Photo of Dr. Katherine P. FrankMADISON, Wis.—Dr. Katherine P. Frank, Vice President of Academic Innovation and Professor of English at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Wash., has been named the eighth Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin–Stout.

The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents today unanimously approved Frank’s appointment, following a recommendation made by a selection committee. Frank will assume the leadership post on March 1, 2020.

Frank has served as Vice President of Academic Innovation at Central Washington since summer 2019. In that role, she has led planning to help the university prepare for the future and remain competitive in the marketplace. For three years prior to taking that position, she was Provost and Vice President of Academic and Student Life. Frank oversaw four colleges with more than 300 majors, minors, and specializations as well as master’s degrees and graduate certificates in more than 35 areas. As provost, she also led student affairs, the libraries, graduate studies and research, honors programming, and international studies and programs.

From summer 2014 until spring 2016, she was Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Northern Kentucky University. Frank served as Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences at Indiana University East, Chair of English and Foreign Languages at Colorado State University-Pueblo, and a faculty member and administrator of programs involving student writing, faculty professional development, and student success.

“Dr. Frank has demonstrated throughout her academic career that she is a strategic, dynamic leader,” said UW System President Ray Cross. “She handles challenges extremely well. Her visionary perspective on the future of UW-Stout will serve the institution and the state of Wisconsin very well.”

“I am delighted to join the University of Wisconsin–Stout,” Frank said. “Throughout the search process, I became increasingly impressed by the high-quality work and creative thinking exhibited by faculty, staff, and students at UW-Stout, as well as the strong, reciprocal relationships among the university, community, and regional partners. Everyone demonstrated dedication to the university and exhibited true focus on ensuring student success. As beautifully stated by one alumna, ‘Stout is where you need to be.’  I could not agree more and am honored to join this exceptional community of educators, learners, partners, and friends.”

Frank holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in English from the University of Washington and a B.A. in English from Bates College.

“I’m so excited Katherine has decided to join us on campus as our next Chancellor,” said Associate Professor Julie Bates-Maves of the College of Education, Hospitality, and Health and Human Sciences, vice chair of the Search and Screen Committee. “She captivated students, faculty, and staff across campus during her visit with her energy, preparedness, and emphasis on what makes Stout uniquely strong. The future is bright!”

“We are very excited that this collaborative effort resulted in finding such an energetic, passionate, and innovative leader,” said Regent Jason R. Plante, chair of the Search and Screen Committee that identified candidates. “We are also proud to be able to introduce the first female Chancellor in UW-Stout history!”

The Special Regent Committee for the UW-Stout Chancellor Search that recommended Frank to the full Board of Regents includes Plante, chair of the special committee, Regent Emeritus John Robert Behling, Regent Cris Peterson, Regent Carolyn Stanford Taylor, and Regent Emeritus S. Mark Tyler.

The Search and Screen Committee includes members of the Special Regent Committee, Bates-Maves, and Anne Kelly Hoel, Professor in the College of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Management; Robert Ward, Chief Executive Officer, Oaks Financial Services LLC; Alexander Serier, Director of Organizational Affairs of the Stout Student Association; and Lystra Yates, Records Manager in UW-Stout’s Registration and Records Office.

Frank will earn $260,000 as chancellor.


The University of Wisconsin–Stout, Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University, combines applied learning with the liberal arts to provide career-focused education on campus and online, real world experience, and applied research in facilities with three times as many labs as classrooms. Located in beautiful western Wisconsin, more than 97 percent of UW-Stout’s graduates are employed or pursuing advanced degrees within six months of leaving campus.

The University of Wisconsin System serves approximately 170,000 students. Awarding nearly 37,000 degrees annually, the UW System is Wisconsin’s talent pipeline, putting graduates in position to increase their earning power, contribute to their communities, and make Wisconsin a better place to live. More than 80 percent of in-state UW System graduates stay in Wisconsin five years after earning a degree. The UW System provides a 23:1 return on state investment. UW System institutions also contribute to the richness of Wisconsin’s culture and economy with groundbreaking research, new companies and patents, and boundless creative intellectual energy.

Media Contacts

Mark Pitsch UW System (608) 265-3419
Doug Mell UW-Stout (715) 232-1198