James Zumberge portrait

The administration during the 1970s was quite chaotic. There were several different chancellors during this time. Joseph Soshnik served during the end of the 6os and the early 70s, officially 1969 to 1971. An interim chancellor followed him, who was replaced by James Zumberge in 1972. Following Zumberge’s resignation in 1975, there was another interim chancellor. It was Roy Young who closed out the decade as chancellor, serving from 1976 to 1980.

Joseph Soshnik did not have a very long tenure. He desired to step down so that he could have more of a private life after enduring a difficult stint as chancellor. Most of his troubles came from the addition of the University of Nebraska-Omaha. There was tension during the transition that resulted in many budget battles with the legislature. Attacks on tenure were also troublesome (Knoll). Yet Soshnik was connected with his students. He admired their desire to solve society’s problems; however, he wasn’t in agreement with the students when he disrupted a student strike in 1970 (Icenogle).

Conflict continued when James Zumberge was chancellor. Only 21 days in, Zumberge had the threat of a massive student sit-in in the dorms over visitation rights. He countered by simply threatening to close all of the dorms (Voboril). Questions over student fees and the establishment of an Agriculture Center caused more problems for the chancellor. Such problems have even caused Zumberge to ask, “Who is in charge here?” (Zumberge Asks”). The chancellor eventually decided to leave the University because it was no longer clear where the Regents’ power started and the Legislature’s power ended (Kennedy).

The final chancellor for the 1970s was Roy Young. By this time the University was able to get a more solid footing. Young was able to achieve a relatively long tenure in comparison to the other chancellors and interim chancellors of the decade. In fact, Young was faced with a very good problem to have compared to his predecessors. The students tried to cancel classes on a Monday following a Nebraska victory in football over Oklahoma on Saturday. Cancelling class was simply not an option in the end, as Young had no choice but to oppose the ASUN resolution to cancel class in celebration (UNL News).