A Vote of Confidence

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Following signs of support on campus, Ward agrees to an extended interim term.

Ward & students

Interim Chancellor David Ward talks with students in the Memorial Union’s Main Lounge during a welcome-back event in September. Photo: Jeff Miller

UW–Madison warmly welcomed former Chancellor David Ward MS’62, PhD’63 back to campus last summer, when he agreed to lead the campus on an interim basis while UW System searched for a new permanent chancellor. Within months, faculty, staff, and students made it clear they wanted Ward to stick around beyond his initial yearlong commitment — and their wishes were granted.

In October, UW System President Kevin Reilly announced that he was extending Ward’s appointment until June 2013. “This is a great testament to Chancellor Ward’s leadership capabilities,” Reilly said. “He’s clearly made a very positive impression in a short amount of time.”

Ward stepped into the interim position following former Chancellor Biddy Martin PhD’85’s departure for Amherst College.

Members of the Faculty Senate had worried that recently launched organizational redesign efforts, including crafting a new personnel system, could flounder if attention shifted to the chancellor search later in the academic year. Representatives of the UW’s academic staff, classified staff, and student government also endorsed extending Ward’s term.

“He is the right person at the right time to lead [the university],” wrote Debbie Weber, chair of the Council for Non-Represented Classified Staff, in a September letter.

Ward, who served as chancellor from 1993 to 2000, said prior to Reilly’s announcement that he was amenable to staying longer. “If two years makes more sense than one to other people, that’s okay with me,” he said.

UW System officials say they will launch a nationwide search in fall 2012 and intend to name a new chancellor by spring 2013.

Published in the Winter 2011 issue

Tags: administration, Students, UW System

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