MADISON, Wis. – University of Wisconsin System President Kevin P. Reilly announced today that he will recommend Dr. David J. Ward as the interim chancellor for UW-Green Bay.
If approved by the UW System Board of Regents, Ward will step into the interim role on June 23, replacing Chancellor Bruce Shepard, who served as UW-Green Bay’s chancellor since 2001. Shepard was recently named the next president of Western Washington University.
Ward’s 31-year UW System career culminated with him serving six years as senior vice president for academic affairs at UW System Administration. He is currently president of NorthStar Economics, Inc., a Madison-based private economic consulting and research firm he established in 2000.
“David’s wide breadth of experience will no doubt continue the positive momentum the campus has achieved during Bruce’s tenure,” said Reilly. “David has a unique knowledge of the campus and the local community. He brings an in-depth understanding of the region’s economic needs and the importance of our Growth Agenda for Wisconsin.”
Born and raised in Green Bay, Ward began his college education at the two-year UW-Green Bay Extension campus, as it was then called. After completing his undergraduate degree and Ph.D. at UW-Madison, Ward started his academic career at UW-Green Bay, which became a four-year comprehensive university in 1968.
“As a first-generation college student, I feel that the UW System gave me a tremendous educational opportunity, and I was fortunate to be part of that educational system for many years,” said Ward. “This seems to complete the circle. UW-Green Bay is where I started as a student, and where I began my academic career. That history is important, and the opportunity to serve my hometown and my alma mater in this way is a privilege.”
He became a member of UW-Oshkosh’s faculty in the College of Business Administration, and went on to hold numerous positions at the campus including chair of the department of Finance and Business Law, vice chancellor and chief academic officer, and acting chancellor.
During his career as a professor of finance, Ward was active as a financial and economic consultant, working with a number of private sector firms including Kimberly Clark, Honeywell, and Lands’ End. In 2005, he was honored with the UW-Oshkosh Chancellor’s Medallion for his eighteen years of service to the school.
Building upon his public service, Ward was a key player in developing the New North economic development movement, a collaboration among businesses and organizations in Northeastern Wisconsin.
“He is truly dedicated to improving the lives of those who call Wisconsin home,” said Reilly. “His leadership and service have helped our state to compete more successfully in the 21st century global market.”
Shepard applauded the selection of Ward as UW-Green Bay’s interim leader.
“The appointment of David Ward is a very clear expression of President Reilly’s intent to keep the momentum going at UW-Green Bay and to continue to strengthen connections between the campus and community.”
Ward serves on the advisory committee for the Wisconsin Covenant program, an initiative that promises access to higher education for Wisconsin eighth graders who pledge to maintain good grades and good citizenry.
“I look forward to giving back to the system that helped me,” said Ward. “I want other first-generation students, and anyone else who thinks that attaining a college degree is impossible, to know that it is possible and we are here to help them succeed in their dream.”