MADISON― University of Wisconsin System President Kevin P. Reilly has appointed a 19-member search-and-screen committee to identify a new chancellor to lead both the statewide UW-Extension and the UW Colleges, which includes 13 freshman-sophomore campuses.

“This is a time of important change for UW Colleges and UW-Extension,” Reilly said. “This search committee has the responsibility to help select a dynamic, responsive leader with the talents to advance these unique institutions.”

This search follows a comprehensive, independent study of the missions and administrations of the UW Colleges and UW-Extension, after which Reilly recommended consolidating the Madison-based administrative functions of these two statewide institutions under a single Chancellor. The study suggested that this change and other collaborative efficiencies could save as much as $1.5 million annually.

“UW-Extension and UW Colleges serve as key public gateways for Wisconsin citizens to access UW System education and services,” Reilly said. “This committee will help us to identify candidates who can reinforce the shared visions of these two institutions as they evolve.”

The search committee will be chaired by Lisa Seale, professor of English at UW-Marathon County, one of the 13 campuses of the UW Colleges. She will be joined by nine other faculty members, two academic staff members, two students, three university administrators, and two community members.

The committee will begin its work this spring and continue into the 2005-06 academic year. It will recommend at least five candidates who could serve as Chancellor for both institutions. The former leaders were Reilly, who moved from his role as UW-Extension Chancellor in August to become president of the UW System; and William Messner, the former UW Colleges Chancellor who, in September, accepted the presidency of Holyoke Community College in Massachusetts.

“The UW Colleges and the UW-Extension already bring access to higher education and university expertise to all reaches of the state,” Seale said. “We are excited about having one, joint leader. It is a wonderful opportunity to create efficiencies and increase access to bachelor’s degree programs for Wisconsin’s residents, while maintaining the quality of both our statewide networks.

“We seek a chancellor who will provide vibrant leadership to both institutions as we reach out to serve ever more returning adults, students of color, economically disadvantaged and place-bound students, and help more Wisconsin residents achieve a college education,” Seale added. “We seek a leader with the vision and commitment to work with our faculty, staff, students, and communities as we position ourselves to shine in a more effective and efficient University of Wisconsin System.”

The UW System President and a special committee of the UW System Board of Regents will conduct final interviews and make a recommendation to the full board. Members of the UW Colleges & UW-Extension Chancellor Search and Screen Committee are:

Faculty: Holly Breitkreutz, assistant professor of educational communications, UW-Extension; Maureen Crowley, associate professor of psychology, UW-Manitowoc; Neill DeClercq, professor of labor education, UW-Extension; Gary Green, professor of rural sociology, UW-Madison/Extension; Margaret Hankenson, associate professor of political science, UW-Waukesha; Cary Komoto, associate professor of geography, UW-Barron County; Joan LeFebvre, professor of family development, Vilas County UW-Extension; Martin Rudd, assistant professor of chemistry, UW-Fox Valley; Lisa Seale, professor of English, UW-Marathon County (Search & Screen Committee Chair); and Ronnie Stricklin, associate professor of community resource development, Milwaukee County UW-Extension.

Academic Staff: Diane Pillard, director of continuing education & extended services, UW Colleges; and Donald Sanford, senior development specialist for Wisconsin Public Television, UW-Extension.

Administrators: Ellen Fitzsimmons, interim provost and vice chancellor, UW-Extension; Freda Harris, associate vice president, UW System; and Steven Wildeck, vice chancellor for administrative services, UW Colleges.

Community Representatives: Brad Karger, Marathon County Deputy County Administrator, Wausau; and Keith Summers, director of operations, Foth & Van Dyke, Green Bay.

Students: Nodji Van Wychen, an alumna of the Wisconsin Rural Leadership Program; and Dannon Raith, executive director of the Student Association, UW-Fox Valley.

Reilly appointed the committee after consultation with the university community, alumni and donors, regents and others.  The Special Regent Committee for the UW Colleges and UW-Extension Chancellor Search is chaired by Regent Danae Davis of Milwaukee. Joining her on the committee are Regents Mark Bradley of Wausau; Elizabeth Burmaster, State Superintendent of Schools; and Milton McPike of Mazomanie.


Note to News Media

President Reilly and Regent Davis will meet with the UW Colleges & UW-Extension search-and-screen committee on Thursday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to noon in room 108 of 780 Regent Street, Madison. The committee will receive its charge and discuss the process. There will also be a review of the position description and an opportunity for committee members to ask questions. This is an open meeting.

Media Contact

Doug Bradley UW System 608-265-0548