Chancellor reorganizes enrollment management team

Billy Felz named interim executive director for enrollment management

Clara Neupert

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An organizational flow chart of the enrollment management division details transitional roles for existing staff. It was sent as an attachment to Schmidt’s email on Thursday afternoon.

Just days after announcing the departure of Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management Albert Colom, UW-Eau Claire Chancellor James Schmidt has reorganized the unit charged with recruiting, admitting and retaining students.

Schmidt sent an email to students, faculty and staff around 4:15 p.m. Thursday announcing the immediate interim leadership changes. Reporters called and emailed university officials late Thursday afternoon but no one responded. 

“The Enrollment Management division was formed to better serve our students by supporting their learning, living and campus experiences,” Schmidt wrote in the email. “I’m confident this transition team will continue that commitment.”

William (Billy) Felz is interim executive director for enrollment management. Felz worked for about three years as executive director for advising and retention before starting as Colom’s special assistant on July 1, 2019. 

Two associate directors of admissions, Joey Bohl and Isabel Walters, will serve as co-directors of admissions. Heather Kretz held the top position before stepping down in 2019. 

The new positions are as follows:  

  •  Felz will serve as the interim executive director for enrollment management, reporting to Schmidt. Felz will represent the division on Schmidt’s executive team. 
  • Nikki Andrews and Kim O’Kelly will report to Felz, and continue to co-direct Blugold Central.  
  • Bohl and Walters will serve as co-directors of admissions, with Bohl serving as director for processing and Walters serving as director for recruitment. They will report to Andrews.
  • Staci Heidtke, already named interim director of the advising, retention and career Center, will continue in that role. She will report to O’Kelly. 
  • Assistant Chancellor Mike Rindo will oversee three enrollment management units:  UW-Eau Claire-Barron County campus, intercollegiate athletics, and recreation and sport operations. Brittany Nielsen, campus director of UW-Eau Claire-Barron County, Dan Schumacher, UW-Eau Claire Athletic Director, and Andy Jepsen, director of recreation and sport operations, will report directly to Rindo. These units have already been working closely with him on major facilities initiatives and community relations efforts, so this will facilitate continued efforts, Schmidt said in the email.
  • Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration John Haven will oversee housing and residence life during the transition with Quincy Chapman, the director of housing and  residence life, reporting directly to him. As residence life explores more revenue generating activities, Haven can be an important resource to the unit, Schmidt said.
  • Jennifer McGeorge, Colom’s former administrative assistant, will report to Felz and provide administrative support to the division. 

Faculty, staff and student leaders learned of Colom’s departure Monday morning via email. Colom’s final day in office was Friday, Feb. 21, and he officially stepped down from his position as vice chancellor of enrollment management Monday, Feb. 24. 

“I told Chancellor Schmidt it has become increasingly apparent to me that, regardless of the outcome of the current investigation of allegations made against me, I am no longer able to effectively serve UW-Eau Claire in a senior leadership role,” Colom wrote in his resignation statement.  

Colom is still under the UW-System’s investigation following a Feb. 3 complaint of workplace gender discrimination. He will continue to work for UW-Eau Claire off campus until Sept. 2. 

This is a developing story. More updates to follow.