Bill Cowart (1994-1995)

Born in Texas, in August of 1932, Bill Cowart attended Texas A&I (now Texas A&M University–Kingsville) as well as the University of Texas. Between earning his master’s degree and going for his doctorate, Cowart taught public school for two years. Prior to his time at Western, Cowart had been president of Laredo State University in Texas (now Texas A&M International University) for 15 years.

Cowart came to Monmouth in 1984 after a nationwide search to find a new Provost for Western Oregon State College (WOSC). As Provost, Cowart led a project to develop standards for teachers who would work in schools transformed by Oregon’s school reform act. He also was involved in a project which defined teacher effectiveness based on what students learned. Though he, like Richard Meyers, was unable to permanently close Monmouth Avenue, Cowart did successfully lobby for the installment of speed bumps to reduce the speed of vehicle traffic through campus. During his time in Monmouth, Dr. Cowart's passion for music grew, and he joined the Luckiamute River String Band in 1987 where he played the bass. He retired from his position as Provost in 1994, and agreed to be Interim President of the university until a permanent replacement was found in 1995.