MADISON — W. Bruce Shepard, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Eastern Oregon University, was today named the fourth chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
Shepard’s appointment is effective Nov. 1 and was recommended by a special committee of the UW System Board of Regents, which interviewed four finalists for the position on Monday (Aug. 6) in Madison. The recommendation was adopted unanimously today by the Executive Committee of the Board during a teleconference meeting.
“I am grateful to the campus/community search and screen committee for providing such excellent candidates for us to consider,” said UW System President Katharine Lyall, who also interviewed the finalists. “All four were well-qualified, but for this campus at this stage in its history, Bruce Shepard is an exceptional leader who is ready for a challenge of this kind. The Board and I will support Dr. Shepard in every way we can, and I look forward to him serving UW-Green Bay for many years to come.”
Board of Regents President Jay L. Smith added, “It’s important that the university in Wisconsin’s third-largest city have a chancellor who can keep building connections between the campus and the community. I am confident that Bruce Shepard can do this and will also make further progress in advancing the UW-Green Bay Learning Experience — a strategic plan designed to improve retention and graduation rates and provide well-educated graduates for Wisconsin.”
Shepard will succeed Mark Perkins, who resigned earlier this year to become president of Towson University in Maryland. William Kuepper became interim chancellor on July 1 and will serve until Shepard takes office on Nov. 1.
Shepard has served as provost since 1995 at Eastern Oregon University, where he is also a professor of political science. During his tenure as provost, Shepard helped lead Eastern Oregon through a strategic planning process that resulted in EOU being known as “Oregon’s Selective Undergraduate University.” He has also led the effort to revise EOU’s general education program; created an honors program and other new academic programs; and was instrumental in securing $33 million for a new Science Center.
Under Shepard’s leadership, Eastern Oregon has seen historically high retention rates, enrollment increases that have led the Oregon University System the past two years, and high ranking in U.S. News & World Report as Oregon’s only public “top tier” university.
Prior to joining EOU, Shepard spent 23 years at Oregon State University, earning tenure as a faculty member in the Department of Political Science before moving into university administration. His administrative positions at Oregon State included state government liaison specialist, special assistant to the provost, assistant vice president for undergraduate studies and director of undergraduate academic programs.
Shepard has also served as a visiting scientist at the Population Study Center in Seattle; policy analyst for the USDA Forest Service; and visiting fellow in the School of Communication and Liberal Studies at the Mitchell College of Advanced Education in Bathurst, Australia.
Shepard’s academic background includes bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in political science from the University of California, Riverside. His scholarship and teaching focuses on American government, public policy and policy analysis, research methods, and environmental and natural resource politics and policy. He has published widely and is active in numerous professional and community organizations locally and nationally.
A native of California, Shepard is an avid sailor who is married to Cyndie, a special education administrator. They have one son, Paul, who is 13.
“My wife and I are excited about joining a university with a strong foundation and bright future,” said Shepard. “It was the people — those on the campus and throughout the community – and their kindness, commitment, and energy that convinced us that great things are ahead for Green Bay and for Green Bay’s University.”
Regent Patrick Boyle of Madison chaired the Special Regent Committee for the UW-Green Bay Chancellor Search. Other members were Regents Frederic Mohs of Madison and Phyllis Krutsch of Washburn.
Shepard will be introduced by Lyall to the UW-Green Bay community at the university’s opening convocation Aug. 29. His salary and other terms of his appointment are still being negotiated.
Note to reporters: Shepard will be available for interviews from 2:30-4:30 p.m. Central Time at (541) 962-3511.
UW-Green Bay, founded in 1968, is one of 11 comprehensive universities in the statewide UW System. The university enrolls 5,500 students and is committed to a distinctive academic plan characterized by a strong interdisciplinary, problem-focused liberal education. The 700-acre campus is surrounded by an arboretum that extends to the shoreline of the bay. Green Bay is an historic riverfront/lakefront city with a metropolitan area population of 250,000 people. It is home to the National Football League Green Bay Packers and gateway to the scenic Door Peninsula vacation destination as well as the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The Weidner Center for the Performing Arts is a campus landmark and a cultural center for the Fox River Valley region.