Previous posts in order of most recent were:
- President of Lehigh University
- Provost for professional schools at Columbia University,
- Dean of Columbia's engineering school.
At each of these universities, Likins was a professor of engineering.
During the last semester of his presidency, a wire from his pacemaker poked a hole in his heart, causing him to nearly faint during an emergency drill being conducted on campus at the time. He underwent open heart surgery soon thereafter. Under different conditions emergency medical personnel might not have been able to respond in time to save him.
- "American Men & Women of Science". google.com.
- Important moments in Likins' term, DailyWildcat.com
- "Past Presidents". arizona.edu. Archived from the original on 2010-06-29. Retrieved 2009-07-20.
- University of Arizona (17 March 2006). "The Crossroads Conference". University of Arizona. Archived from the original on 2011-09-27. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
- During his administration at Lehigh, he and the Reverend John E. Brooks, S.J. of the College of the Holy Cross were the two university presidents contacted by the Ivy League in the first stage of the formation of the Patriot League during the early-1980s (Feinstein, John. The Last Amateurs. Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Company, 2000). This effectively removed Lehigh from contention for a Division I-AA playoff berth.
- Christine Wald-Hopkins (2011-05-26). "A former UA president tells the story of his diverse family". Tucson Weekly. Retrieved 2011-08-23.
- The Rainbow, vol. 130, no. 2, p. 21
- La Monica Everett-haynes (2006-04-13). "Likins rushed to UMC for surgery". Tucson Citizen. Retrieved 2011-08-23.
W. Deming Lewis
| President of Lehigh University
William C. Hittinger
Manuel Trinidad Pacheco
| President of The University of Arizona