On September 9, 1977, the regents named Irving Shain, certainly no stranger to the university, as chancellor, and he took office in November.
Irving Shain was born in Seattle, Washington on January 2, 1926. He served in the US Army from 1943-1946, then received a BS (1949) and PhD (1952), both in chemistry, from the University of Washington.
He began teaching in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin in 1952 and chaired the department from 1967-1970. Shain served as vice chancellor of the Madison campus from 1970-1975 then went to his alma mater as provost and vice president for academic affairs from 1975-1977 before returning to Wisconsin.
The University Research Park was established during his administration, and he began student exchange programs with the People’s Republic of China.
After his retirement from the university at the end of 1986, Shain joined the Olin Corporation as corporate vice president and chief scientist and served in that capacity until his retirement in 1992. He resides in Madison.