Dr. Peter O. Haslund
Annual Faculty Lecturer 2000-2001
Dr. Peter Haslund was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, on the eve of German occupation. When his Jewish mother and family fled to Sweden in 1943, he was sent to live on a Danish farm in Slagelse under the care of a foster family, Adolf and Maren Mikkelsen and their daughter Else Poulsen. After the war, he was reunited with his mother with whom he immigrated to the United States in 1949, settling in Los Angeles.
Haslund attended Los Angeles area schools including Los Angeles City College from which he earned a it A. A. degree and California State University at Los Angeles for his B.A. degree. He earned an M.A. degree in Political Science from Midwestern University, Texas. He joined the U.S. Air Force as a commissioned officer in 1963 and served on active duty for six years, including a one-year tour of duty in Southeast Asia, 1967-68.
Upon completion of military service, Haslund returned to graduate school at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 1969 and, in the fall of that year, started teaching at Santa Barbara City College as a part-time instructor. He joined the Political Science faculty on a full-time basis in 1973.
Convinced that students learn most effectively by being in close proximity to their subject, Haslund began taking students to Sacramento to observe State politics in the summer of 1974. Students would spend their days in the Legislature, and interviewing lobbyists, administrators and legislators, as well as the governor of California. In the summer of 1981, he changed venue and began taking students to Washington, D.C., where students had an even greater opportunity to experience the world of politics.
A focus of his doctoral dissertation was the application of television to the study of American politics, and in 1976, he began an eight-year "mini-career" as a television producer of weekly documentary and commentary programs for Santa Barbara area residents. "Community in Process" explored sensitive issues, ranging from spousal abuse to live election coverage, emanating from the County Court House.
His long-term academic interest has focused on China since taking his first undergraduate Course in Chinese Politics in 1962. A Fulbright grant made it possible for him to study at Shandong University in 1984, and on the strength of his own positive experience, he initiated a Study Abroad program for SBCC students at Shandong University in 1985. Next fall's program will mark the eighth visit for our students. Haslund also took students to the Soviet Union in 1990, locating at Kiev State University in what is now Ukraine.
He developed the International and Global Studies major for SBCC as an interdisciplinary approach to the exploration of international phenomena, and has been team-teaching the "foundations" course of that major since it was developed in 1997.
Haslund has been an active member of his community. He serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, as President of the Weihai-Santa Barbara Sister City Association, as Chair of the Scholarship Committee of the American Scandinavian Foundation, and as President, Board of Directors, Western Collegiate Model United Nations. In 1989, he was honored by an appointment as Visiting Professor at Shandong University, and in 1991, was the recipient of the Teaching Excellence Award presented by the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development, University of Texas at Austin.
He is married to Bets Wienecke, and their blended family includes four adult children, Bill, Christina, Elizabeth and Melitta, and three grandchildren, Alexandra, Benjamin and Nicolaus.