Three administrators made university ‘a better place’

By University Communications
May 25, 2017
Scott Griesbach, center, laughs with colleagues during a Strategic Planning Group meeting on campus.

Photo: Scott Griesbach, center, laughs with colleagues during a Strategic
Planning Group meeting on campus.

Three high-ranking University of Wisconsin-Stout administrators whose jobs had a direct impact on the quality of campus life for students, employees and the public are retiring this summer.

The departures include Scott Griesbach, executive director of Student Life Services; Shirley Klebesadel, Physical Plant director; and Ann Thies, University Dining Service director.

“These three administrators have dedicated their professional careers to making UW-Stout a better place to learn, live and work,” said Phil Lyons, vice chancellor for Administrative and Student Life Services, whose division includes all three offices. “We will miss them immensely, thank them for everything they have done for UW-Stout and wish them well in retirement.”

Scott Griesbach 

Scott GriesbachGriesbach has worked at UW-Stout for just shy of 18 years after working for more than 12 years at UW-Whitewater. He joined UW-Stout as director of housing before moving to his current position about 4½ years ago.

He said a major effort to renovate UW-Stout’s residence halls, which started on the north campus and is continuing on the south campus, was a major accomplishment, along with the construction of Red Cedar Hall.

“We did a lot of renovation of residence halls,” he said.

Another major effort, he said, was working with many others across campus to advance inclusion and diversity efforts through the Pride Alliance, Diversity Leadership Team and other groups.

Griesbach said he also worked hard to raise the visibility of the units he was responsible for. “I wanted the departments in Student Life Services to be recognized as invaluable to the campus,” he said. “I think we have accomplished that in the last four and a half years.”

Griesbach said he is looking forward to working on the house he shares with his husband, Tom, in St. Paul as well as traveling.

Shirley Klebesadel

Klebesadel has worked at UW-Stout for 12 years. She began her career working in facilities for the State Department of Administration, eventually becoming a regional project coordinator for the Northwest region in an area that included UW-Stout for more than 16 years.

She left state service for just over five years to work for Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., in its construction service department managing the construction unit. She left that position to come to UW-Stout.

Klebesadel said she is pleased with the tremendous number of building projects she helped secure and supervise for UW-Stout. “My goal was to get as much money for this campus as possible” in building projects.

Shirley KlebesadelThe numbers are somewhat staggering: more than 400 projects, valued at $200 million. They include the Jarvis Hall Science Wing and Addition; the complete renovation of the Memorial Student Center; the complete renovation of Harvey Hall; and on north campus the additions of North Point Dining and Fitness Center and of Red Cedar Hall, along with the renovations of Hovlid, Fleming and Wigen residence halls.

The renovation of North Hall residence hall on south campus is scheduled to be approved for design and construction as part of the June 28 State Building Commission agenda, as well as Merle M. Price Commons first floor renovation and Bowman Hall exterior renovation.

During Klebesadel’s tenure, the campus infrastructure systems also were upgraded and expanded, including electrical substation, steam and central chilled water distribution systems.

However, Klebesadel said she is most proud of the way she helped the campus recover from the June 21, 2013, flood that filled the Jarvis Hall Science Wing Addition basement, flooded parts of the Memorial Student Center and other buildings on campus and knocked out electricity in the Science Wing and Addition and Jarvis Hall Technology Wing.

“We got permanent power back into the Jarvis complex and running in six weeks,” she said.

“There is not a building on campus I haven’t done a project on,” she said, noting she still remembers being told in junior high that she couldn’t take industrial arts because she was a girl.

Klebesadel’s retirement plans include traveling, gardening and volunteering.

Ann Thies

Ann ThiesThies has worked at UW-Stout for almost 35 years but has worked in food service her entire life, starting at the first Burger King in Eau Claire before coming to UW-Stout as a cook.

“Little did I know what that job would lead to,” she said, referring to the steady move she made up the ranks in University Dining Service.

Thies said she worked hard at “building the culture and team that exists here.” That culture includes the philosophy that “everything we do takes a team and everything we do, we do for students.”

Another accomplishment, she said, is maintaining and improving the satisfaction ratings that University Dining Service consistently achieves in a survey administered by the National Association of College and University Food Services. UW-Stout consistently scores much higher than the industry averages.

Finally, Thies said, she is proud of the way the entire dining team handled the workload of managing three new building and renovation projects over three years: Price Commons in 2009, North Point Dining in 2010 and the student center in 2012.

“We always had two of them going at the same time,” she said. She recalled being in planning meetings and “getting lost” about what project was being discussed, adding, “It was crazy.”

Thies said retirement plans include working in the garden, cooking for her family and “getting to know our neighbors again.”



Second Photo: Scott Griesbach

Third Photo: Shirley Klebesadel

Bottom Photo: Ann Thies