Beverly Kopper, 2015 - present
Former Chancellors and Presidents
Richard Telfer, 2007 - 2015
Telfer first arrived on campus in 1985 as an assistant professor of curriculum and education and has served the University in many roles since that time. He has put great effort into student retention initiatives, the development of learning communities, and improved academic advising programs. His congeniality, collegiality and common sense are valued by faculty, staff, students and the community.
Martha Dunagin Saunders, 2005 - 2007
The first female chancellor, Dr. Martha D. Saunders brought a varied background to her duties. On campus, she finalized plans for major building projects totaling $110 million and focused on revitalizing campus communication and upgrading the mission and goals statement of the University. Her philosophy followed three guiding priniciples: know your students, connect them to bigger things, and set a good example.
John (Jack) W. Miller, 1999 - 2005
A distinguished scholar and native midwesterner, Miller continued the tradition of educators at the helm of Whitewater. He headed a highly successful campaign to raise money for a new College of Business and Economics building, as well as oversaw the building of Kachel Fieldhouse, major renovations of Upham Hall and the Williams Center. Miller was the recipient of numerous teaching awards, and taught in several places around the country, as well as Costa Rica, England and South Africa.
H. Gaylon Greenhill, 1991 - 1999
Dr. Greenhill came to campus in 1962 to teach political science and stayed, serving in many capacities over the span of his 37 year career. While on campus he organized the Campaign for Excellence, which added millions to the University's Foundation, as well as instituted the Core Curriculum program with the vision of crafting Whitewater into a premier comprehensive university. He succeeded - the school was named as one of the best in the Midwest by U.S. News and World Report during his tenure. The Greenhill Center of the Arts is named in his honor.
James R. Connor, 1974 - 1991
James R. Connor is best remembered on campus for his warmth and ability to work productively with the people around him. He pushed for an internationally diverse faculty and student body, opening doors for minorities and women on campus. The Observatory, McGraw Computing Center, and the Greenhouse were all built during his tenure. The James R. Connor University Center, the major hub of student life on campus, is named in his honor.
William L. Carter, 1967 - 1974
The University's last president and first Chancellor William L. Carter served the campus during a time of turmoil. The university was merged into the University of Wisconsin system and took on its present name, the country was dealing with the Vietnam War, and the demands of women and minorities in society were changing. Campus black students protested and faculty members were terminated and/or censured for political beliefs. Carter made the campus and buildings one of the most accessible in the nation for disabled students, receiving a distinguished service award.
Cord O. Wells, interim 1967
Walker D. Wyman, 1962 - 1967
Wyman converted Wisconsin State College into Whitewater State University with three separate college and eighteen academic departments. He also founded the UW-Whitewater Foundation, making the first contribution himself, and during his tenure oversaw the construction of 22 campus buildings. The Wyman Mall is named in his honor.
Robert C. Williams, 1946 - 1962
Enrollment tripled to over 3000 during Robert C. Williams' tour as president. Williams increased the number of liberal arts programs on campus, upgraded the academic side of teacher education, and oversaw the construction of Andersen Library and the first dormitories. Under his tenure the University changed its name to Wisconsin State College - Whitewater, began offering graduate classes, and doubled the size of the faculty. Williams Athletic and Physical Education Center is named in his honor.
Claude Yoder, 1930 - 1946
Yoder served during the difficult years of the Great Depression and WWII. He continued operation of the college during the war years (only 20 male students were enrolled at the low point) by increasing summer classes to accelerate students toward graduation. After sixteen years as president, he retired in 1946 having seen the business program grow, and gained the University national accreditation.
Frank S. Hyer, 1919 - 1930
Hyer oversaw construction of the East Wing of Old Main (now Hyer Hall), growing the school from the smallest to the second largest Normal School in the state. The name changed to Whitewater State Teachers College, during his tenure, and the school become the first college in the state to grant four-year college degrees. Fraternities and sororities first appeared on campus during his tenure. The remaining East Wing was renamed Hyer Hall after Old Main was destroyed by fire in 1970.
Albert H. Yoder, 1912 - 1919
In 1913 Yoder set the course for Whitewater's future as the Normal School become only the second public institution in the country to offer business education courses for credit. Presiding during the tumultuous years of WWI, he encouraged students to support the American Red Cross. Hamilton Gymnasium, the first academic building other than Old Main, was constructed during his tenure.
George C. Shutts, Interim 1911 - 1912
While at Whitewater, Shutts taught mathematics, history and served as Conductor of Institutes from 1901 to 1910. He was instrumental in setting up the Normal School athletic conference and strongly supported campus athletics. He left Whitewater in 1918 to take up farming in Montana.
Albert Salisbury, 1885 - 1911
Born five miles from College Hill, Albert Salisbury was the first Wisconsin-born person to serve as president of the school. As president,beautified the campus with landscaping, developed four-year programs in the humanities and increased offerings in many other areas, and also opened a kindergarten on campus to allow for lifelong education. Under his tenure, sports teams gained popularity, The Royal Purple student newspaper was established, and the first telephone was installed on campus.
Theron B. Pray, Interim 1885
Pray taught mathematics, civil government, and political economy at Whitewater from1881 to 1894, and served as Conductor of Institutes from 1888 to 1894. In 1894, he was chosen as the first president of Stevens Point Normal School where he served until 1906.
John W. Stearns, 1878 - 1885
In his time on campus, Stearns expanded the Normal School's library from 600 volumes to over 1500, added an art gallery, and expanded the college's offerings in elementary education and the natural sciences. Electricity also came to the town during Stearns' tenure, marking a time of great transition in national history. After leaving Whitewater, he taught pedagogy for 19 years at UW-Madison and wrote extensively on education in Wisconsin.
William F. Phelps, 1876 - 1878
William Phelps was a noted educator when he took the reins of Whitewater Normal School, and held strong views about the way the campus should be managed. Among them, he believed contact between the Whitewater community and the college should be minimized, much to the chagrin of the faculty who considered themselves part of the local community. His insistence on his own way led to his departure within two years.
Oliver C. Arey 1868 - 1876
The Whitewater Normal School's first president established the concept of the "whole man" or "whole woman," and believed that students should be evaluated on their character, integrity, manners and moral backbone as well as academic performance. He believed students should complete two years of general academic study along with their teaching curriculum. Arey and his wife took a paternal interest in every Whitewater students after the untimely death of their own daughters.