MADISON, Wis. – University of Wisconsin System President Kevin P. Reilly today announced that Dr. Thomas K. Harden, President of Clayton State University in Georgia, has been recommended as the next chancellor of UW-Green Bay.
Reilly and the Board of Regents’ Special Committee for the UW-Green Bay Chancellor Search made the recommendation after interviewing finalists identified by the campus Search and Screen Committee. The full Board of Regents is expected to act on the appointment in January.
“Dr. Harden has a distinguished record of successful service and senior-level leadership, and I am confident that he is well prepared to lead UW-Green Bay to a bright future,” Reilly said. “His demonstrated commitment to increasing retention and graduation rates, expanding campus diversity, and building stronger connections with the larger community support and fortify our ongoing commitment to excellence. Dr. Harden also brings a strong understanding of the role our UW institutions play as engines of growth for Wisconsin, and how we must work together to maximize that potential.”
Harden has served as President of Clayton State University since 2000. While providing overall leadership and direction for the university, he has worked with a large number and wide range of internal and external constituencies. During his tenure, enrollment has increased by 39 percent and the university was ranked number one in the South for campus diversity by U.S. News & World Report six out of the past seven years.
Harden previously served as Dean of the College of Technology at Eastern Michigan University; and Chairman of the Department of Technology, Acting Dean of University College, and Associate Dean of the College of Professional Studies at Northern Kentucky University.
“From the day I began to interact with people on the campus and in the community, I knew there was something special about UW-Green Bay – its people,” Harden said. “A gifted faculty, warm and dedicated staff, capable and inquiring students, and a supportive community provide the necessary components for success of a university.
“Add to these a curriculum rooted in interdisciplinarity, a commitment to environmental sustainability, and a beautiful campus, and great outcomes are possible. I look forward to
working to further enhance the success of a wonderful university and to becoming a part of the vital Green Bay community.”
Harden earned his Bachelor of Science degree in industrial education from Miami University. He earned his Master of Science from University of Dayton and Doctor of Education from the University of Cincinnati.
“Dr. Harden is centered on the needs of students and is especially qualified in his focus on expanding college access and achievement in a diverse community,” said Regent Judy Crain of Green Bay, chair of the regents’ special committee. “As the leader of the university, he believes in engaging all constituencies on the campus in moving UW-Green Bay forward in crucial times.”
Serving with Crain on the special committee were Regents Mary Quinnette Cuene, Michael Falbo, Eileen Connolly-Keesler, and Betty Womack.
If confirmed by the full Board of Regents, Harden would become UW-Green Bay’s fifth chancellor, succeeding Chancellor Bruce Shepard, who is now president of Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash.
A 21-member search and screen committee, chaired by UW-Green Bay Professor Denise Scheberle, conducted the national search and recommended Harden to Reilly and the Regents. All finalists participated in a series of meetings and receptions on the campus from Dec. 5 through Dec. 12, interacting with faculty, academic staff, classified staff, students and community members.
“The applicant pool was exceptionally strong,” Scheberle said. “Dr. Harden’s accomplishments at Clayton State University go beyond the campus to building and strengthening community relationships, through campus-community partnerships and extensive work with the university foundation. His colleagues describe him as a man of great integrity who is passionate about student learning. We look forward to his leadership at UW-Green Bay.”
Harden was one of four finalists for the UW-Green Bay chancellor position recommended by the campus committee. Other finalists were Thomas L. Olson, J.D., MECA & Technology Machine, Green Bay; Dr. Michael J. Renner, Mansfield University; and Dr. Betty Rambur, University of Vermont. Rambur withdrew from the search prior to being interviewed by the Regents.
UW-Green Bay, a growing comprehensive regional university, has an enrollment of nearly 6,200 undergraduate students and employs about 575 people. The UW-Green Bay chancellor is responsible for managing an annual operating budget of $83 million.