William S. Carlson

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William Samuel Carlson (November 18, 1905 – May 8, 1994) was a 20th-century academic administrator who served as president of four universities.[1]

Carlson was born in Ironwood, Michigan and earned bachelor's (1930), master's (1932) and Ph.D. (1938) degrees from the University of Michigan. Carlson participated in the University of Michigan Greenland Expedition of 1928–1929 and led the fourth University of Michigan Greenland Expedition in 1930–1931.[2] After completing his education, he joined the University of Minnesota as an Assistant Professor of Education, eventually becoming a full Professor and Dean of Admissions and Records.

He served in the Air Force during the Second World War, building air bases in Canada, Greenland, and Iceland for transport to Britain.

After the war, he assumed the Presidencies of the University of Delaware, the University of Vermont, and the State University of New York in rapid succession. [3][4] He undertook his longest Presidency at the University of Toledo, from which he retired after 14 years.

Carlson succumbed to lung cancer in Belleair Bluffs, Florida. The main library on the University of Toledo campus is named after him.

Selected works[edit]


  1. ^ "William Carlson, 88, Educator Who Headed 4 State Universities", The New York Times, May 11, 1994, retrieved 2008-04-04 
  2. ^ "ABOUT WILLIAM S. CARLSON". University of Delaware Research and Graduate Studies. Retrieved 2008-04-04.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  3. ^ The State University of New York (1985), Sixty-four campuses: the State University of New York to 1985 (1 ed.), Albany, New York: Office of University Affairs and Development, OCLC 12556911 
  4. ^ "SUNY's Second", Time Magazine, January 14, 1952, retrieved 2008-04-04 
Academic offices
Preceded by
Wilbur O. Sypherd
President of the University of Delaware
1946 – April 1950
Succeeded by
Allan P. Colburn (Acting)
Preceded by
John S. Millis
President of the University of Vermont
April 1950–1952
Succeeded by
Carl W. Borgmann
Preceded by
Charles Garside (Acting)
President of the State University of New York
January 1952 – September 1958
Succeeded by
Thomas H. Hamilton
Preceded by
Asa S. Knowles
President of the University of Toledo
September 1958–1972
Succeeded by
Glen R. Driscoll