Clifford Hardin was only thirty-eight years old when he became chancellor. He was not an eloquent person, however he knew how to approach Nebraskans. He and Mrs. Hardin never seemed totally at ease with academic types and never had the unquestioning support of the faculty. Within months, Hardin established himself with three basic constituencies: the leaders of agriculture, the professional and financial leaders in the cities, and perhaps most important of all, the Board of Regents.
Hardin conceived of the University as more than a place offering courses and granting degrees. The possiblities of television in public education interested Hardin. He appointed able adminstrators, provided moral and financial support, and delegated responsibility.
Clifford Hardin knew, as Gustavson had known before him, that the future of the University lay in research supported by federal grants. He also knew that support for research was a long-term investment, not an expense. Hardin put efforts into the development of a science complex at the University, including a new chemistry building, and was supported by the faculty.