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Search begins for new chancellor, the first in 26 years

January 15, 2014

The search for a new chancellor — the first since 1988 — officially began Tuesday, Jan. 14, at University of Wisconsin-Stout with the initial meeting of the search and screen committee.

UW System interim President Richard Telfer, chancellor at UW-Whitewater, issued the charge to the committee and listed some of the skills and personal qualities they should consider when they narrow the pool of candidates to a list of finalists.

Richard Telfer, left, and Petre (Nelu) Ghenciu"This is a unique institution with a special mission. It's important to find someone comfortable with that mission," Telfer said of UW-Stout, Wisconsin's Polytechnic University.

Telfer said the finalists should have high academic standards, be a good internal and external fit for the campus and community, be a diverse group, have good leadership and management skills, be good listeners, have the stamina to handle what often is a round-the-clock job and have a passion for public service. A good sense of humor is a plus, he added.

UW System Regent Andrew Peterson called the work of the search and screen committee a "critically and vitally important process. We've had great leadership under Chancellor Sorensen. We have big shoes to fill."

Jerry Addie, center, and Jeff Ohvall take notes at the meeting.Telfer suggested that committee members familiarize themselves with the duties of a chancellor by interviewing outgoing UW-Stout Chancellor Charles W. Sorensen, other area chancellors and Don Mash, a committee member and former UW-Eau Claire chancellor.

The meeting was held at UW-Stout's Memorial Student Center.

The search and screen committee timetable includes:

The list of finalists will be given to incoming UW System President Ray Cross and a special Board of Regents committee, chaired by Peterson.

The special Regent committee is scheduled to announce its choice May 23, and the full Board of Regents is scheduled to vote on the selection June 5-6, with the new chancellor expected to begin work in mid-August.

Sorensen has announced he is retiring effective Aug. 15, completing 26 years. He is the longest-serving leader in the school's 123-year history.

The committee meets in the Memorial Student Center. has 21 members.The 21-member search and screen committee is chaired by Petre (Nelu) Ghenciu, UW-Stout associate professor in the mathematics department and chair of the Faculty Senate. Other committee members represent the UW System, student body, faculty, staff and the community.

The committee will hold public forums, both on and off campus, to solicit suggestions from the campus community and area residents. The forums tentatively are scheduled between Monday, Jan. 21, and Wednesday, Jan. 29.

"You represent a lot of different people," Telfer told the committee, "but there are voices not in this room, and those voices need to be heard."

A search firm has been retained "to provide the most qualified and diverse pool of candidates possible," Telfer said, but he also asked committee members to "be involved in proactive recruitment. We want you to sell the institution."

The salary range of the new chancellor will be between $205,000 and $307,000.

A website has been created to keep the campus and the public apprised of the search and screen process.

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