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Hugh B. McFadden* - 2003 - Outstanding Former Faculty
Hugh McFadden came to the University of Wyoming in the 1940s as a faculty member of the Department of Psychology. His ability to lead with vision and fairness made him an excellent choice for the department chair when Robert Bruce became dean of the UW Graduate School. For 11 years, McFadden was the head of the Department of Psychology and Philosophy (as the department was then called).
In 1960, McFadden became the director of UW’s Summer School and a decade later was named the vice president of Extension. Under McFadden’s guidance, educational opportunities spread across the state, and, as a result, many people were able to receive off-campus degrees. In 1978, McFadden resigned his position with Extension because he believed that he had achieved his mission of firmly establishing the program.
When President William Carlson resigned, he suggested to the UW Trustees that they consider McFadden as a temporary replacement. McFadden’s reputation as an astute leader preceded him, and the trustees did not hesitate to make him the offer. McFadden reportedly was “astonished” when he was offered the position of acting president of the university.
McFadden’s leadership led to a new aura of confidence in the university across campus and throughout the state. His administration opened doors that had been closed for some time. During his tenure as acting president, McFadden made positive changes in budgeting, strengthened the relationship between state legislature and UW, and reinstated a onetime Carlson investigation into salaries of female faculty. After President Edward Jennings became president, McFadden remained as a special assistant to Jennings.
College of Arts and Sciences alumnus and former UW trustee Patrick Quealy said of McFadden: “I first became acquainted with the University of Wyoming and the various presidents thereof more than 50 years ago. In the intervening half century, it has been my pleasure to know and work with and in various capacities most of the presidents of this great school. Dr. McFadden has served in the capacity of acting president during the last several months with great distinction. Never to my knowledge has any president of this university been more suited to the position by reason of character, training, or experience.”
*In loving memory.