MADISON — Gordon H. Lamb, president of Northeastern Illinois University from 1986-95, has been named interim chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, effective July 1, 1997.

The appointment will be formally announced by UW System President Katharine Lyall tomorrow, Wednesday, June 25 at a 9:00 a.m. news conference with Lamb at UW-Parkside. Lamb succeeds Eleanor Smith, who announced her retirement May 19 after having served as chancellor since July 1994.

Lyall said she had sought a leader with the kinds of skills recommended by faculty and staff when she met with governance groups on campus last month: an experienced president or chancellor who can strengthen community relations, help the campus complete its strategic plan, and help make UW-Parkside an attractive leadership opportunity for the next permanent chancellor.

“Dr. Lamb has an impressive record of carrying out those tasks at comprehensive universities in Illinois and San Antonio, and he knows Wisconsin,” Lyall said. “He has proven himself as an able and dynamic leader, and was highly recommended in inquires made to national higher education organizations. I am grateful for his willingness to accept this challenge.”

Lamb began his career in higher education in 1969 as an assistant professor of music at UW-Stevens Point, following 10 years as a public school teacher in Iowa. In 1970, he was recruited by the University of Texas at San Antonio, where he served as assistant professor of music (1970-74), professor of music and director of the division of music (1974-78), and vice president for academic affairs (1979-1986).

In 1986, Lamb was appointed president of Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, a comprehensive public institution that offers 35 undergraduate majors and 24 graduate master’s degree programs in three colleges. NIU currently enrolls approximately 7,400 undergraduate and 2,800 graduate students, about one-half of whom are adults, age 25 and older.

In his 10 years as president of NIU, Lamb:

  • Initiated a campus-wide strategic planning process;
  • Established a foundation board and institutional development program to support and raise funds for the University;
  • Initiated a technology development program to bring academic and administrative computing to state-of-the-art levels;
  • Implemented a series of initiatives to gain public attention and support for the University in a competitive Chicago area that has 40 institutions of higher education;
  • Developed and implemented budget procedures to more effectively use existing institutional resources.

“Dr. Lamb’s experience at Northeastern Illinois University matches well the challenges and opportunities facing UW-Parkside at this time,” Lyall said. “He understands UW-Parkside’s unique mission in the UW System and its role in meeting the varied educational, economic and cultural needs of southeastern Wisconsin. He will be a thoughtful, dynamic interim chancellor. I ask faculty, staff, students and members of the community to assist him in his critical leadership challenges to strengthen UW-Parkside.”

John Ostheimer will continue to serve as vice chancellor and provost of UW-Parkside. It is anticipated that a new chancellor will be named by January 1998.


Jonathan Henkes
(608) 263-3362