office for coffee and doughnuts, Carney said.

“Once he did let police break up a demonstration outside a lab,” he recalled. “He wasn’t a pushover. He preferred negotiations. That was Ivan’s way.”

Robert Hine, a founding faculty member of UCR, recalled one anti-war demonstration when Hinderaker walked into a group of protestors gathered around the flagpole and “talked, talked, talked. I think a lot of chancellors did not do that.”

“He was a kindly, well-intentioned man who got us through the hectic days of the '60s and '70s,” Hine said. “I did not always agree with Ivan’s decisions, but he led us safely through those years.”

Hinderaker and former UC Regent Phil Boyd pushed for construction of the carillon tower, a landmark on the UCR campus, and continued to financially support the instrument long after he’d retired, said Jim Erickson, former UCR vice chancellor for university advancement who met the former chancellor a few years after he retired. He also was instrumental in forming the UC Riverside Foundation Board of Trustees, which continues to support the campus.

“Ivan was terrific,” Erickson. “He was a great chancellor. He always reached out to the campus and was an enlightened voice in the community.”

Hinderaker loved athletics and the arts, those who knew him recalled, and fought for the UCR/California Museum of Photography.

“We fought many battles together to advance, not only the museum, but also the fine arts on campus and in the community,” said Ed Beardsley, founder of the UCR/California Museum of Photography. “He cared deeply about higher education, UCR in particular. He was more than a colleague. We were good and close friends.”

Hinderaker was born in Hendricks, Minn., on April 29, 1916. He received his bachelor’s degree from St. Olaf College, and his master’s and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Minnesota. He was a member of the Minnesota State Legislature in 1941-1942 and served in the U.S. Air Force from 1943 to 1946.

After teaching one year at the University of Minnesota, Hinderaker joined the UCLA faculty in political science in 1949, eventually serving as department chair. In 1963 he was named vice chancellor/academic affairs at UC Irvine, where he served for one year until his appointment as chancellor at UC Riverside.

Ivan Hinderaker is survived by his brother, Theodore Hinderaker and his wife, Laura, of Tucson; grandson Blake Hinderaker and his wife, Daniella, of Fremantle, Australia, and daughter-in-law Janice Hinderaker of Albury, Australia. He was preceded in death by his wife, Birk, and his son, Mark.

Services will be private. In lieu of flowers the family has suggested that gifts be made in honor of Ivan Hinderaker to the UCR Carillon Tower Fund.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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