Dr. Richard J. Telfer

MADISON, Wis.—Dr. Richard J. Telfer, interim chancellor at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, has been recommended as the institution’s next chancellor.

UW System President Kevin P. Reilly and the Board of Regents’ Special Committee for the UW-Whitewater Chancellor Search today announced the recommendation. The full board is expected to act on the recommendation in June.

“With 23 years of service to UW-Whitewater, Dick Telfer knows the campus from top to bottom,” said Reilly. “He came up through the faculty ranks, earning the respect of fellow educators and students along the way, demonstrating an uncommon commitment to the university and the whole community. Dick has a lot of ‘sweat equity’ in this public university. He has been, and will be, a tireless champion for higher education in Wisconsin.”

Prior to his appointment as interim chancellor in June 2007, Telfer served as provost and vice chancellor at UW-Whitewater for five years, and associate vice chancellor from 1997-2002. He previously served as a professor and department chair in UW-Whitewater’s curriculum and instruction department, and as an assistant dean in the campus’s graduate school. He first joined the campus as an assistant professor in 1985.

“I am pleased and humbled to have been selected as the next chancellor of UW-Whitewater – a great institution. I am committed to leading this university by building on its strong foundation,” said Telfer. “We will continue to emphasize our regional leadership, national presence and global vision.

“I am proud of our students, faculty and staff and the role this campus plays in helping our students become leaders in their professions and communities,” said Telfer. “We embrace the Wisconsin Idea and dedicate ourselves to being a force in driving our area’s diverse economy well into the 21st Century. This is an exciting time at UW-Whitewater. I am honored to have the opportunity to lead this exceptional university.”

“We had a very strong pool of candidates, all of whom are likely to become chancellors or presidents themselves,” said UW-Whitewater Professor Jimmy Peltier, chair of the campus search and screen committee. “Throughout our very inclusive interview process, Dr. Telfer won the widespread support from students, faculty, staff, administration and members of the Whitewater community. With that strong support, he is positioned to propel UW-Whitewater toward a very bright future.”

Telfer earned his Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from UW-Madison. He has a bachelor’s degree in speech/English and a master’s degree in secondary education/reading improvement from Central Michigan University.

Telfer was one of five finalists for the UW-Whitewater chancellor position recommended by a campus search-and-screen committee. The other finalists were Dr. Nancy Kleniewski, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Bridgewater State College (Mass.), Dr. Alfred J. Guillaume, Jr., vice chancellor for academic Affairs at Indiana University South Bend, Dr. Kenneth W. Borland, interim president of East Stroudsburg University (Penn.) and Dr. John W. Folkins, chief executive officer of Bowling Green State University Research Institute (Ohio).

“We were fortunate to find someone who understands our UW System, who really knows the lay of the land and the culture at UW-Whitewater,” said Danae Davis, chair of the Board of Regents Special Committee. “The fact that our own interim chancellor emerged as the frontrunner from this excellent group is a testament to the caliber of talent we have right here in Wisconsin. Dick will provide an important sense of stability for the campus, along with a strong passion for making headway with UW-Whitewater’s strategic plan. People in the broader university community will benefit from his talent, commitment and experience.”

Serving with Davis on the Regents’ Special Committee were fellow regents Peggy Rosenzweig, Mike Spector and Colleene Thomas.

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is a comprehensive university located between Milwaukee and Madison. With pride in its student-centered campus atmosphere, UW-Whitewater offers 46 undergraduate and 13 graduate degree programs, and has helped to launch the careers of more than 72,000 alumni. More information about the campus is available at

Media Contacts

Sara Kuhl UW-Whitewater (262) 472-1194
David Giroux UW System (608) 262-4464