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Guide to the Harold H. Haak Papers, 1954-1997
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Additional Information

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Harold H. Haak Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1954-1997
    Creator: Haak, Harold H., 1935-
    Extent: 3.75 linear feet
    Repository: Henry Madden Library (California State University, Fresno).

    Sanoian Special Collections Library.
    Fresno, California
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    The papers were donated by Harold Haak in 1997.

    Access Restrictions

    The collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has been transferred to California State University, Fresno.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Harold H. Haak Papers, Sanoian Special Collections Library, California State University, Fresno.


    Harold H. Haak was born on June 1, 1935 in Madison, Wisconsin. He received a bachelor of arts degree at the University of Wisconsin in political science and later an M.A. in 1958. Haak went on to receive a Ph.D. from Princeton University. He was hired as an assistant professor at San Diego State University where he became an associate professor of political science, teaching from 1962 to 1969. Haak also served as Dean of Public Administration and Urban Studies at San Diego. He left his position in 1971 to become the Vice President for Academic Affairs at California State University, Fresno (CSUF).
    Two years later Haak became the vice president (in 1974 the position was designated as chancellor) of the newly named University of Colorado at Denver (UCD). Haak helped to shape and define the university and its role in the innovative Auraria Higher Education Center (a shared campus for three separate institutions). His efforts were recognized in 1980 when he was awarded the University of Colorado Medal. Haak served six and a half years in Colorado until he returned to Fresno as president of the university.
    Haak's presidency spanned eleven and a half years, from 1980 to 1991. Haak served on various committees, both academic and public service. He was voted one of Fresno's most powerful people in 1990. He stepped down as president in 1991. From 1992 to 1993, Haak served as Senior Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs for the California State University system on an interim basis.
    In 1993 Haak returned to Fresno to teach political science at CSUF.

    Scope and Content

    The Harold H. Haak papers measure 3.75 linear feet and date from 1954 to 1997. The collection is arranged in two series: Personal and Professional. The bulk of the collection chronicles Haak's abiding interest in organizational behavior and career in administration. Haak has annotated the sections within the collection that needed the context of his involvement and its significance explained.
    Photographs of Haak and his wife along with letters from colleagues can be found in the Personal series (1954-1971, 1985-1996). There is much biographical information in the applications and vitas. The ROTC folder deals with Haak's experience as a cadet in 1954, during the height of McCarthyism, whose uniform was taken away because he once knew someone later investigated by the FBI.
    Most of the materials relating to Haak's Professional career (1962-1997) are arranged chronologically by the different phases in his career and begin with his professorship at San Diego State University from 1961 to1971. Only the two sections at the end, Collective bargaining and Written work, do not follow the chronological sequence. The substance of this series focuses on his presidency at CSUF. Haak's impact on the university is noted in the presidential evaluations.
    Haak's efforts in the area of athletics was highly visible. He wrote an article on strategies for managing a successful athletic program in "Athletics: Presidential Problem and Prospects," published in 1990 (Professional, Written work, Published articles, 1985, 1988 and undated). Haak had encountered various problems of this nature as the newly appointed president of CSUF.
    Throughout his career as a faculty leader and an academic administrator, Haak has been an ardent proponent of "shared governance" and "collegiality" and wrote extensively on the implications of collective bargaining for higher education.
    In addition to his published work, of which many are articles, Haak wrote two fictional narratives. Parable of a President and Victim to Victor chronicle the trials and tribulations of a fictional university president, Hubert Jones. The two books were well received among Haak's peers and their comments are filed under the heading Professional, Written work, Correspondence, 1969, 1980-1989.

    Additional Information

    Printed Works by Haak in the University Archives

    Congress and the Politics of Personnel (1963)
    Parable of a President (1982)
    Uptight Management (1987)
    Victim to Victor: A Year in the Life of a University President (1988) [various articles by Haak in the faculty authors collection]

    Related Collections

    • Seventy-fifth Anniversary Celebration: Haak presided over the celebration and is featured on the videocassette [housed in University Archives with the 75th Anniversary materials].