Lu Hardin is an Arkansas politician and educator. He served as a Democrat state senator from District 12 (this includes Russiville). In 1996 he lost to Tim Hutchenson in a race for one of Arkansas's US Senate seats. Shortly after this he was appointed by then-Governor Mike Huckabee as Director of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education. Within this year he switched parties and became a Republican. Lu Hardin was the eighth president of the University of Central Arkansas from 2002 until his resignation in 2008.