photo credit: uwm.edu
The UW-System administration has released the names for three finalists being considered for the chancellor position in a press release around noon today.
The names are as follows:
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
University of Missouri-Kansas City
William M. Mike Sherman
Senior Vice President and Provost; Chief Operating Officer
University of Akron
Mark A. Mone
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
The announcement of three names comes as a surprise, the UW-System’s office had originally scheduled for five finalists to be announced.
38 applicants from across the country were considered for the position. A specialized search committee for the chancellor’s position distilled the list of applicants into five finalists which were submitted to the UW-System’s president Ray Cross’ office yesterday. The finalists’ were approved for release shortly thereafter.
The search committee, appointed by Cross’ office, consisted of an eclectic group of 27 members from within the UWM community. It includes 14 faculty members, two academic staff members, two classified staff members, two UWM students, two UW-System administrators, and five community representatives. The committee convened for the first time in early May.
Among the 14 faculty members involved in the search committee was Mark Schwartz, distinguished professor in the geography department and chair of the committee.
“We understand where we want to go and what we’re going to do,” said Schwartz when asked what qualities are being looked for in a new chancellor. “We’re looking for someone to come in and take the point and lead the charge.”
But what specifically does UW-Milwaukee need done?
UWM is currently in the process of finishing a few major construction projects including the collection of buildings on the Innovation Campus, the completion of the Kenwood Interdisciplinary Research Complex and plans for a potential new student union.
Another major issue for UW-Milwaukee will be acquiring sources for funding amongst the tuition freeze put in place by Gov. Scott Walker.
Also among the committee was student Ryan Sorenson, president of the Student Association at UW-Milwaukee.
“It’ll be good for our new chancellor to make sure they still have that vision for UWM, that we are 21st-century school,” said Sorenson.
The new chancellor will have big shoes to fill. In previous chancellor Michael Lovell’s short 3-year stint as chancellor he oversaw the execution of some of the major campus construction projects and proposed numerous social, academic and economic initiatives.
Among other concerns for the committee is the high turnover rate and short tenures at the chancellor’s position. This will be the third search for a chancellor at UW-Milwaukee in 10 years.
“Realistically our situation here is that if someone is here and they’re very good there’s a chance that they think about going to some other place,” said Schwartz. “It’s a double edged sword. On the other hand if you have a chancellor that you aren’t very happy with you’d probably be happy that they left.”
Sorenson seemed to agree stating “UWM produces a lot of good leaders, and sometimes UWM is used as a stepping stone for chancellors to achieve higher goals in their life.”
Looking ahead, the screening schedule for candidates will become very rigorous. The candidates will individually visit UWM to take tours around campus and partake in public forums where students, faculty and community members can take part in dialogue with the candidates.
Each candidate will be then be interviewed by UW-System president Ray Cross and the regents committee on Dec. 10.
The committee and the UW-System administration plan to have their final choice for the position by Dec. 15. The new chancellor’s start date will rely heavily on the circumstances of the individual selected for the position. Theoretically the new chancellor could take over on Jan. 1, 2015, although it is highly unlikely.