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

Five chancellor candidates named

Five candidates have been named by a 21-member search and screen committee chaired by Dr. Rama Yelkur as finalists to become the next chancellor of UW-Eau Claire.

The committee recommended the five finalists to UW System President Kevin Reilly, who officially recognized the five individuals as finalists Friday morning.

The five finalists include; Pam Benoit; Kathryn Cruz-Uribe; Anne Huot; Kent Neely and James Schmidt (see info box for more information).

The finalists will each visit Eau Claire for three days. During their visit they will have an open forum, in which all students, faculty and staff are invited to participate.

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Each candidate will present on and discuss their ideas for how to lead Eau Claire moving forward.

Neely’s visit took place Monday. He held his open forum in Schofield Auditorium and addressed a crowd of mainly faculty and staff.

During his presentation, Neely expressed the importance of a liberal education as a whole, while localizing it to campus.

“Another thing we must do,” he said, “is to demonstrate, as public institutions of higher education, that a liberal arts education continues to be viable and necessary … We are not only partners, but drivers in this evolutionary revolution in public higher education.”

According to page 16 of the summary of the UW-Eau Claire chancellor position description, the chancellor should demonstrate, “a commitment to upholding the UW System’s longstanding policy of shared governance with faculty, staff and students …” This is something Neely also addressed to the audience.

“I think shared governance means shared creativity and also shared responsibility,” he said. “Sometimes that means that there will be issues that are uncomfortable, but there will be decisions that need to
be reached.”

Neely said he is looking for the capstone of his career at Eau Claire and the chancellor position would cap off his work in the higher education system, something he has been involved in since 1976.

Huot gave her presentation on the same topic at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon in Schofield Auditorium. She said if she was elected chancellor she hopes that university objectives can be accomplished together with other members of the university community.

“My hope would be that together we would enhance the educational experience of our students, develop the talents of our human capital, we would engage in the Eau Claire community for mutual benefit,” she said. “ … and in so doing, create change that matters, that is positive, and would have lasting impression on the university.”

Huot said throughout her presentation that relationships and communication are key parts of success.

According to the summary of the position, candidates should have “the ability to formulate, articulate and implement a compelling vision for UW-Eau Claire’s future that is consistent with and expands on our current strategic vision
and values.”

Huot said the success of the campus’ ambitious philanthropic goals will be very important for the future of Eau Claire moving forward.

“Successful completion of the agenda is going to set the groundwork and foundation for the next student generation …,” Huot said. “These include your recently announced fundraising campaign, stewardship of the gifts that have already been given, further development of a business plan for the priory and importantly, analysis of, and if appropriate, advocacy for, the Confluence Project.”

Cruz-Uribe is the next candidate set to visit Eau Claire on Feb. 25 with her open forum time set for 2:30 p.m. in Schofield Auditorium.

Yelkur, the search and screen committee chair for the chancellor finalists, said after the candidates’ visits are finished March 6, a different committee will question the candidates further. A final decision will be made at an April Board of Regents meeting at UW-La Crosse.

“They will interview all five, in Madison on March 20,” she said. “At the end of the day they will have a recommendation to make. Between the campus visits and the March 20 Madison interviews, the search committee will have feedback from campus and community … and we will give that feedback to (UW System) President Reilly and the special regents committee.”

The last two finalists to visit Eau Claire will be Benoit and Schmidt on March 4 and March 6, respectively.

This is part one of a three part series covering the finalists for UW-Eau Claire chancellor. Next week will feature coverage of Kathryn Cruz-Uribe’s open forum. The March 7 issue will feature coverage of Pam Benoit and James C. Schmidt’s campus visits.

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Five chancellor candidates named