Encyclopedia of UNCG History

An online resource for exploring the history of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Chancellor Otis Singletary, 1961
Chancellor Otis Singletary, 1961

Otis Arnold Singletary was born in Gulfport, Mississippi, October 31, 1921, and received a B.A. degree from Millsaps College, Jackson, Mississippi, in 1947. He received a M.A. (1949) and a Ph.D. (1954) from Louisiana State University. Singletary taught with the LSU Extension Division (1949-1951), was instructor at the Navy Supply Corps School, and taught in the Naval Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Unit, Princeton University (1951-1954). He also served in the United States Navy during World War II and the Korean conflict.

In 1954, Singletary went to the University of Texas to serve as an instructor and then professor of History. In the University of Texas administration he was Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences (1954-1959) and Assistant to the President (1960-1961). On July 1, 1961 he became Chancellor of the Woman’s College. Officially, he served in this position until November 1, 1966; however, he was on a leave of absence to be Director of the Job Corps from November 1, 1964 to December 31, 1965.

Singletary left UNCG in 1966 to accept a post as Vice President of the American Council on Education. In 1968, he went to the University of Texas System as Executive Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs. In 1969, he became President of the University of Kentucky, where he served until his retirement.

Singletary served on several national educational boards and wrote extensively on military history and affairs as well as on education. He published three books and numerous articles and reviews. He passed away in 2003.