MADISON – University of Wisconsin System President Katharine C. Lyall announced Tuesday (Aug. 5) that she has appointed Virginia Helm as interim chancellor of UW-Stevens Point.

Helm, currently UWSP provost, will serve as interim chancellor while a search is conducted to find a successor to Chancellor Thomas F. George, who will become Chancellor of the University of Missouri-St. Louis on Sept. 1.

“Dr. Helm is an accomplished academic leader who has my confidence and that of the Stevens Point campus. I’m very grateful that she has agreed to take on this important assignment,” Lyall said.

“We will work together to maintain the energy and momentum that Chancellor George has brought to the campus and community during the leadership transition process, continuing Tom’s economic development agenda for the region and his work to achieve new levels of academic excellence at UWSP,” Lyall continued.

Helm, who was named provost in May, 2002, served previously as executive vice chancellor for academic affairs at Indiana University Northwest in Gary, Ind. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Boston University, a master’s degree in English from Boston College, an Ed.S. in educational administration from Western Illinois University, where she served most recently as assistant provost, and a Ph.D. in educational administration from the University of Iowa.

Helm is the author of several books and chapters and numerous journal articles about legal issues in education, with emphasis on personnel evaluation, education rights of homeless children, and copyright issues. Her recent work focuses on assessment.

“I look forward to working with the faculty and the strong leadership team at UWSP to continue our energetic pursuit of the student-centered excellence and partnership priorities during the search for a permanent chancellor,” said Helm. “With the support of the campus and local communities, we will have a smooth transition.”

“Virginia Helm has been outstanding in her role as Provost at UWSP,” said Chancellor George. “She is very highly regarded across campus and within the Stevens Point community, and I know that she will be superb in her upcoming role as interim chancellor.”

Lyall expects to appoint a search committee for the new chancellor in early September and will ask the committee to conduct a careful and expeditious search this fall.

Following Board of Regents protocol, the committee will consist of faculty, academic staff, students, administrators and community members. Nominations to the committee will be solicited through the appropriate campus governance organizations. A separate Special Regent Committee, to be chaired by Regent Roger Axtell of Janesville, will interview the finalists identified by the committee and work with the president to select the new chancellor.

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Linda Weimer UW System (608) 262-0766