Myron Coulter, WCU chancellor emeritus, loses battle with cancer at 82

Myron L. Coulter, chancellor of Western Carolina University from 1984 until 1994, died Tuesday, Oct. 4, at the age of 82 after a long battle with cancer.

Coulter, known to friends and colleagues by his nickname of “Barney,” guided WCU for a decade characterized by a renewed emphasis on excellence in teaching, strategic planning and goal-setting, service to the Western North Carolina region, and outreach to the international community.

During his tenure as chancellor, the university established the Faculty Center for Teaching Excellence, later renamed the Coulter Faculty Commons for Excellence in Teaching and Learning in recognition of his support of the center’s efforts both as chancellor and, upon his retirement, as chancellor emeritus.

As part of his emphasis on global outreach, Coulter led delegations to The Netherlands to establish a partnership in business education with Hogeschool West Brabant, to China to set up agreements for educational and cultural exchange with Yunnan University, and to Thailand, Swaziland and Jamaica to create and strengthen agreements for vocational, technical and teacher training.

Coulter served as chairman of the board of directors for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities in 1988-89 and was a founding member of the board of directors of the Cherokee Preservation Foundation. Among his other professional appointments were the Commission for a Competitive North Carolina, Inter-American University Council for Economics and Social Development, and Governor’s Task Force on Aquaculture.

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