MADISON — Dr. Kevin P. Reilly, provost and vice chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Extension since 1996, was today named chancellor of the institution by the UW System Board of Regents.

Reilly will take office on July 7. He succeeds Interim Chancellor Albert Beaver who is retiring after three years of service in that capacity. Reilly’s annual salary will be $142,000.

Reilly emerged from a field of four “extremely qualified finalists,” said UW System President Katharine Lyall, who, with a Special Regents Committee, recommended him to become UW-Extension’s next permanent chancellor.

Lyall cited Reilly’s exceptional performance as UW-Extension provost and vice chancellor, and his leadership experience within the State University of New York System, the largest comprehensive public university system in the nation.

“In the four years since he arrived in Wisconsin, Kevin Reilly has played an integral role in moving UW-Extension forward as a more engaged, responsive, innovative and visionary institution,” Lyall said. “Kevin has worked tirelessly in improving the contribution of UW-Extension’s educational programs to meet the pressing needs affecting the state’s citizens, schools, businesses and communities.

Reilly said the opportunity to lead UW-Extension “comes at a time when we can build on Extension’s history of innovation.”

He added, “Extension offers the University of Wisconsin the ability to combine the best of high technology that will infuse education in this century with the best of ‘high touch’ outreach that institutions committed to their communities, regions and state must provide.”

Reilly, 50, has served as provost and vice chancellor at UW-Extension since 1996. During that time, he has worked with Interim Chancellor Beaver and other colleagues throughout the state to redefine and articulate Extension’s value for the future of the university and the state. He also established the Extension Impact Indicators System to better demonstrate accountability and the positive outcomes of Extension programming for the quality of life in Wisconsin. He contributed as well to the creation and progress of the UW Learning Innovations Center as a member of its development team and advisory board. The Center assists UW campuses in moving their degree and certificate programs online.

Prior to coming to UW-Extension, Reilly served as Interim Secretary of the State University of New York System and was the Associate Provost for Academic Programs for the State University of New York System.

Reilly’s background includes a B.A. degree in English (1971) from the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana and an M.A (1974) and Ph.D. (1979), both in English, from the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis. Reilly is married to Kate Larkin Reilly and they have three children.

Regent Guy Gottschalk of Wisconsin Rapids chaired the Special Regent Committee for the UW-Extension Chancellor Search. Other committee members were Regents Jonathan Barry, Patrick Boyle and Frederic Mohs.

In making the announcement, Lyall praised Interim Chancellor Beaver for his leadership of UW-Extension during the transition. “I am very grateful to Al Beaver for his skillful leadership of Extension through this period of transition. UW-Extension has stepped into the 21st century and become a leader in distance learning, as evidenced by The Pyle Center and Learning Innovations.”

UW-Extension is one of the 15 institutions of the UW System. Through its programming units (Business and Manufacturing Extension, Cooperative Extension, Continuing Education Extension, and Extension Communications), and its collaborative relationships with all UW System campuses and every Wisconsin county, the people of Wisconsin have direct access to the educational resources of the UW System. UW-Extension is headquartered in Madison but has staff and programs throughout the state.


Kevin Boatright, UW System
(608) 263-2227