MADISON—Carlos E. Santiago, provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University at Albany, State University of New York, has been recommended as the next chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
UW System President Katharine C. Lyall and the Board of Regents’ Special Committee for the UWM Chancellor Search announced the recommendation of Santiago on Monday (March 1). The full board will act on the recommendation at its meeting on Friday (March 5).
“Dr. Santiago is the perfect choice to lead Wisconsin’s public urban research university,” Lyall said. “He has proven experience in leading a large research university in an urban setting within a major public university system. He also has accomplished a great deal in putting SUNY-Albany to work on economic development issues for the benefit of Albany and the state of New York, and we look forward to his doing the same for Milwaukee and Wisconsin.”
Santiago has served as provost since April 2001 at the University at Albany, one of four research campuses in the 64-campus SUNY system. In that role he functions as the campus’ chief operating officer and chief academic officer. In addition, he served as the “officer in charge” of the Albany campus, following the departure of University at Albany President Karen R. Hitchcock.
“I am absolutely delighted by the confidence that the campus search committee, the Regent selection committee, headed by Jose Olivieri, and President Lyall have placed in me in recommending me as the next chancellor of UW-Milwaukee,” said Santiago. “UW-Milwaukee is a great institution with outstanding faculty and staff. I was very impressed when I visited there last week. The hospitality of UWM and the community toward me and my wife was very much appreciated and my sense of it being a good fit for us was instrumental in my decision to accept this nomination,” he added.
“I look forward to working with the campus, UW System colleagues and government, community and business leaders to advance the strategic goals of the institution including the continued enhancement of scholarship and research funding, community partnerships, international programs, private fund raising and economic development. Milwaukee is a vibrant, exciting city and it will be an honor to lead one of its most distinguished institutions.”
Santiago served as associate provost and dean of graduate studies at the Albany campus prior to being named provost, and he holds the rank of full professor of Latin American & Caribbean Studies and economics.
Santiago earned his Ph.D. in economics from Cornell University, and he holds master’s degrees in economics from Cornell and the University of Puerto Rico. He graduated with a bachelor’s in economics from the University of Miami. A native of Puerto Rico, Santiago is the first Puerto Rican to head a research university in the United States, Lyall said.
“Dr. Santiago’s personal background and his scholarship in Latin American & Caribbean Studies will be strong assets to UWM as the university continues to grow in national and international prominence,” Lyall said.
Santiago said he is fully aware of the funding challenges faced by public higher education and looks forward to working with colleagues in Wisconsin to address them.
“Being in New York’s capital city, I am very familiar with how state funding operates and I know that UW-Milwaukee and the UW System, in general, have been experiencing state funding challenges, as have our SUNY institutions. I look forward to helping make a strong case for funding public higher education and student financial aid in Wisconsin,” said Santiago, who is expected to make a return visit to Milwaukee within the next week or so.
Santiago has worked at the University at Albany since 1988, when he was appointed associate professor of Latin American & Caribbean Studies and economics. Other positions he has held at the campus include chair of the Department of Latin American & Caribbean Studies; special assistant to the office of the president; associate director of the Center for Latino, Latin American and Caribbean Studies; and chair of the university’s Faculty Senate.
Before joining the Albany campus, Santiago was an assistant professor and associate professor at Wayne State University in Detroit. He also served as a senior research economist for the Governor’s Economic and Financial Council in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
A labor economist with regional expertise in the Caribbean and Central America, with special emphasis on Puerto Rico, Santiago’s research interests include labor market issues, problems of structural adjustment and debt, and labor migration to the United States.
Santiago has authored or co-authored five books and more than 30 articles and book reviews, and he has received grants and fellowships from the Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Fulbright Association, National Science Foundation and the Russell Sage Foundation. In 1996 he was named one of the top 100 most influential Hispanic leaders by Hispanic Business.
Santiago was one of four finalists for the UWM chancellor position recommended by a UWM campus search-and-screen committee. The other finalists were Charles DeLisi, professor of science & engineering, professor of physics, professor of biomedical engineering, and senior associate provost for biosciences at Boston University; Samuel Kirkpatrick, president of Eastern Michigan University; and Roderick McDavis, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University. Kirkpatrick officially withdrew as a candidate after interviews last Friday.
The Board of Regents’ Special Committee for the UWM Chancellor Search was chaired by Olivieri and included Regents Elizabeth Burmaster, Danae Davis, Charles Pruitt and Student Regent Beth Richlen.
Santiago is married and has three daughters. His expected start date is on or around July 15.
With an operating budget of about $430 million, UW-Milwaukee offers 81 undergraduate majors, 49 masters’ degrees, and 19 doctoral programs, serving over 26,000 students. The campus is in an attractive urban setting near the shores of Lake Michigan, minutes from downtown Milwaukee.
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