Katharine C. Lyall, President
University of Wisconsin System
“Bill Messner’s departure is a great loss for the UW Colleges, the communities our two-year campuses serve, and the state of Wisconsin as a whole. His leadership has been vital in revitalizing and streamlining the UW’s 13 freshman-sophomore campuses into a valuable statewide network serving more than 12,000 students — an increase of 4,000 since the beginning of Bill’s tenure.
“Bill has managed growth in enrollments on these campuses to expand access to both adult and traditional students. He has also successfully steered the UW Colleges through recent budget cuts and ensured that UW Colleges continue to provide high-quality instruction and prepare students for academic success at four-year UW campuses. He has also helped us make dramatic progress on working more collaboratively with the Wisconsin Technical College System.
“I thank Bill for his leadership and contributions of the past seven years. True to form, his expertise and vision have provided the UW Colleges a new start for the future they want. On behalf of the UW System, I wish Bill well as he begins his presidency in Massachusetts.
“The Board of Regents will likely authorize a search for a new UW Colleges chancellor directly, and I anticipate that new UW System president Kevin Reilly and the Regents will do their best to fill Bill’s big shoes as quickly as possible. In the interim, we will ensure that the UW Colleges continue to serve their growing populations well.”