New chancellor at UWRF could be hired by summer

Posted November 19, 2020

The search for the next chancellor at UW-River Falls is expected to begin late this year, says a university spokesperson, and the position could be filled by next summer.

After an 11-year tenure as chancellor, Dean Van Galen vacated the office this past summer to become the new president of Missouri Southern State University. Connie Foster returned to the role of interim chancellor on July 1. She first served as interim chancellor in 2008.

Chancellor’s Office Chief of Staff Beth Schommer detailed a potential timeline for the search set to begin in November and explained how the search process works.

She said the UW System Board of Regents could have a search committee formed by mid-November, the job posted by mid-January, on-site interviews held in April, and a new chancellor appointed by July 1, 2021.

The search process begins with the forming of a committee called the Special Regent Committee, a committee made up strictly of board members, according to the UW System website. The role of the committee is to determine if there are any special qualifications that it believes should be considered for the search.

Next, a committee titled the Search and Screen Committee will be formed. It will be comprised of board members along with members of the UWRF community. This committee must create a job description. Once that is finalized and posted, the committee can start screening candidates and conducting interviews.

The top three candidates will be determined and then interviewed again as finalists. Finally, a finalist and salary are approved by the entire board, and a new chancellor will be installed.

Ultimately, the responsibility to appoint a new chancellor falls on the Board of Regents, said Schommer. While the COVID-19 pandemic would seem to present challenges for the search, Schommer said that the Board of Regents has been able to perform the task effectively for other UW campuses within the past year. Both UW-Stout and UW-Green Bay appointed news chancellors in the spring of 2020, and UW-Stevens Point will have a new leader starting on Jan. 11.