University of Wisconsin-Stout

Feb. 7, 2011

Charles W. Sorensen is now the longest-serving leader in the 120-year history of UW-Stout.

Sorensen has been chancellor for more than 22Ĺ years. He began serving Aug. 1, 1988.

The leader who previously served the longest was Burton E. Nelson, who served 22Ĺ years from 1923-1945.

During his tenure, Sorensen has overseen significant progress at UW-Stout. The number of undergraduate programs has more than doubled to 40, enrollment has risen from 7,092 in 1988 to 9,339 and there have been 11 major building and remodeling projects on campus. The Stout Technology Park has grown, and the Discovery Center and Center for Applied Ethics were founded.

In addition, during Sorensenís tenure the university became the first higher education recipient of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, was designated as Wisconsinís Polytechnic University and became a digital campus through the e-Scholar laptop program.

A native of Moline, Ill., Sorensen has a doctorate in American History from Michigan State, a masterís in history from Illinois State and a bachelorís in history and political science from Augustana College, Rock Island, Ill. He also attended the Harvard University Institute for Educational Management.

To arrange an interview with Sorensen, contact Doug Mell, executive director of communications and external relations, at 715-232-1198 or For a photo of Sorensen, go to

UW-Stout Leaders

James Huff Stout, founder, 19 years, 1891-1910.

Lorenzo Dow Harvey, 19 years, 1903-1922.

Burton E. Nelson, 22 years, 1923-1945.

Verne C. Fryklund, 16 years, 1945-1961.

William J. Micheels, 11 years, 1961-1972.

Robert S. Swanson, 16 years, 1972-1988.

Charles W. Sorensen, 1988-