MADISON — University of Wisconsin System President Katharine C. Lyall today announced the appointment of a 21-member committee to search for a successor to UW-Madison Chancellor David Ward, who will step down on December 31.

The committee will be chaired by Bernice Durand, professor of physics and outgoing chair of the UW-Madison University Committee. In a departure from tradition, Lyall has asked four alumni and community leaders (rather than one or two), including outgoing Regent President San Orr, to serve on the committee. They will join eleven faculty members, two academic staff members, two students, and two university administrators.

“This committee literally holds the future of the UW-Madison campus in the palm of its hand,” said Lyall. “The committee needs to find the very best candidates to lead our flagship campus. This appointment is critical to the UW System, the whole state of Wisconsin, and the national higher education community.”

The committee will conduct its work during the summer and fall, said Durand, and will recommend at least five finalists to the president and the Board of Regents. Lyall has said that her goal is to have Ward’s successor in place early in 2001.

“It is an honor to chair this committee,” said Durand, “and to work with such a distinguished group. The members of this committee have a range of backgrounds and expertise that, taken together, broadly represent both the academic and the extended university communities. I believe the members also bring awareness of every dimension of what’s expected of the next UW-Madison chancellor. The committee will welcome written suggestions.”

Members of the UW-Madison Chancellor Search and Screen Committee are as follows:

  • Faculty: Agatino Balio, (Communication Arts); David Bethea (Slavic Languages); Jo Handelsman (Plant Pathology); Bernice Durand, chair (Physics); Laura Kiessling (Chemistry and Biochemistry); Stephen Robinson (Industrial Engineering and Computer Sciences); Thomas Rockwell Mackie (Medical Physics and Oncology); Lydia Zepeda (Consumer Sciences); Linda Oakley (Nursing); Brent McCown (Horticulture); and Don Nichols (Economics).
  • Academic staff: William Steffenhagen (assistant dean, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences) and Esther Olson (assistant director, Synchrotron Radiation Center).
  • Students: Tshaka Barrows (junior) and Adam Briggs (senior).
  • Administrators: Charles Read (dean, School of Education) and David Olien (senior vice president for administration, UW System).
  • Community: Wade Fetzer, past chair of the board of the University of Wisconsin Foundation; David Zoerb, chair of the Badger Action Network, Wisconsin Alumni Association; Mark Bugher, director of the UW Research Park and former secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Administration; and San Orr, chairman of the board of Wausau-Mosinee Paper Corporation and an emeritus president of the UW System Board of Regents.

Lyall appointed the committee after broad consultation with the university community, alumni and donors, regents, and key public officials. Though the membership of the committee is prescribed by board policy, Lyall added community members after regents expressed a need for finalists who are skilled in external relations (such as fundraising), in addition to being strong academically. In the process, she added two faculty members, since a faculty majority on the committee is required.

The search committee will make its recommendations to President Lyall and to a Special Regent Committee, chaired by Regent Vice President Jay L. Smith. Joining him on the committee are Regents JoAnne Brandes, Guy A. Gottschalk, Frederic E. Mohs and Jose A. Olivieri. Lyall and the Special Regent Committee will then interview the candidates and make a recommendation for final action by the full board.

“The whole university community is united in wanting to hire the very best person to succeed David,” said Lyall. “He has been a remarkable leader for UW- Madison. His successor must be able to step in and pick up where he leaves off without missing a beat. I am confident that we will find someone with strong academic credentials, proven leadership ability, and a commitment to the `Wisconsin Idea’ of service to the state.”

Note to News Media:
  • Brief descriptions of the 21 search and screen committee members are attached.
  • Katharine Lyall will be available for comment on Wednesday at mid-afternoon at (608) 262-2321.
  • Bernice Durand will be available for comment on Wednesday, as her final examination schedule permits, at (608) 262-3827 and at
  • Starting Wednesday, the UW-Madison Office of News and Public Affairs will begin posting search-related information at a continuously updated web page:
  • The search and screen committee will give official notice of all public meetings.

UW-Madison Chancellor Search and Screen Committee

Faculty (11)

Bernice Durand (Chair) is a professor of physics, outgoing chair of the University Committee, a member of the Athletic Board, and co-chair of the campus Plan 2008 Steering Committee. She served recently on the search and screen committees for the UW-Madison dean of students and the UW System senior vice president for academic affairs. She joined the faculty in 1977.

Agatino Balio s a professor of communication, chair of the Department of Communication Arts, and executive director of the Arts Institute. He joined the faculty in 1966.

David Bethea is a professor of Slavic languages and interim director of the University of Wisconsin Press. He joined the faculty in 1981.

Jo Handelsman is a professor of plant pathology, chair of the UW Committee on Women, and past director of the Institute for Pest and Pathogen Management. She joined the faculty in 1985.

Laura Kiessling is a professor of chemistry and biochemistry. Last year, she and UW-Madison geologist Jill Banfield were each named MacArthur Fellows by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. She joined the faculty in 1991.

Thomas Rockwell Mackie is a professor of medical physics and oncology. He has more than 15 U.S. patents issued and pending, and he is the co-founder of two spin-off companies: Geometrics Corporation and TomoTherapy. He joined the faculty in 1987.

Brent McCown is a professor of horticulture with a dual appointment in the Institute for Environmental Studies. He also holds the Gottschalk Distinguished Research Chair. He joined the faculty in 1972.

Donald Nichols is a professor of economics and public affairs, and director of the Center for World Affairs and the Global Economy. He joined the faculty in 1966.

Linda Oakley is an associate professor of nursing and is chair of the School of Nursing Research Committee. She joined the faculty in 1990.

Stephen Robinson is a professor of industrial engineering and computer sciences and past chair of the University Committee. He joined the faculty in 1972.

Lydia Zepeda is an associate professor of consumer science. She was a Fulbright Scholar and visiting researcher in Costa Rica and spent two years in Rome as an economist with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. She joined the faculty in 1988.

Academic Staff (2)

Esther Olson is assistant director of the Synchrotron Radiation Center and Physical Sciences Laboratory at the Kegonsa Research Campus, a member of the Academic Staff Executive Committee, and president of the Academic Staff Public Representation Organization (ASPRO).

William Steffenhagen is an assistant dean in the research division of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. He is a member and past-chair of Academic Staff Executive Committee.

Students (2)

Tshaka Barrows is a junior from Madison. He has been active in Associated Students of Madison (ASM), is past-chair of the ASM Campus Relations Committee, and is a past-president of the Black Student Union

Adam Briggs is a senior from Wausau majoring in Asian studies. He is the 2001 senior class president and past chair of Wisconsin Memorial Union’s Distinguished Lecture Series.

Administrators (2)

Charles Read is a professor of linguistics and English and dean of the School of Education. He previously served as associate dean and interim dean of the Graduate School.

David Olien is senior vice president for administration with the University of Wisconsin System. He previously served as vice president for university relations.

Community (4)

Mark Bugher of Madison is director of the University of Wisconsin Research Park, Inc. Formerly, he served as secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Administration and secretary of the Department of Revenue.

Wade Fetzer of Glencoe, Illinois is past chair of the board of the University of Wisconsin Foundation. He is a UW-Madison alumnus and a retired officer with Goldman, Sachs & Company in Chicago. He was a major donor to the Fetzer Student Academic Services Center at the McClain Facility. He and his wife, Beverly Below Fetzer, were major contributors to the Below Alumni Center renovation and expansion project.

San Orr of Wausau is an attorney, certified public accountant, and interim CEO and chairman of the board of Wausau-Mosinee Paper. He is a UW-Madison alumnus and served from 1993 to 2000 as a member of the UW System Board of Regents, including the past two years as president.

David Zoerb of Oostburg is chair of the Badger Action Network, a legislative advocacy program of the Wisconsin Alumni Association (WAA), and an officer on the WAA Executive Committee. He is a UW-Madison alumnus, and is senior vice president at Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc., Grafton.


Kevin Boatright, UW System
(608) 263-2227