MADISON-A foundation president who led a record-setting university fund-raising campaign, and an affirmative-action director who helps University of Wisconsin System faculty, staff and students develop their careers have been named the winners of the 2005 Regents Academic Staff Award for Excellence. The awards will be presented Friday (April 8) at the UW System Board of Regents meeting in Madison.

The recipients of this year’s award are Carole Halberg, president of the UW-Eau Claire Foundation and special assistant to the Chancellor, and Elizabeth Heuer, director of affirmative action and human resources at UW-Oshkosh. Each receives a $5,000 award for professional development or to enhance a university program or function.

Academic staff members from each UW institution were nominated for the award, and a selection committee chaired by Regent Brent Smith of La Crosse chose the recipients. Regents Guy A. Gottschalk of Wisconsin Rapids, Milton McPike of Mazomanie, and Jose A. Olivieri of Milwaukee also served on the committee.

“Academic staff members like Carole Halberg and Liz Heuer are vital to the successful operation of their campuses and the UW System,” Smith said. “We are fortunate to have these talented individuals as part of the university. We applaud their professional and exemplary efforts, institutional loyalty, and devotion to serving students and Wisconsin citizens.”

As UW-Eau Claire Foundation President, Halberg is leading the campus’ first-ever comprehensive private fund-raising campaign, “Fulfilling the Promise of Excellence,” which exceeded its initial $35 million goal eight months ahead of schedule.

“My greatest joy is in knowing that what I do as a fund-raiser and communicator makes a difference in the individual lives of our students, faculty and other people in this region,” Halberg said in a personal statement. “Our current success with our comprehensive fundraising campaign and our communications plan are the result of working hard and providing good service to a broad audience over a long period of time.”

Halberg’s other notable accomplishments include serving as chief administrator of the UW-Eau Claire Alumni Association for 15 years, directing the campus’ first comprehensive media campaign, and assisting other UW System universities as they developed their own advancement units. She also started a Women for Philanthropy group at UW-Eau Claire, which raises scholarship funds for single parents, and serves as the university representative to Leadership Eau Claire and Momentum Chippewa Valley. Halberg earned her bachelor’s degree in English and Geography from UW-Eau Claire.

Heuer, a 37-year veteran of UW-Oshkosh, was instrumental in creating the Northeast Wisconsin Educational Resources Alliance, or New ERA, which focuses on regional educational partnerships, and has collaborated with 15 nonprofit agencies to create a strategic plan for the Oshkosh Area Workforce Development program.

“She is always highly professional in her interactions, a tireless worker, intelligent and creative in her approach, a problem-solver, and a genuinely warm and caring individual,” one colleague wrote in a letter of support. “If there is a way to accomplish a task, either big or small, Beth will find the way.”

Heuer also founded the campus Alliance for Equity and Diversity, and has implemented numerous mentoring and professional-development programs for students, faculty, and academic staff. Recently, to assist the campus with administrative budget cuts, Heuer also agreed to take on the role of interim human resources director, while maintaining her roles as Affirmative Action director and special assistant to the Chancellor. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from UW-Oshkosh.

“Carole, Liz, and the more than 10,000 other academic staff members are at the heart of what makes this a truly world-class university system,” said UW System President Kevin P. Reilly. “These employees provide academic and student support services, like financial aid and career advising; and are critical to ensuring student success. It is with their dedication and talents that this university helps all members of our communities develop their human potential to the fullest.”

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Doug Bradley UW System 608-265-0548