The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Chancellor accepts position at Westminster College in Utah

At a time when America faces war with Iraq and the ongoing war on terrorism, one would think most students would know at least where the nations involved in United States foreign policy are located on a map. However, a recent survey done by the National Geographic Society proved this wrong.

Brian Levin-Stankevich

Chancellor Brian Levin-Stankevich sent an email to all campus faculty and staff Tuesday from Salt Lake City announcing his new position as the president of Westminster College.

Levin-Stankevich will be Westminster’s 17th president, succeeding current president Michael Bassis, who is retiring this summer after a 10-year tenure.

“We are extremely pleased to have attracted a top caliber institutional leader to Westminster College,” Bassis said in a Westminster press release sent out Tuesday.  “Brian (Levin-Stankevich) brings strong academic and administrative experience to the position. I’m confident he will build on Westminster’s longstanding record of success.”

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Westminster is a small, private institution with an undergraduate enrollment of 2,500, compared to UW-Eau Claire’s 10,500.

The presidential search committee recommended Levin-Stankevich to the Westminster Board of Trustees from a pool of more than 60 applicants, according to a press release posted on the college’s website Tuesday. The release also stated the 31 member board voted unanimously to appoint Levin-Stankevich, who has been the chancellor at Eau Claire since 2006.

“I am honored by the Board’s selection to follow on the highly successful presidency of Michael Bassis,” Levin-Stankevich said in the release. “My wife, Debi, and I are truly excited to join the extraordinary faculty, staff and students at Westminster College and to become contributing members of the greater Salt Lake City community.”

Student Body President Phil Rynish said he thinks the chancellor has been a great asset to the university and very student-friendly. He added that even when administrators care deeply about a place, sometimes they look to other opportunities that they might want to pursue.

“The chancellor has been a great leader for us here during the budget cut turmoil we’ve been going through,” Rynish said. “I have confidence that a committee will bring in someone that is very capable of still navigating us through these tough times.”

In his letter of application to Westminster, Levin-Stankevich expressed his frustration with the political and public funding climate in Wisconsin. He wrote that it is his belief that private institutions are most able to focus first and foremost on education and their true missions.

“Our increasing dependence on tuition and fees would work if we had pricing control and the ability to more easily use institutional aid — but that’s held tightly by the legislature,” he wrote in the letter. “So our version of entrepreneurship is managing to do what is necessary in spite of the regulations.”

Marketing professor Chuck Tomkovick said he is happy for Levin-Stankevich, adding that he served the campus “well and nobly.” Tomkovich said that he, as a university employee, is optimistic about the future but can see how the current political climate affected the chancellor’s career decision.

“It’s challenging to be in administration in the Wisconsin system right now, and the future is highly uncertain,” Tomkovich said. “It makes me wonder if we won’t see more budget tightening in the future, along with more administrators leaving.”

Junior Isaac Risseeuw reacted similarly to Tomkovick. He said he thinks the political climate in Wisconsin doesn’t favor educators.

“I really can’t blame anyone for leaving the university in this climate,” Risseeuw said. “I have other professors that are leaving for jobs in other places.”

Although information regarding the transition to a new chancellor has yet to be released, Levin-Stankevich will begin his position as president of Westminster College in June.

Editor in Chief Carolyn Tiry contributed reporting to this article.

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  • S

    studentMar 30, 2012 at 9:49 am

    What a jerk!! Destroyed our campus. We need someone who cares about our university and wants to invest there efforts here; not to use us as a stepping stone.

  • D

    DanMar 27, 2012 at 11:11 am


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Chancellor accepts position at Westminster College in Utah