Harry K. Newburn - 1959-1963

Harry K. Newburn

July 1959 - September 1963

"An atmosphere of academic freedom must be preserved as the very heart of the university idea."


  • B.E., Western Illinois State Teachers College, 1928
  • A.M., University of Iowa, 1931
  • Ph.D., University of Iowa, 1933
  • Hon. D.H.L. Northern Michigan College, 1957

Accomplishments as President

In his first year, Newburn reorganized the administrative staff and promoted University relations by speaking in several Montana communities.  Newburn worked to improve University aesthetics by removing older buildings, such as Jumbo Hall and Simpkins Hall.  During his presidency, faculty members received substantial salary increases and allotments for research and teaching equipment increased.  Student life continued to thrive under the Newburn administration, particularly political organizations and the Masquers, a student drama group.

Background History

After receiving his Ph.D., Newburn took a position at the University of Iowa as an assistant professor.  From there, he rose to the position of Dean of the College of Liberal Arts in 1941.  From 1945-53, he was the President of the University of Oregon.  He resigned that position to become President of the Education and Television Center, in association with the Ford Foundation, and in 1958 he served as a Consultant to the Ford Foundation.

Following the Presidency

Newburn returned to Arizona State University in Tempe as a professor of education.  He served as Acting President of ASU from 1969-1971.  During his administration, he supported the University's academic and athletic accomplishments.  He also launched a campaign to strengthen the University's involvement in its surrounding communities.

Harry K. Newburn

Landmarks Erected

  • Health Sciences Building, 1961
  • Law Building, 1962
  • Additions and renovations of the Physical Plant and Liberal Arts Building, 1962

Programs Established

  • Department of Radio/Television
  • Programs in Social Welfare, Forest Conservation, and Microbiology