STEVENS POINT, Wis. – Chancellor Linda Hunt Bunnell, the 13th chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, announced today that she will step down from her leadership post on May 31 to return to her consulting firm based in Denver. She has led the university since June 2004.
“We can all be proud of our university’s many accomplishments in recent years,” said Bunnell. “UW-Stevens Point is now ready and poised to proceed to the next level,” she added.
During her tenure, UW-Stevens Point’s enrollment grew to 9,163 students, the highest in 17 years, and the number of students from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds increased by 22 percent.
As the UW System called on UW-Stevens Point to broaden its services to the Central Wisconsin region, Bunnell’s leadership brought about the development of the university’s first campus master plan for physical growth in 40 years. The university charted a course for academic program expansion, including the additions of programs in health sciences and biochemistry, and awarded its first doctoral degrees in audiology, in partnership with UW-Madison. The Department of Business and Economics is pursuing its national accreditation, as is the Paper Science and Engineering program.
The university also has begun offering its undergraduate business program in partnership with UW-Marathon County, and Bunnell established UW-Stevens Point’s first physical presence in Wausau, with the Center for Leadership Excellence & Economic Development providing courses and certificate programs to professionals from throughout the region.
Also under Bunnell’s leadership, UW-Stevens Point initiated and expanded its applied research capabilities in biofuels, aquaculture, nanotechnology, and geographic information systems. The university has ranked at or near the top in federal funding among all of the UW System’s regional universities.
UW-Stevens Point leads all Wisconsin universities in the percentage of students who study abroad and has greatly enlarged its enrollment of international students, in keeping with Bunnell’s and UW System’s vision of creating global citizens. Further, the university has maintained and developed important exchange agreements with international universities.
The university maintained its U.S. News Top Ten ranking among the Midwest’s public universities, was named Wisconsin’s “greenest university” by The Princeton Review, and Newsweek ranked it among America’s “most interesting” universities.
Bunnell was among the first university leaders in the nation to sign the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. She established the university’s first Sustainability Task Force with eight subcommittees.
UW System President Kevin P. Reilly, in accepting Bunnell’s decision, said that under Bunnell’s leadership UW-Stevens Point has enhanced its standing in central Wisconsin and across the state.
“UW-Stevens Point is really at the forefront in a broad range of studies related to the environment and sustainability. This is especially evident in the Wisconsin Institute for Sustainable Technology – a collaborative research, teaching, and outreach center that will act as an economic development center for the region,” Reilly said.
“The campus is a major economic engine for the region and the entire state. We will work with faculty, staff, students, senior academic leaders, and others there to sustain the university’s solid academic reputation and its positive community impact. Moving forward, we hope that these diverse stakeholders will unite under a shared commitment to the university and its vital, enduring mission,” Reilly said.
Before coming to UW-Stevens Point, Bunnell served the College Board as senior vice president for higher education. Prior to joining the College Board, she was chancellor of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs for eight years.
A Texas native, Bunnell earned her B.A. at Baylor University. She earned her Ph.D. and master’s degrees in English literature at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Mark Nook, UW-Stevens Point Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs since 2007, will serve as interim Chancellor, effective June 1. Nook earned his Ph.D. in astronomy from UW-Madison. He previously served as Dean of Undergraduate Studies at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota. The terms of his interim appointment will be brought to the UW Board of Regents in May for approval.