MADISON – Dr. Donald J. Mash, president of Wayne State College in Wayne, Neb., will be recommended to the full University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents for the position of chancellor at UW-Eau Claire by a Regent Special Search Committee and UW System President Katharine C. Lyall.
The recommendation follows interviews May 1 with Mash and three other finalists. The recommendation will be presented to the regents for formal action during their monthly meeting May 7-8 at UW-Oshkosh. If the Board concurs, Mash will take office Aug. 1 as the sixth UW-Eau Claire chief executive. His salary will be set by the Board on May 8.
Mash, 55, would succeed Larry Schnack, who served 13 years as chancellor before retiring in January after a 32-year career with the University of Wisconsin System. In making the announcement, Lyall emphasized Dr. Mash’s achievements as executive vice president at George Mason University, and his 10 years of experience as president of an expanding regional public college and successes in fund raising.
“Dr. Mash has 30 years’ experience as an administrator in higher education,” Lyall said. “During a time of tremendous technological change and enormous pressure on financial resources, he succeeded in enhancing the public profile and reputation of his institution while emphasizing strong teaching and comprehensive student support services. His skills and experience will complement the foundation laid at UW-Eau Claire by Emeritus Chancellor Larry Schnack.”
Mash said while his 10-year presidency at Wayne State College has been a time of significant personal and professional satisfaction, the opportunity to lead UW-Eau Claire was compelling.
“The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is an outstanding university and the Wisconsin System is one of the best in the country,” Mash said. “It will be a privilege and an honor to be a contributing part of both.”
Mash has been president at Wayne State College since 1988. The northeast Nebraska institution offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in professional and liberal arts program, including the master’s of business administration.
Earlier, Mash served at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., as executive vice president for administration (1985-1988) and as vice president for student affairs (1975-85). As executive vice president for administration, he was responsible for many aspects of management and operations at the dynamic regional public university, which grew from an enrollment of 6,000 to more than 18,000 students during Mash’s 13 1/2 years there. The institution offers degrees through the Ph.D. and a law degree. He oversaw personnel, facilities planning and management, community relations and development, aspects of student services, alumni relations, intercollegiate athletics and special events.
As vice president for student services, Mash had responsibility for all student services plus a Division I athletic program, aspects of community relations and facilities planning for residence halls, student center development, and recreation and sports facilities. From 1968 to 1975 Mash was dean for student services at Ohio Dominican College in Columbus, Ohio.
He began his career in higher education as a geography instructor at the University of Pittsburgh-Bradford in Bradford, Pa, teaching both physical and cultural geography.
Mash earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (1964), and holds a master’s degree in geography from the University of Pittsburgh (1966). He has a Ph.D. in the higher education program from The Ohio State University (1974).
Regent Patrick G. Boyle, Madison, chair of the Regent Special Search Committee, said of Mash: “He will be an asset to the University of Wisconsin System, and we welcome him to our state. He is an educator and administrator of enormous talent. He has served his institution, students and the Nebraska public by initiating a highly successful national fund-raising campaign while adding faculty positions, computerizing the campus and expanding public-service activities.”
Lyall also expressed her appreciation to UW-Eau Claire vice chancellor and provost Marjorie Smelstor, who has served as interim chancellor since Schnack’s retirement. “Marjorie has led the university with distinction for the past four months,” Lyall said. “Her service and dedication are exemplary, and I am grateful for all that she has done for UW-Eau Claire and the UW System.”
Along with Boyle, other members of the Regent Search Committee were Jo Anne Brandes, Racine; Ruth Marcene James, Fennimore; Toby Marcovich, Superior; and Grant Staszak, River Falls.
A 17-member campus-community search and screen committee, chaired by UW-Eau Claire professor of history James Oberly, earlier forwarded to President Lyall the names of four finalists, chosen from among 72 applicants and nominees.
Peter D. Fox