Professor, former softball coach becomes interim provost at UW-River Falls

Posted September 26, 2016

Faye Perkins, a longtime professor and former Falcons softball coach at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, since July has been serving as interim provost and vice chancellor.

The hiring came after former Provost Fernando Delgado left at the end of the 2015-2016 school year for the University of Minnesota, Duluth. Delgado served in his previous role since 2009.

Perkins officially took on the two-year interim position at the beginning of July. As vice chancellor, Perkins is “second in command, like vice president, to Chancellor Van Galen,” she said. The provost position “is specifically responsible for all academic programs. The four deans and the four colleges are each responsible for their academic programs in their colleges, and then all the department chairs are responsible for their specific department. All of those people report up to me,” she added.

Other departments such as the Registrar’s Office, the Division of Technology Service, International Education, the library, and testing and tutoring all report to Perkins as well.

Van Galen, who was in charge of hiring the interim provost, says the decision to go with Perkins was a confident one.

“Being a department chair, a softball coach, a great faculty member… it’s those combinations of qualities that she brought to the position that made it an easy decision for me,” said Van Galen.

Perkins agreed that “all of those experiences provided me the background that I need to do this position effectively.”

For 22 years, Perkins was the head softball coach at UWRF. She retired following the 2015 season, and during her time with the Falcons “learned a lot about leadership through coaching. It’s about getting people to work together to toward a common goal, so whether that’s being softball coach, department chair of Health and Human Performance… those experiences have provided me a really broad range at the entire university,” Perkins said. That, she said, has helped her adjust to the role of provost.

Outside of being a head coach and a department chair, she has also been a full-time professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance at UWRF since 1997, a member of the Faculty Senate in the 1990s, and served on many university committees.

Mialisa Moline, chair of Faculty Senate, said via email that “Faye is a highly respected and trusted colleague on the UWRF campus, with a long history here in which she has built such a wonderful, well-earned reputation.”

Much like Van Galen, Moline had the same vote of confidence.

“I have full confidence in not just her abilities, but also her willingness and ethical spirit in which to accomplish great things on our campus,” she said.

Although both Van Galen and Moline have the utmost confidence in her, Perkins said she does not think she’ll apply for the permanent job as provost.

“When I took the position, I told the Chancellor I was not interested in pursuing it full time, but I want to leave my options open as well,” Perkins said.

Whether she changes her mind or goes back to teaching, Perkins “won’t be going back to coaching,” that’s for sure.