Dr. Bill Cowart was appointed interim president of Western
Oregon State College (WOSC) by the state Board of Higher Education in
1994, after the resignation of Richard Meyers.
Dr. Cowart had recently retired as Provost of WOSC, a position he had
held since 1984. He served as interim president until Betty
Youngblood was hired in 1995.
Dr. Cowart was born in a small Texas border town in August 1932. He grew
up on his family’s ranch and attended Texas A&I University in
Kingsville, Texas, where he received a degree in Agriculture. Dr. Cowart
was involved in the ROTC program, which took him and his family to Germany
after graduation. Dr. Cowart returned to school after his military service
in Germany, and earned a Masters in Education in 1959. Cowart taught
public school for two years before returning to school to earn a PhD
from the University of Texas. Dr. Cowart joined the faculty of Texas A&I
after completing his doctorate, and was director of the Texas A&I
Upward Bound. In 1969, he was offered a national position with Upward
Bound, but declined in order to accept the office of president at a new
college, Laredo State University. From 1969 until 1984, Dr. Cowart worked
hard to help build the new school.
Dr. Cowart was ready for a new challenge, and accepted the position of
Provost at WOSC in 1984. Dr. Cowart’s passion for music grew during
his time in Monmouth, and he joined the Luckiamute River String Band in
1987 where he played the bass fiddle for the old-time string music band.
He retired as Provost in 1994, but agreed to serve as interim president
until a permanent one could be found.