Bernard Cohen served as acting chancellor during 1987 between the administrations of Irving Shain and Donna Shalala.
Bernard Cohen was born on February 22, 1926, in Northampton, Massachusetts. He received his BA (1948), MA (1950) and PhD (1952) in political science, all from Yale. Cohen taught at Princeton from 1951 to 1959 then joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin in 1959 as an associate professor in the Department of Political Science, becoming a full professor in 1963.
He served as chair of the department from 1966 to 1969, associate dean of the Graduate School from 1971 to 1975, and vice chancellor for academic affairs from 1984 to 1986 and 1988 to 1989.
He retired from the university in July 1989 and resides in Madison.