Bryant Kearl was serving as vice chancellor under William Sewell when he was chosen as acting chancellor while a search was conducted for Sewell’s replacement. He served as acting chancellor from July 1 to September 12, 1968.
Bryant Kearl was born on September 21, 1921 in Paris, Idaho. He received a BS from Utah State University (1941), an MS (1942) from the University of Wisconsin, and a PhD (1951) from the University of Minnesota.
In 1942 he came to Wisconsin as a teaching assistant in agricultural journalism and became a full professor in 1953. From 1944 to 1946 he served in the US Navy. He was chair of the Department of Agricultural Journalism from 1951 to 1963, when he became an associate dean in the Graduate School. Kearl was vice chancellor under William Sewell and Edwin Young (1967-70) and again under Irving Shain (1977-83). In 1983 Kearl became the first dean of the Division of Outreach, charged with integrating the University and Madison-based UW-Extension programs.
Kearl was very active internationally, and he helped establish many of the university’s international programs. In 1987 he returned to teaching until his retirement in 1989. He died in Madison on September 28, 1993.