January 7, 2020

Dear Members of Our Campus Community:

I am deeply saddened to share with you that Dr. Barbara Uehling Charlton, Chancellor of UC Santa Barbara from 1987 to 1994, passed away on January 2.

Prior to coming to UC Santa Barbara, she was Chancellor of the University of Missouri, Columbia, and then Senior Visiting Fellow at the American Council of Education in Washington, D.C. Previous positions included Dean of Roger Williams College, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Illinois State University, and Provost of the University of Oklahoma. She held a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from Northwestern University, and early in her career served on the faculties of Oglethorpe and Emory Universities.

As UC Santa Barbara’s fourth Chancellor, she provided steady and able leadership at a time of both economic challenges and rapid growth. She emphasized diversity and academic excellence, and is credited with the development of the campus’s first 15-year Long Range Development Plan.

When she announced her intention to step down as Chancellor, then-Chair of the Academic Senate Laurence Iannaccone wrote the following to the campus community:

“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.”

We will always be grateful for her dedication and lasting contributions to our university. We extend our sincere condolences to her husband, Richard Charlton, and their family. In her memory, our campus flag will be lowered to half-staff tomorrow, January 8.


Henry T. Yang