Index of Memorial Resolutions and Biographical Sketches

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L. D. Haskew, the man considered the "Dean of Texas Education," died February 17, 1991, after a brief illness. Funeral services for The University of Texas professor emeritus of educational administration were held in Austin on February 20, 1991, at University United Methodist Church.

In a distinguished career that spanned more than five decades, Haskew was hailed as mentor, prophet, and friend of the Texas public school system. Soon after moving to Austin to take the job as dean of the College of Education in 1947, he authored the historic and far-reaching Gilmer-Akin Act, passed by the Texas Legislature in 1949. He was a prime mover in Texas education reform and one of public education’s most eloquent spokesmen.

Haskew, who continued to be active until shortly before his death, insisted he was "retired only on payday." Superintendents, school board members, principals, supervisors, members of the legislature, state officials, the Texas Department of Education, classroom teachers, U.S. presidents, and virtually anyone or any group trying to improve education called on him at one time or another as advisor and consultant.

Besides serving as dean of the College of Education, Haskew also held the positions of vice president and vice chancellor of The University of Texas System. His leadership helped the University rise to a position of prominence among the nation’s institutions of higher learning.

As dean of the College of Education, he initiated and worked toward a complete restructuring of the undergraduate program. Under his direction, the College of Education began its emergence into national eminence as a center for graduate study.

As vice chancellor, Haskew godfathered the first computation center for the University, educational television that became KLRN/KLRU, and the first ten-year plan for upward expansion of The University of Texas. Even in this high office, he continued to be a teacher and advocate of education at all levels.

His abiding scholarly interest was in the preparation of administrators for schools and colleges and in the study of administration itself. He was the founder of The University of Texas Cooperative Superintendency Program, recognized as the outstanding program of its kind in the nation. Now in its thirteenth cycle and headed by the L. D. Haskew Centennial Professor for Public School Administration, Nolan Estes, the program prepares outstanding leaders and executives for public schools.

A key figure in education and political circles, Haskew found great satisfaction in building bridges between the grass roots and state level. He believed "if people understand the needs of education, they will provide the wherewithal to settle those needs."

In addition to his teaching and administrative duties, Haskew was always in demand as a speaker throughout the country. His publications include over a hundred periodical articles and chapters, several monographs, and books. Among his best known writings are This is Teaching and Renewal of the Administration for American Schools.

Haskew founded The University of Texas One Week Work Conferences for School Leaders, which for years were seedbeds out of which sprouted an effective state system of education. He cofounded the Conference on Teacher Education which translated the new certification code into improved practices by colleges and universities. He was instrumental in ushering in a new era for the Texas Association of School Boards, helped start the Texas Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, and was an active worker and staunch supporter of the Texas Congress of Parents and Teachers.

His influence in education continued to be felt during the '80s. He played a key role in the education reform movement, which led to the revamping of the Texas public school system. In 1984 he was named to head the search team which chose William Kirby as Commissioner of Education.

Tall and gangly, Haskew appeared a mix of Abraham Lincoln and Ichabod Crane. A southern accent touched of his Alabama and Georgia roots. Haskew was born on October 4, 1907, in Perote, Alabama, the son of a Methodist minister. He attended public schools in Tuskegee and Montgomery, Alabama, and then went on to earn a Bachelor of Philosophy degree from Emory University, a Master of Arts from the University of Chicago, and a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Georgia.

Before coming to Texas, Haskew served in the Georgia public schools as an athletic coach, high school principal, city school superintendent, and country school superintendent. In higher education he was professor and director of teacher education at Emory University and Agnes Scott College. He was also a visiting professor at New York University, Stanford University, the University of Georgia, and Teachers College, Columbia University.

Haskew was instrumental in founding two prominent national associations in his field of study–the National Council of Professors of Educational Administration and the University Council for Educational Administration. The National Council dedicated its 30-year history to Professor Haskew. During his notable career, Haskew also served in key advisory roles to six presidents of the United States, from Roosevelt to Kennedy. His commitment to education resulted in 47 national recognitions for outstanding service and achievement.

Shortly before his retirement, The University of Texas at Austin Graduate School honored Haskew with its prized graduate teaching award. On his retirement, an endowed professorship was established in his name by citizens of the state of Texas, school leaders, faculty, and colleagues.

Haskew was also recognized for his work as civic leader and humanitarian. His involvement spanned the realm of community, public, and religious service. In 1980 he received the Most Worthy Citizen Award from the Austin Board of Realtors. He was a campaign director and president of the Austin United Fund, member of the board of directors of the Austin Chamber of Commerce, president of the Austin Council on Alcoholism, Austin Council of Churches, and Community Council of Austin. He was a lay leader and Sunday school teacher in the Methodist church.

The former high school coach was also a rabid football fan.

L. D. Haskew was modest about his achievements. Not one to sing his own praises, others were more than willing to do that for him. A newspaper reporter once called him "[a] newsman’s dream. He will always say something quotable–always have a new and surprising idea which seems just right." Another admirer called him "a universal man, a man of integrity and honor, a man of humor and great compassion."

For Texas education, probably no single person has wielded so much influence or been a greater friend.

Haskew is survived by his son, Lawrence D. Haskew, Jr., of Plano, Texas; his grandchildren, DeFae Haskew Weaver of Plano, Dave Lawrence Haskew of Dallas, Pierce Lang Lowrey III of Atlanta, Georgia, and Jennifer Lowrey Blencowe of Columbia, South Carolina; and three great-grandchildren.


Larry R. Faulkner, President
The University of Texas at Austin


John R. Durbin, Secretary
The General Faculty

This memorial resolution was prepared by Professors Nolan Estes (chair), Kenneth E. McIntyre (who contributed material about Professor Haskew before his death in 1996), and Michael P. Thomas.