MADISON — Dr. Ann M. Lydecker, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Bridgewater (MA) State College, has been recommended to the University of Wisconsin (UW) System Board of Regents for appointment as the next chancellor of UW-River Falls. The full board will act on the recommendation at its March 10 meeting. The appointment would be effective August 1.

The recommendation was made by a Special Regent Committee and UW System President Katharine Lyall, following interviews on February 22 with Lydecker and four other finalists. The five were forwarded for consideration by a UW-River Falls campus/community search and screen committee. Each finalist visited UW-River Falls during the week of February 11-18 to meet with faculty, staff, students and the public.

“Ann Lydecker is an excellent fit for the position at UW-River Falls,” said Lyall. “Her administrative and faculty experience, both in Massachusetts and Minnesota, have prepared her well for this challenging new role. I very much look forward to working with her.”

Lydecker would succeed Gary Thibodeau, who is currently the longest-serving chancellor in the UW System. He announced last August that he would retire in 2000 after 15 years as the 13th chancellor at UW-River Falls.

Lydecker, 55, came to Bridgewater State in 1992 as the founding dean of its School of Education and Allied Studies. Three years later, she was named acting vice president for academic affairs. She was appointed to the position permanently in 1996 following a national search. At the time, Bridgewater President Adrian Tinsley stated that “Dr. Lydecker has established a reputation for attention to process, attention to detail, fairness, honesty, [and] integrity.” She also cited Lydecker’s “demonstrated ability to focus on academic issues and provide strong academic leadership.”

Bridgewater State is the comprehensive public college of southeastern Massachusetts. It was founded in 1840 and has an enrollment of more than 9,000 students. Bridgewater, founded in 1656, is a community of 21,000, located about 30 miles from both Boston and Providence.

Prior to coming to Bridgewater State, Lydecker was professor and chairperson of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Mankato (MN) State University. She was there from 1987 to 1992, following seven years as an assistant and associate professor of education at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota (1980-87).

Lydecker’s background includes a B.A. degree in psychology (1966) and an M.A.T. degree in elementary education (1972), both from Oberlin College. From 1971 to 1977, she was a school teacher in Oberlin, Ohio and Onsted, Michigan. She received a Ph.D. degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Michigan in 1982.

Lydecker was born and raised on a dairy farm near Adrian, Michigan. She is married to William Lydecker, and they have four grown sons: Peter Lydecker, Andrew Lydecker, J. Martin Favor, and Rich Favor. They also have one grandson, Mitchell Favor.

Regent Toby Marcovich of Superior chaired the Special Regent Committee for the UW-River Falls Chancellor Search. Other members were Regents Jonathan Barry, Mount Horeb; Ruth Marcene James, Fennimore; and Patrick Boyle, Madison.

UW-River Falls was founded in 1874, and is one of 11 comprehensive universities in the statewide UW System. The university enrolls 5,728 students in four areas: the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences; College of Arts and Sciences; College of Education and Graduate Studies; and School of Business and Economics. River Falls is a community of 12,000 people, and is located about 25 miles east of Minneapolis-St. Paul.


Sharyn Wisniewski, UW System
(608) 262-6448