Roger Heyns decided to follow a career as an academic but he evolved into an administrator of higher education, and was appointed to lead a major university, the Berkeley Campus of the University of California during its most difficult student turmoil ridden years from 1965 until 1971. He was able to survive, as an administrator for a period of six years, during what were probably the most difficult years in American university life.
Roger Heyns began his professional career as an academic serving as a Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor, Michigan. He had earned his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Michigan, and following his doctoral graduation he was appointed as a professor of psychology.
Heyns did his undergraduate work in psychology at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan. He graduated with his B.S. degree in 1940. He then decided to continue his graduate work in psychology at the University of Michigan, and graduated with a M.S. degree in 1942. After several years of service in the Army Air Corps during World War II, he returned to the university to continue his graduate study following his army discharge. He graduated with his doctoral degree in 1949.
As a professor of psychology Heyns developed a measure of affiliation motivation which was named “The Thematic Apperception Test”, a test which was apparently still in use during the 1990’s. He also produced two books entitled, “The Psychology of Personal Adjustment”, published in 1957, and “An Anatomy for Conformity”, published in 1962. There is little information available on his other publications.
Heyn’s teaching career apparently was at least partially interrupted in 1957 when he was tapped to become the Dean of the University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science and the Arts. Four years later, in 1961 he was appointed to the position of Vice President for Academic Affairs of the entire university.
Based on the above movement up the administration ladder in a major university, it became clear that Heyns would soon leave for a university leadership position at another major university. The call came in 1965, when he was chosen to be the new leader, the Chancellor, of the Berkeley Campus of the University of California. Those familiar with the student turmoil of the 1960’s will realize that the Berkeley appointment was a challenging position. But Heyns accepted the challenge.
Berkeley remained a tumultous place during the time of Heyns’ tenure as chancellor. Even a strong leader such as Heyns could not overcome the forces of student turmoil during that time period. It appears that his relative short tenure at Berkeley explains the difficulties he encountered there. Heyns left the Berkeley chancellorship position in 1971, and accepted a much less demanding position as the president of the American Council of Education. He remained with the American Council of Education until 1977. He then became the director of the Flora and William Hewlett Packard Foundation in Menlo Park, California, and served in that position until 1993. By that time he had reached the advanced age of 75. It was time to retire.
The retirement period for Heyns turned out to be short. He passed away from an apparent heart attack while on a visit to Greece in 1995. Roger Heyns married Esther Gezon in 1941. He was survived by his wife, three sons and seven grandchildren at the time of his death.
Roger Heyns, Chancellor, 1965-1971, http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/calhistory/heyns.html (link no longer active)
Roger W. Heyns, http://www.nndb.com/people
Roger W. Heyns, 77, Head of Berkeley in the 60’s, http://www.nytimes.com/1995/09/14/obituaries
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