MADISON — Dr. Thomas F. George, provost and academic vice president at Washington State University, has been recommended to the University of Wisconsin (UW) System Board of Regents to become the 12th chancellor of UW- Stevens Point.
The recommendation was made today by the Regents’ Special Committee for the UW-Stevens Point Chancellorship, which interviewed four finalists on May 20. The committee was chaired by Regent Jay L. Smith and included Regents Virginia R. MacNeil and San W. Orr, Jr. The full Board will act on the recommendation during its June 7 meeting in Milwaukee.
If the recommendation is adopted, it is anticipated that George would start his new duties on July 15. His salary would be set at $110,000.
UW System President Katharine Lyall participated in the finalist interviews. She cited George’s combination of academic and administrative abilities as the chief reason for the committee’s recommendation.
“Dr. George is a distinguished scientist and educator,” she said, “who has served effectively as a senior academic administrator for the past 11 years. I am confident that he will be an outstanding leader for UW-Stevens Point.”
George, 49, would succeed Keith R. Sanders, who resigned last June to become senior vice president for administration of the UW System. Howard Thoyre, provost and vice chancellor at UW-Stevens Point, has served as interim chancellor since July 1, 1995.
George has served as provost of Washington State since 1991, where he also holds faculty rank as a tenured professor of chemistry and physics. Prior to that he was dean of natural sciences and mathematics at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo (1985-91). Earlier, he rose from assistant professor to professor of chemistry at the University of Rochester (1972-85).
George’s academic background includes a B.A. degree in chemistry and mathematics from Gettysburg College (1967) and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry from Yale University (1968, 1970). He served as a research associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1970-71) and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California at Berkeley (1971-72).
George is a recipient of the Marlow Medal and Prize of the British Royal Society of Chemistry (1979), and has served as a visiting lecturer at Cambridge University, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Utah and the University of Aalborg, Denmark. During his career, he has authored or co-authored more than 500 scientific articles and has written a graduate-level textbook on quantum physics.
Other professional recognitions include selection as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Society of Photo- Optical Instrumentation Engineers, the American Physical Society, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the New York Academy of Sciences.
George is a native of Philadelphia and is an accomplished jazz pianist, having recorded a CD entitled “Close Your Eyes: Women Jazz Composers.” He is married to Dr. Barbara Harbach, a professor of music at Washington State who tours and records as a concert organist and harpsichordist. She is co-editor of Women of Note Quarterly, and holds a D.M.A. degree from the Eastman School of Music.
UW-Stevens Point was founded in 1894 as Stevens Point Normal School. It is located in Stevens Point, a city of 23,000 on the scenic Wisconsin River in the central part of the state. The university currently enrolls 8,412 students in bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, and is served by 977 faculty and other staff. The 448-acre campus has an annual budget of $92 million.