Former UCSB Chancellor Passes at 87

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Former UCSB Chancellor Passes at 87
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By edhat staff

Former UC Santa Barbara Chancellor Dr. Barbara Uehling Charlton passed at age 87 on January 2. 

She died peacefully at St. Paul’s Senior Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in San Diego from complications of Alzheimer’s disease, according to an online obituary.

Dr. Charlton was born June 12, 1932, in Wichita, Kansas to parents Roy W. and Mary E. Hilt Staner. In 1954, she completed undergraduate education at Wichita State University and went on to earn a PhD in Experimental Psychology at Northwestern University. While attending Northwestern, she met and married Edward Uehling, and together they moved to Atlanta, Georgia to raise a family. During this time she took on teaching and research positions on the faculties at Oglethorpe and Emory Universities. In 1969, family and personal circumstances took her to Rhode Island, where she accepted the position as Dean of Roger Williams College.

In 1974 when she accepted a position as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois. Additional responsibility came with an appointment as Provost of the University of Oklahoma in 1976. In 1978 she accepted the position of Chancellor of the University of Missouri, Columbia and is recognized as, "the first female head of a land grant university." During the tenure at the University of Missouri, her many achievements included the extensive restoration of campus buildings and grounds, the results of which remain visible to this day. In 1987, Barbara accepted the position of Chancellor of the University of California, Santa Barbara where she served until 1994 when she retired.

“Chancellor Barbara S. Uehling has placed her unique stamp on the University of California Santa Barbara for over half a decade. From the first, her Chancellorship has reflected a consistent commitment to her vision of what UCSB needed when she arrived. She came to a campus that was building poor and program rich. A significant building program has been one of her major contributions to UCSB. While we are still short of adequate space, Chancellor Uehling will leave behind a solid plan for our long-term physical development – a plan that will carry the campus into the 21st Century. Another noteworthy mark of the Uehling era here at UCSB is the expansion of the School of Engineering,” wrote then-Chair of the Academic Senate Laurence Iannaccone after she decided to retire.

Throughout her career, Barbara was a passionate advocate for the advancement of higher education and in particular promoting educational opportunities for women and minorities. She will always be remembered for her perseverance, dedication, and leading with fairness and integrity. Although she will be deeply missed, Barbara's legacy lives on through the many barriers she broke throughout her career and the memories of her devotion to family, according to an online obituary.

She is survived by her husband, Richard M. Charlton, her two children Jeffrey (Sheryl) and David (Julie), stepchildren Richard (Sandra), Jeremy (Margie), Mackenzie (Iain), Samatha (Ben), along with five grandchildren, and 8 step-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Barbara’s honor to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Southern Poverty Law Center, or Wichita State University (The WSU Foundation).

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Luvaduck Jan 10, 2020 09:07 AM
Former UCSB Chancellor Passes at 87

I was acquainted with her from the UCSB gym when it was hole-in-the-wall small across the street near the city bus turn around. We both arrived as early as possible and our sporatic conversation made the half-hour rowing go quickly. She was widely knowledgeable and had a dry, acerbic SOH that was thoroughly enjoyable. I didn't learn for years that she was chancellor. Terrible injustice that in her later years her brain by stolen by Alzheimer's. Diseases that affect the brain are particularly cruel for what they do to family as well as to the one afflicted.

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