Dr. James Appleton

University President Dr. James R. Appleton

Dr. James R. Appleton

Dr. James R. Appleton served as the eighth president of the University of Redlands from 1987-2005. Since 2005, he served as the University’s chancellor and was then¬†appointed president emeritus. Under his leadership, the University of Redlands saw significant enhancements in campus facilities and technology; strong enrollments; balanced budgets and record-breaking private fundraising.

On May 15, following the resignation of the ninth president Dr. Stuart Dorsey, the board of trustees reappointed Dr. Appleton to a two-year term as president of the University.

Prior to joining the Redlands team, he served for 15 years at the University of Southern California as a member of the faculty, as vice president for student affairs and then as vice president for development. Before 1972 he served in various faculty and administrative positions at Oakland University in Rochester, Mich.

Dr. Appleton continues to honor a personal commitment to teaching. He has taught graduate courses that focus on issues and trends in higher education, and his expertise in the study of leadership has formed the basis for first-year seminars and students’ independent studies.

Dr. Appleton currently serves on several boards and committees. He served on a UNESCO working group from 2001-2003. He served for many years on the executive committee of the board of the Washington-based National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and the President’s Council of NCAA. He is a trustee at two international universities, USIU-Africa and Forman Christian College (FCC) in Pakistan.

He received his undergraduate degree from Wheaton College, in Wheaton, Illinois. He earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from Michigan State University.
After graduation from Wheaton College as well, First Lady Carol Appleton taught art in elementary and secondary schools. She did post-graduate work at Wayne State University and Michigan State University, and earned a master’s degree in painting and drawing from Long Beach State University. Mrs. Appleton plays a significant role to Dr. Appleton both personally and in the work of the Office of the President. She and Dr. Appleton meet with people in business, higher education and government that result in raising the profile of the University nationally and internationally. An accomplished artist, Mrs. Appleton has exhibited in individual and group shows and has completed a series of large oil paintings inspired by the Greek islands.


The Sustainable University of Redlands Farm (SURF) is a natural farm in its beginning stages, but already grows and sells fresh vegetables to Bon Appetit, the food management company on campus.

Read More »