Patrick Guilfoile appointed provost and vice chancellor

By University Communications
May 4, 2015
Patrick Guilfoile

Photo: Patrick Guilfoile

Patrick Guilfoile, associate vice president of Academic Affairs at Bemidji State University in Minnesota, has been appointed provost and vice chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs at University of Wisconsin-Stout, Chancellor Bob Meyer announced Thursday, April 30.

"Following a national search, Patrick emerged as the candidate with the right educational background, academic experience and higher education vision to help guide UW-Stout in this complex and challenging environment," Meyer said in a memo sent this morning to campus. "I look forward to Patrick joining my senior leadership team as we tackle the complex issues that confront us today and plan for a bright future for UW-Stout."

Guilfoile's starting date is July 1, 2015. He replaces Jackie Weissenburger, who has served as interim provost and vice chancellor since Jan. 1, 2013.

Guilfoile said he became familiar with UW-Stout through an acquaintance who "was always talking about the great things that were happening at UW-Stout. So that piqued my interest" in the provost position.

"When I investigated the position," Guilfoile said, "I felt there was a good match between my interests and abilities and the requirements of the position. In addition, I think UW-Stout's polytechnic focus puts the institution in a very strong position to deal with many of the challenges currently facing higher education."

Guilfoile has been at Bemidji State since 1994, rising through the ranks as a biology professor and entering academic leadership in 2000 as chair of the biology department. He has served as the associate dean of two colleges from 2007 to 2009, when he assumed the position of associate vice president for Academic Affairs.

In that role he coordinated the universitywide assessment of student learning outcomes and served as the institutional liaison for the Higher Learning Commission. In Academic Affairs, he took the lead in budgeting, curriculum review, faculty hiring, grant and contract review and the development of academic facilities. He also supervised the office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness, the Registrar's office and the library.

Guilfoile's educational background includes a bachelor's degree in biology and outdoor education from Northland College;a master's degree from UW-Eau Claire in teaching biology;and a doctorate in bacteriology from UW-Madison. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research at MIT.

Guilfoile has strong Wisconsin roots. Besides his educational experiences in the state, he was a middle and high school biology and earth science teacher at Greenwood High School for three years in the 1980s and was born and raised in Fond du Lac.

"Initially, my major goal is to gain a deep understanding about the institution in order to focus on strengths and opportunities," Guilfoile said. "I also want to make sure our faculty, staff and administrators feel valued at a time when support for higher education has diminished. Our work in higher education is noble, and I will work hard to convey my appreciation for the very challenging and important work that our faculty, staff and administrators do."

He concluded: "I'm very excited about being on campus in the near future and working hard to assist faculty, staff and administrators in meeting their professional goals and to help students meet their educational goals."

Meyer thanked Weissenburger for her work as interim provost for more than two years.

"I want to personally thank Jackie Weissenburger for her devoted and enlightened service as our interim provost and vice chancellor," Meyer said. "Her advice and support during my transition time has been invaluable.

"I also want to thank the members of the provost search committee for their time and efforts in filling this critical position," Meyer added.