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February 11, 2010

Jim Vance Passes Away, Services Announced

Jim VanceA visitation for Jim Vance, director emeritus of the American Ethnic Coordinating Office (now the Office of Multicultural Affairs) at UW-Eau Claire, will be held from 5-7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 15, at Evergreen Funeral Home in Eau Claire.

Interment will be in East Lawn Cemetery in Beloit.   

James "Jimmy Joe" Vance, age 64, Eau Claire, died on Tuesday, Feb. 9, at Dove Health Care in Eau Claire surrounded by his family.

Jim's wife, Venerian Vance, works in the Admissions Office. They have a son, Cian, and a daughter, Devon.

Jim was the director of the American Ethnic Coordinating Office from 1988 until his retirement in 2002. His 14 years at UW-Eau Claire were part of a 30-year career with the UW System.

During his time at UW-Eau Claire, Jim was responsible for numerous diversity initiatives, including the development of programs and policies to help recruit and retain multicultural students, faculty and staff; the establishment of new grant programs to support faculty/institutional interests in multicultural programming; the expansion of precollege programming; the creation of a new fundraising program to enhance funding for cultural programs; and an increase in the number of multicultural and diversity scholarships awarded. He also served as a university instructor and guest lecturer, helping students understand a variety of multicultural issues relating to a wide range of fields, including communication and journalism, education, history, English, music and theatre arts, social work, sociology, women's studies and nursing. He taught the College of Business's first Diversity in the Workplace course in the late 1990s.

Recognized throughout the UW System and Wisconsin as a model student services professional whose contributions and commitment directly impacted student achievement and success, Jim was one of two people to receive the first UW System Board of Regents Administrative and Professional Academic Staff Excellence Award.

When giving Jim the excellence award, UW System leaders noted his work to create and oversee an exemplary campuswide program to improve educational and career opportunities for African American, American Indian, Asian and Hispanic students. They praised his recruiting of multicultural students and pursuit of resources for scholarships to support their education. They also noted that he was an early advocate for UW System involvement in precollege programs that reach out to multicultural students in middle and high schools, exposing them to and preparing them for university learning.

In addition to his work on campus, Jim also contributed his expertise to a number of Eau Claire-area community organizations and presented diversity training workshops for local law enforcement personnel. After retiring from UW-Eau Claire, he served as the executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of the Greater Chippewa Valley.

Jim received his bachelor's and master's degrees from UW-Stevens Point.

A complete obituary will appear in the Eau Claire Leader Telegram on Friday, Feb. 12.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Jim Vance Scholarship, RCU, P.O. Box 970, Eau Claire, WI 54702.

Evergreen Funeral Home is serving the family. Online condolences may be sent to:

Source: UW-Eau Claire News Bureau

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