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When President Harrington created separate administrations for the university campuses, he made Robert Clodius, who was then vice president of academic affairs, the acting provost of the Madison campus while a search was conducted for a permanent provost. Clodius served in that capacity from March 8, 1963, until Robben Fleming took office in September 1964. Thus Clodius was the first person to serve as head of the Madison campus under the new structure.
Robert Clodius was born in Walla Walla, Washington on March 10, 1921. He received a BS (1942) and PhD (1950) in economics from the University of California, Berkeley. He also served in the Navy for four years during WWII. Clodius joined the faculty at Wisconsin in 1950 as an assistant professor in agricultural economics and became a full professor in 1958.
He chaired the Department of Agricultural Economics from 1960 to 1962, then became vice president of academic affairs from 1962 to 71. He retired from the university in 1990. Clodius died on April 2, 2014 in Rockford, Illinois.