LaRue Pierce named new dean of students

Pierce to replace Joseph Abhold after five years in the postion

Jenna Erickson

More stories from Jenna Erickson

Eau Claire eats
April 2, 2020

Photo by Submitted Photo

LaRue Pierce began his duties as dean of students on Aug. 5 after being hired in July as a result of a national search.

As incoming first-year students acclimate to their new surroundings, new friendships are formed as they walk around the dorm halls, head down to lower campus for class and wait in line at the ‘caf.’

Moving onto campus and adjusting to the college lifestyle can be a huge transition for first-year students, but they aren’t the only ones new to the university. UW-Eau Claire has a new dean of students.

LaRue Pierce has been named the dean of students at UW-Eau Claire, taking over the postion formerly held by Joseph Abhold, for five years. LaRue said he is ready to ensure that students have a positive learning experience and that resources are available to help them be successful.

Pierce said he has been working with students for several years and has held positions in Minnesota, Indiana, Ohio, Massachusetts and now in Wisconsin.

“At all positions, I was responsible for the coordination of the student disciplinary process,” Pierce said. “In addition, I was responsible for identifying and responding to systemic challenges, resolving conflict and the development and delivery of resources and to support students, faculty and staff.”

Pierce attended UW-Stout, where he completed his bachelor’s degree and then went on to get his master’s degree. He said he is very passionate about his work and has many goals for the school year ahead.

“It is my hope that with the input and support of students, faculty and staff, together we will identify innovative methods to communicate resources and enhance the inclusive and engaged learning and living environment for all our students,’’ Pierce said.

Assistant to the Dean of Students Ashley Fritz said Pierce demonstrates a lot of patience and seeks to understand the experiences of other people.

“He has experience in so many different areas that I think he will help build stronger relationships across campus that will benefit students,” Fritz said.

When Pierce is not working, he said he enjoys spending his time looking for the next best Netflix series, traveling, attending sporting events, enjoying a laugh at a comedy or theater show, working out or listening to his teenage daughter educate him on the world as she knows it.

Though Pierce said he loves working with and creating long-lasting relationships with his students, he said he is happiest with family and friends.

“Any time a new person is brought into leadership, things will change,” Fritz said,” and in the few weeks he has been here his solutions to things we are working on have been great. He’s working to make us more accessible and more efficient.”

Erickson can be reached at [email protected].