Barbara Uehling Charlton, PhD
June 12, 1932 – January 2, 2020
Barbara Uehling Charlton died peacefully on January 2, 2020 at St. Paul’s Senior Nursing and Rehabilitation center in San Diego, California from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. Barbara was born June 12, 1932 in Wichita, Kansas to parents Roy W. and Mary E. Hilt Staner. In 1954, she completed undergraduate education in Psychology at Wichita State University. She 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.
A major step in Barbara’s career came 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.
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 also served on numerous academic and corporate boards. After retiring from university administration, alongside her loving husband of 21 years, Richard M. Charlton, engaged in various community arts and social causes as well as business ventures.
Aside from a remarkable career, Barbara 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.
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).
Barbara’s life will be celebrated at a private memorial ceremony.
No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Barbara Uehling Charlton, PhD
January 13, 2020
I served as chairman of the Political Science Department and chairman of Faculty Council during the time Barbara Uehling was Chancellor at the University of Missouri, Columbia. She was very skillful at making decisions and at explaining and defending those decisions. I didn’t always agree with her, but I certainly admired her ability. Soon after she arrived on campus, she set about beautifying the campus, and converting parts of it into a botanical garden. She also started the Staff Council, giving staff a voice in campus affairs. During her tenure at Missouri the nation suffered severe inflation and the state was reducing its appropriations for the University. Chancellor Uehling defended the campus skillfully and brought it through that difficult period reasonably intact.
January 7, 2020
Chancellor Uehling was a mentor to me and so many others at UC Santa Barbara. It was a privilege to work with her on many new building projects. She was always clear on her objectives, was a wonderful advocate for the campus and a wonderful person. I feel very fortunate to have known her. Among the many legacies she left UC Santa Barbara and one not well known was the establishment of the Professional Women’s Association. An organization that supports and encourages women staff. She is missed.