MADISON – David J. Ward, senior vice president for academic and student affairs for the University of Wisconsin System, announced today that he plans to step down from that position on July 7, 2000.

“It is with sincere regret that I accept David J. Ward’s decision to retire,” said UW System President Katharine C. Lyall. “He told me when he took his current position in 1994 that he would serve three to five years, and he has gone beyond that. His strong academic values, vision for the use of technology for teaching and learning, and his management talent have helped to set the course for the UW System as we approach the next century,” said Lyall.

Ward, 56, was named UW System senior vice president for academic affairs in 1994, after serving as vice chancellor for academic affairs, deputy to the chancellor and acting chancellor at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. He had served on the faculty at UW-Oshkosh since 1976, and had chaired UW-Oshkosh’s Department of Finance and Business Law.

“Serving in System Administration has been a capstone to my 31 years of service to the University of Wisconsin System,” Ward said. “Retirement will allow me to turn my attention to other matters of professional and personal interests. Among those interests will be the state of the Wisconsin economy and the need to provide new direction that will enhance the income and well being of Wisconsin’s citizens,” Ward said.

Ward said he chose this time to announce his retirement because a number of major initiatives for which he had played a leadership role had been accomplished, and others would be well underway by the time he leaves in July.

President Lyall credited Ward with spearheading development of the UW’s systemwide technology plans, including the automated library system, installation of BadgerNet voice, data and video services for the system, and development of courses and degrees available over the internet.

“He is also at the forefront of alerting Wisconsin policymakers to the need to develop a ‘brain gain’ strategy for state economic development efforts, which relies on the talent coming out of the University of Wisconsin System,” said Lyall. “Over the next several months his contributions will help us forge our budget initiatives to address this key issue for Wisconsin,” Lyall said.

“I have been happy here. There are some other things I want to do, and making my intentions known now will give sufficient time to recruit a new senior vice president and allow sufficient time to complete a number of projects,” said Ward.

Ward is a recognized scholar in the areas of bond analysis, insurance portfolio management and consumer finance. He has been active as an expert witness in legal actions, particularly involving economic damages, and as a consultant on higher education program evaluations.

The senior vice president position is responsible for systemwide academic planning, technology planning, student affairs policies, and related staff and activities, including the Office of Policy Analysis and Research, Multicultural Affairs, the Undergraduate Teaching Improvement Council, the Transfer Information System, and the Women’s Studies Consortium.

Lyall said she would ask the UW Board of Regents at its meeting this Friday in Madison to authorize a search for a new chief academic officer, with hopes of filling the position by the time Ward leaves in July.


Sharyn Wisniewski
(608) 262-6448