Robert M. Meyer named new UW-Stout chancellor

May 27, 2014

Robert M. Meyer, president of Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College, has been named the next chancellor of University of Wisconsin-Stout.

The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents today approved Meyer's appointment, following the recommendation made by a selection committee. Meyer begins work Aug. 16, 2014.

Chancellor Charles W. Sorensen has announced he is retiring Aug. 15 after 26 years at UW-Stout. Meyer will be the seventh chancellor in the history of UW-Stout.

"I plan a fast start as chancellor, drawing upon my experiences and relationships developed as a UW-Stout graduate, faculty member and leader," Meyer said. "UW-Stout's impressive faculty and staff are devoted to student learning and maintaining the great success its graduates have in the workplace: a 97 percent employment rate.

Robert M. Meyer"I am absolutely thrilled to be able to work with students, faculty and staff to build upon the institution's mission as Wisconsin's Polytechnic University."

Meyer joined Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College in Shell Lake in 2008. He serves as the college's chief executive officer, providing leadership and vision to the college, overseeing all aspects of its operations. He also facilitates strategic planning and outcomes and aligns divisional plans and WITC's $78 million budget to the strategic plan. 

In his time at WITC Meyer expanded partnerships with K-12 districts, technical colleges and universities and increased WITC Foundation holdings more than 50 percent. During his tenure, WITC was recognized three times among the top 10 of Washington Monthly Magazine's national rankings of two-year colleges.

Meyer brings nearly three decades of experience with UW-Stout to his new position. In addition to time on campus as a student, Meyer spent 25 years at UW-Stout in various professional roles, including assistant to the chancellor for state and federal relations; dean of the College of Technology, Engineering and Management; associate dean of outreach; and director of the Stout Technology Transfer Institute.

"Dr. Meyer is an established leader with an extensive knowledge of Wisconsin and a long-time affinity with UW-Stout. He understands its mission, challenges and potential and how higher education must evolve to meet the needs of those it serves," said UW System President Ray Cross. "He has a distinguished record of successful service and senior-level leadership, and I am confident he is well-prepared to lead UW-Stout to a bright future."

Robert M. MeyerMeyer holds a Ph.D. in industrial engineering from the University of Minnesota. He earned a master's in management technology and a B.S. in industrial education, both from UW-Stout.

"It will be a privilege and an honor to serve as UW-Stout's next chancellor," Meyer added. "Since it was founded by James Huff Stout in 1891, the university has enjoyed a rich history. It is renowned for its applied programs and strong ties with employers that enable graduates to go out in the world with such success."

"This is an exciting time for UW-Stout. Dr. Meyer brings an impressive portfolio of scholarship and leadership and, just as importantly, a tremendous commitment to the polytechnic mission of the university," said Petre (Nelu) Ghenciu, associate professor of mathematics, who chaired the 21-member campus search and screen committee. "I am confident that our new chancellor will provide the right mix of vision, people skills and collaboration that will be needed to lead UW-Stout now and in the future. I look forward to working with him to accomplish the goals that will be set forth in the weeks and months to come."

"We were very impressed with Dr. Meyer as an experienced educational leader who understands what it takes to help students succeed in college," said Regent Drew Petersen of Madison, chair of the Board of Regents committee that interviewed all of the finalists with Cross. "UW-Stout is about to begin a new chapter in its long and storied history. Dr. Meyer is a well-established scholar whose leadership and vision complement the legacy of Chancellor Sorensen. He will be a great asset to the university, the UW System and the state."

Other members of the special Regent committee included Margaret Farrow (Pewaukee), Tim Higgins (Appleton), and Edmund Manydeeds (Eau Claire).

In line with market-based compensation guidelines approved by the Board of Regents last October, Meyer will earn $230,000 as chancellor.

UW-Stout, Wisconsin's Polytechnic University, has 45 undergraduate majors and 23 graduate programs, including one doctoral degree. UW-Stout, established in 1891, prides itself on the success of its students in the workplace, with an employment rate at or above 97 percent for recent graduates. The university was awarded the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality award in 2001.


Photo: Robert M. Meyer speaks on campus during his presentation as a chancellor finalist.
Video: Meyer presents as chancellor finalist.