Hugh's Story

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Hugh Gordon MacNiven, born October 16, 1921 in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, the son of William E. MacNiven and Beulah Mitton MacNiven. He attended school in Calgary, Alberta, Regina, Saskatchewan, and London, Ontario. He received his BA from the University of Western Ontario in 1944. Following graduation, he worked for three years as a reporter for the Toronto Star. He went to Stafford University, receiving his MA in Communications/Journalism in 1948. Hughs first teaching job was at the University of Utah, where he was Assistant Professor of Journalism for three years. There he met and married Dorothy Day, a teacher of Journalism at Provo High School. They were married June 12, 1950. Hugh received his U.S. citizenship in 1952.
The couple moved to Minneapolis, MN, where Hugh entered the doctoral program in Political Science and Public Administration at the University of Minnesota. He received his PhD in 1960. For four years, he worked as Editor and Field Representative for the League of Minnesota Municipalities.
The family moved to Pittsburgh in 1955, where Hugh was Assistant Professor of Political Science at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh. In 1959, he served half a year in Yugoslavia on an International Cooperation and Administration contract with the Federal Executive Councils mission of advancing programs in Public Administration. Headquartered in Belgrade, he did field work in all six regions of Yugoslavia (now independent republics).
In 1962, Hugh and Dorothy and their three sons moved to Zaria, Nigeria, where he was Chief-of-Party for a USAID/University of Pittsburgh program to establish the first university degree-level training for public servants in Nigeria. They lived in Nigeria for two years before returning to Pittsburgh. As an Associate Professor at Pitt, Hugh was Director of the Dag Hammarskjöld Center, a United Nations Program for public administration students from U.N. Countries.
In 1966, Hugh became Professor of Political Science at the University of Oklahoma. He lived in Norman for the rest of his career. At OU, Professor MacNiven served as Director of International Programs, and taught Organization Theory and Comparative Administration in the Department of Political Science. He was also instrumental in founding the MPA Program in the College of Continuing Education, Advanced Programs. The MPA was given at U.S. Military bases in Europe, Panama, the Pacific, Japan, and Korea. From 1972 until 1985, Professor MacNiven served as Chairman of the Political Science Department. During Hughs time at OU, he also had a visiting appointment at the New York State Budget Office, at the State University of New York, Albany, and at NASA in Houston.
Hugh was one of the founders of the Oklahoma Retirees Association, established for retired administrators and teachers in 1991. He remained an active member until his death. Hughs wife Dorothy died in 2001. Hugh is survived by three sons: Stuart of Norman, Gordon of Norman, Malcom of Phoenix, AZ, and granddaughter Sarah MacNiven, also of Norman.
Dr. MacNiven will be buried in Aurora, Utah beside his wife of 51 years, Dorothy Day MacNiven.
Published on March 8, 2018
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