Clifford Bishop

Dr. Clifford Bishop

Professor Emeritus

Department of Educational Psychology and Foundations
November 13, 1911--January 12, 1983

Dr. Clifford Bishop, who came to Iowa State Teachers College in 1950 as head of the Department of Education and served as a member of the faculty until his retirement in 1977, died of a heart attack on January 12, 1983.  Dr. Bishop was a builder, a disposition that characterized his twenty years as department head and seven more years as a supervisor of pre-student teaching field experiences.  During that time, he incorporated a wide variety of laboratory and field experiences into the courses that comprised the professional core.  It was this feature of the program that instilled the confidence and undergirded the competence of our graduates and gave them an edge when seeking employment.  These experiences also strengthened and extended the contacts with elementary and secondary school personnel that became the mainstay for an ongoing examination and revision of the pre-Professional curriculum.

Dr. Bishop's passion for building innovative and bold programs was not confined to undergraduate studies.  After the institution became a state college in 1961, graduate programs were developed and offered.  The school personnel with whom the college was closely associated through field experiences became a valuable source of ideas for these programs.  The impetus for fashioning these ideas into courses and proposals generally came from the "main office."  The task of developing policies and procedures for implementing the programs was seldom delegated to anyone else.  Dr. Bishop's flair for analyzing and anticipating problems enabled faculty to concentrate on course development and preparation.  Under his direction, graduate studies flourished and were accorded recognition equal to that of the undergraduate programs.

The Education Center is the most visible testimonial to Clifford Bishop as a builder.  He had visions of a structure that would be an impressive and powerful statement about the importance of professional education at this institution.  He was able to convince the faculty that dreams, when accompanied by resourcefulness and resolve, could produce results.  The results were to be far-reaching.  Today the Education Center reminds us of our historical commitment to professional education and helps us to fulfill that commitment.

When Clifford Bishop came to us from Northwest Missouri State Teachers College, where he had served as chair of the department of education and director of the laboratory school, he had already established himself as a knowledgeable and ambitious administrator.  As a high school coach and music teacher in the schools of Colorado, he had developed an understanding of and respect for the contributions of elementary and secondary school educators.  These apprenticeships enabled him to respond expeditiously and vigorously to the challenges of the growth years at UNI.

Building programs and a center for education activity are the most obvious gifts of Clifford Bishop to this institution.  Those who were here in the mid-fifties will remember his role in establishing the UNI Credit Union.  Along with Merritt Melberg, he transformed a cash box and a checkbook on the second floor of the Auditorium into a bustling center of financial activity.  When these pioneers relinquished responsibility for it some ten years later, the Credit Union had assets of over a million dollars.

Creating favorable conditions for living and learning were not confined to the University.  Bernice, his wife of thirty-six years, son Bradley, and daughter Marcia enjoy reminiscing about spring and summer retreats in Allenspark, Colorado.  There they enjoyed hiking through the splendor of the wild flowers, forests, and mountains.  Dr. Bishop's genius for building relationships that were productive and organizations that prospered was to culminate in Florence Gardens, Arizona, where he and Bernice had a winter retirement home.  He served as president of the community's homeowners' association and maintained an active involvement in the group's activities until his death.

On January 16, 1983, family, friends, and colleagues gathered in the Education Center Lobby to fondly recall the contributions of Clifford Bishop to this institution and to gratefully acknowledge his lasting influence.  This place was chosen because it will remain a lasting tribute to his dedication and a fitting memorial to his ideas.  Those who wish to do so may contribute to a UNI Foundation scholarship fund established in Dr. Bishop's name.

William Dreier
Len Froyen
Beverly Taylor
Department of Educational Psychology and Foundations


Clifford L. Bishop, 71, emeritus professor of education at the University of Northern Iowa, died Wednesday evening, January 12, 1983, of a heart attack in Florence, Arizona.

Bishop retired from UNI in 1977, following twenty-seven years of service.  He was head of the former Education Department from 1950 to 1970, when he returned to full-time teaching and research in the Department of Educational Psychology and Foundations.

Prior to 1950, he was chairman of the education department and director of the laboratory school at Northwest Missouri State University.  He also taught at the University of Colorado and in the public schools of Colorado.

Bishop was a veteran of World War II, serving in the South Pacific.  At the time if his discharge, he was chief of the Psychological Center, Far East Air Forces, in Manila.

Bishop served on numerous university and professional committees and, among his memberships, he was active in Kiwanis, Phi Delta Kappa, the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education, and the Iowa State Education Association.

Under Bishop's direction, the Education Department developed a plan for its needs in a teaching facility, out of which grew the Schindler Education Center, and also under his direction, the graduate program in education, including master's and specialist's degrees, was formed.

It was under Bishop's direction and guidance, following the achievement of university status for the institution, that a College of Education was created and the departments to come out of the old Education Department were identified.

Bishop was also a charter member of the UNI Credit Union Board of Directors, serving as its chairman from 1955 to 1968. He and his wife were active members of First Christian Church.

Bishop was born November 13, 1911, in Girard, Kansas, one of three sons of Flora and George Bishop.  He graduated from Rocky Ford High School, Rocky Ford, Colorado.  He received an A. B. degree from Western State College of Colorado, Gunnison, in 1935, an A. M. degree from the University of Denver in 1938, and an Ed. D. degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder, in 1947.  He also did advanced study at the University of Minnesota.

He married Bernice Christian on August 23, 1947.  He is survived by his wife, 336 N. Dakota Avenue, Florence Gardens, Florence, Arizona  85232; two children, Marcia, presently in Florence, Arizona, and Bradley of Waverly; and two grandchildren.

His body will be cremated and a memorial service held at a later date.

Adapted from a University of Northern Iowa news release, January 13, 1983.


Rod Library Special Collections and University Archives
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, Iowa 50613-3675
Telephone: (319)-273-6307
Fax: (319)-273-2913
Email: Gerald.Peterson@uni.edu