Wisconsin's Public Liberal Arts College

Past Chancellors

Inauguration of Chancellor Wachter

University of Wisconsin-Superior

Belknap and Catlin
P.O. Box 2000
Superior, WI 54880

ph. 715-394-8223

Inauguration of Chancellor Wachter

Past Chancellors



Christopher Markwood (Interim - 2010-2011)
Dr. Christopher Markwood, the university provost, was named interim chancellor while a search was conducted to select a new chancellor. He kept the university moving forward in its efforts to further its academic mission and take part in University of Wisconsin System initiatives. He resigned the position to take a position in Texas. Julius Erlenbach came out of retirement for several months to serve as interim chancellor.

Julius Erlenbach (1996-2010)
Dr. Julius Erlenbach led the campus community in establishing a new academic mission that emphasized the liberal arts as a means of preparing students for lifelong learning. He also oversaw the university's first comprehensive fund-raising campaign and the biggest campus building boom in 40 years, which resulted in three new buildings and renovation of Jim Dan Hill Library. During these years the university also added innovative academic programs and revived efforts to connect alumni to campus. After retiring, he briefly returned to campus in 2011 to serve as interim chancellor until a new chancellor was selected.

Jan Womack (Interim - 1995-1996)
The University of Wisconsin System transferred Jan Womack from UW-Stout to serve as interim chancellor while a search was conducted for a new chancellor. She guided the university in signing articulation agreements with several institutions and bringing Internet service to campus.

Betty J. Youngblood (Interim - 1991-1992 and Chancellor 1992-1995)
Dr. Betty Youngblood was vice chancellor when she was named interim chancellor following Dr. MacTaggart's departure. She was named to the chancellor's position the following year. She left the campus in 1995 to take a position in Oregon.

Terrence J. MacTaggart (1987-1991)
Dr. Terry MacTaggart's service came at a time when the university was recovering from a substantial cut in state funding and facing questions about its future. He introduced The Superior Plan, which provided an important new focus for academic programs, student performance, teaching goals, and student assessment. Under his tenure, enrollment began increasing. Dr. MacTaggart left the university to become chancellor of the Minnesota State University System.

Karl W. Meyer (1964-1987)*
Dr. Karl Meyer was another relatively young chancellor when he began his tenure at age 38. He guided the university during an era of substantial growth. New academic programs were added, the campus boundaries were expanded and several new buildings were erected. He stressed the importance of the liberal arts, saying "it is fair to assume that we are educating our youth not primarily for individual and selfish gain, but in the national interest." The college was granted university status in 1964, when it was renamed Wisconsin State University Superior.  It became part of the new University of Wisconsin System and was renamed the University of Wisconsin-Superior in 1972. In addition, the chief executive's title of president was changed to that of chancellor. Dr. Meyer's service ended when he retired.

*Title changed to Chancellor in 1972.


Jim Dan Hill (1945-1964)
After returning from military service, Dr. Hill resumed his role as president and guided the institution into its new role as Wisconsin State College Superior. He was regarded as a strong and sometimes imposing leader during years when the school was diversifying its curriculum and expanding its boundaries. Dr. Hill's long-running service in Superior ended when the state regents appointed him co-director of the Coordinating Committee for Higher Education and reassigned him to Madison. He is the namesake of Jim Dan Hill Library.

Robert C. Williams (Interim - 1943-1945)
Dr. Robert Williams was a psychology instructor who served as interim president during the remainder of Dr. Hill's absence. When Dr. Hill returned, Dr. Williams accepted the presidency of Whitewater State Teachers College.

Carlton W. Smith (Interim - 1940-1943)
Carlton Smith, a mathematics instructor, was called upon to serve as interim president during the first years of President Hill's military service. His tenure as president ended when he retired following 47 years of teaching.

Jim Dan Hill (1931-1940)
State regents decided to look beyond Superior for a new president and selected Jim Dan Hill, a 34-year-old faculty member of the River Falls Teachers College. Before becoming an educator, Dr. Hill studied at an agricultural college, served in the U.S. Navy during World War I, finished college, and served as a high school principal. His tenure in Superior was interrupted when he was granted a leave of absence to serve in the U.S. Army as a colonel with the 125th Field Artillery.

A. D. S. Gillett (1925-1931)
Arthur Dudley Samuel Gillett was a member of Superior Normal School's first graduating class. After earning a degree at the University of Wisconsin, he returned to campus to teach history and civics. The institution was renamed Superior State Teachers College during his tenure. Described as an "enterprising, politicking teacher," he resigned the presidency following a dispute with the state regents.

James A. Merrill (1922-1925)
James Merrill taught at Superior Normal School for 22 years before being named president by the state regents. After three years in the job he chose to return to teaching.

Virgil E. McCaskill (1907-1922)
Virgil McCaskill graduated from a normal school in Missouri before earning his bachelors and his master's degrees from Ohio Wesleyan University. His presidency ended with his death. The McCaskill Lab School, later McCaskill Hall, was named in his honor.

Israel C. McNeill (1896-1907)
Superior Normal School's first president held a bachelor's degree from the University of Kansas. By the time state regents appointed him, Israel McNeill had co-written two text books and served as treasurer of the National Education Association. He is the namesake of McNeill Residence Hall.

Back to Top