MADISON, Wis. – University of Wisconsin System President Kevin P. Reilly today appointed a 23-member search and screen committee to help identify a successor to UW Colleges and UW-Extension Chancellor David Wilson, who has accepted an appointment as the next president of Morgan State University in Baltimore.

Reilly appointed 12 faculty members, two academic staff members, two classified staff members, and two students to the committee. They are joined by two institutional administrators, one UW System representative, and two community representatives. Professor Christine Kniep, Family Living, Cooperative Extension, UW-Extension, will chair the committee.

Serving on the Search and Screen Committee are:


  • Iddi Adam, Associate Professor, Geography, UW-Marshfield/Wood County
  • Demetrius Brown, Associate Professor, Youth Development, Cooperative Extension, UW-Extension
  • Asif Habib, Professor, Chemistry, UW-Waukesha
  • David Hart, Associate Professor, Environmental Sciences, UW-Extension
  • Shirley Hensch, Professor, Psychology, UWC Online (UW-Marshfield/Wood County)
  • Gail Hoffman, Associate Professor, Physical Education, UW-Richland
  • Randy Knapp, Professor, Agriculture/Ag Business, Cooperative Extension, UW-Extension
  • Christine Kniep, Professor, Family Living, Cooperative Extension, UW-Extension
  • Rachel Knighten, Assistant Professor, World Languages, UW-Fox Valley
  • Karen Nelson, Associate Professor, Youth Development, Cooperative Extension, UW-Extension
  • Louis Pech, Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences, UW-Marathon County
  • Fariba Pendleton, Professor, Community Resource Development, Cooperative Extension, UW-Extension

Academic Staff

  • Lynne Blinkenberg, Sr. Outreach Specialist, Wisconsin Public Television, UW-Extension
  • Liberty (Libby) Heidmann, Advisor, TRIO/Returning Adult, UW-Marathon County

Classified Staff

  • Amy Alston, HR Assistant Advanced, UW Colleges
  • Peter Sobol, IT Network Services Professional, Broadcasting & Media Innovations, UW-Extension


  • Al Hardersen, CEO/Campus Dean, UW-Sheboygan
  • Yvonne Horton, Assoc. Dean/Director, Cooperative Extension, UW-Extension
  • Don Mash, Executive Senior Special Assistant, President’s Office, UW System


  • Nichole Guelcher, student, UW-Marshfield/Wood County
  • Neil Jackson, Lincoln County 4-H member, Cooperative Extension, UW-Extension

Community Representatives

  • Allen Buechel, County Executive, Fond du Lac County
  • Thomas Lee, Director, Wausau-Marathon County Diversity Affairs Office


Following an intensive search and screening process, the committee is expected to recommend five candidates as finalists for consideration by Reilly and a special Board of Regents committee chaired by Regent Jeffrey Bartell. Others serving on the special committee include Regent Tony Evers, Regent José Vásquez, and Regent Aaron Wingad. Following a series of public presentations and personal interviews, Reilly and the special committee will recommend one individual to the full Board of Regents, which must approve the appointment.

The campus search committee will convene for the first time on March 17 in Madison. At that meeting, Bartell and Reilly will officially charge the committee with its mission and roles, review procedures, and launch the national search.

UW Colleges includes 13 freshman/sophomore campuses and the UW Colleges Online that provide the liberal arts foundation of a bachelor’s degree, preparing students for transfer to any four-year UW campus.  UW-Extension includes Cooperative Extension offices in 72 counties and three tribal nations, as well as continuing education programs delivered via the UW campuses and a growing menu of online degree programs. UW-Extension also includes the 13 Small Business Development Centers and the statewide broadcast networks of Wisconsin Public Radio and Wisconsin Public Television.

Media Contacts

Teri Venker UW-Extension and UW Colleges 608-263-5061
David Giroux UW System (608) 262-4464