Warren Harden helped change the campus landscape

Warren Harden joined the University faculty in 1954, and served from 1966 to 1969 as the first Department of Economics chair. With an expertise in economic theory, money and banking, and international economics, Harden worked to develop the department’s curriculum.

He served as president of the University’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors. He also chaired the faculty committee that led a successful drive in the 1960s to change the school’s name from Illinois State Normal University. As a result there was an expansion of academic programs and the creation of departments and colleges, which was accomplished with Harden’s active involvement.

Harden was the initial person to accept and shape several administrative jobs, including the coordinator for academic planning position and the director of institutional and computer operations post. He became vice president of Business and Finance in 1984.

Under his leadership the University moved forward with major facility construction, including Redbird Arena, which was uniquely financed through short-term bonds. The structure drew attention for its design, as it was one of few buildings at the time with a soft roof. He also worked to secure funding for the Science Laboratory Building and parking decks.

Harden retired from the University in 1991. He has since done consultant work, and was an adjunct faculty member at Heartland Community College. He enjoys golf and traveling with his wife, Jan, who worked 17 years at Illinois State. She retired from the Office of International Studies and Programs in 2001.

They participate in many cultural events in Central Illinois and Chicago. They also remain connected to campus. Warren has been inducted into the College of Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame, and the Department of Economics has established the Dr. Warren Harden Endowment for Seminars and Research in Economics. Donations may be made to the fund online at www.Advancement.ilstu.edu/support or by calling (309) 438-8041.

Contact the Hardens:

6182 N. 900 E. Rd.
Shirley, IL 61772

Editor’s note:  Are there former mentors you would like to connect with again? Illinois State staff will find them and share their updates in a future issue, including contact information. Send the names to Susan Blystone at sjblyst@IllinoisState.edu, call (309) 438-2667, or mail to 1101 N. Main Street, Normal, IL 61790.