David P. Gardner

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David P. Gardner
15th President of the
University of California
In office
Preceded by David S. Saxon
Succeeded by Jack W. Peltason
President of the
University of Utah
In office
Preceded by Alfred C. Emery
Succeeded by Chase N. Peterson
Personal details
Born (1933-03-24) March 24, 1933 (age 85)
Berkeley, California
Alma mater Brigham Young University
University of California, Berkeley
Profession University administrator, professor
Religion The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon)

David Pierpont Gardner (born March 24, 1933)[1] was the 15th president of the University of California and was also the president of the University of Utah.


Gardner was born in Berkeley, California, to Reed S. Gardner and Margaret Pierpont Gardner. He married Elizabeth (Libby) Fuhriman in 1958. They had four daughters (Karen, Shari, Lisa, and Marci) before Libby's death in 1991. He married Sheila S. Rogers in 1995.

Gardner was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church)[2] and contributed to the Encyclopedia of Mormonism.[3]

Gardner's bachelor's degree in political science, history, and geography was earned at Brigham Young University in 1955. He went on to the University of California, Berkeley, to obtain an MA in political science in 1959 and a PhD in higher education in 1966.

He was appointed as Assistant to the Chancellor at UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) before completing his PhD, and accepted a joint appointment as Assistant Chancellor and Professor of Higher Education at UCSB in 1967. He moved to UCB as the Vice President for Public Service Programs and University Dean of University Extension for UCB in 1971, then became the Vice President for Extended Academic and Public Service Programs in the Office of the President (UC System wide) in 1972.

Gardner left the University of California to become the president of the University of Utah in 1973.[4]

He stayed there until he returned to the University of California in 1983 as President. His wife Libby was named Associate to the President, and he worked with her closely. He resigned after her death in 1991 (effective in 1992), stating that he could not continue without her. He was given a controversial retirement package worth nearly $2.4 million[5]

Gardner served as President of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation from 1993 to 1999. He became a professor of educational leadership and policy in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Utah in 2001. He was also the chair of National Commission on Excellence in Education, whose members wrote the well-known educational document, A Nation at Risk.


External links

Academic offices
Preceded by
David S. Saxon
President of the University of California
1983 – 1992
Succeeded by
Jack W. Peltason
Preceded by
Alfred C. Emery
President of the University of Utah
1973 – 1983
Succeeded by
Chase N. Peterson