Hugh Edwin Young (Chancellor: 1968-1977)

Hugh Edwin Young
Hugh Edwin Young

At a special meeting on September 13, 1968, the Regents appointed Edwin Young, then a vice president in central administration, as chancellor of the Madison campus, effective immediately.

Hugh Edwin Young was born in Bonne Bay, Newfoundland, Canada on May 3, 1917. He received his BA (1940) from the University of Maine and his MA (1942) and PhD (1950) in economics from the University of Wisconsin. Young began as an instructor in economics at Wisconsin in 1947 and became a full professor in 1955.

During 1951/52 he was director of the university’s School for Workers, and he chaired the Department of Economics from 1953 until 1961 when he became dean of the College of Letters and Science. In 1965 he left Wisconsin to become president of the University of Maine.

In July 1968 Young returned to Wisconsin as vice president of the university and professor of economics, and in September he was appointed chancellor of the Madison campus. Young presided over the Madison campus during most of the Vietnam War era and the student protests in Madison. The University of Wisconsin System was also formed during his administration.

Young was not particularly in favor of the merger of the University of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin State Universities, and he worked to insure that individual campuses retained as much autonomy as possible, even after he became president of the UW System in July 1977. He retired from that office in 1980. Young died in Madison on January 2, 2012.