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Donald Mash's message to the UW-Eau Claire community

Feb. 4, 2005

To the University Community,

I want you to know that I have accepted UW System President Kevin Reilly’s invitation to fill the newly created position of executive senior vice president of the UW System. An official announcement from Madison is being made today. I will continue as UW-Eau Claire’s chancellor through February and begin the new position in Madison on March 1.

The UW System and its campuses are facing significant challenges as the state’s financial support has continued to decline. President Reilly believes I can make a difference at the UW System level as we work to implement our shared vision of an enhanced role for the UW in shaping Wisconsin’s future. I welcome this challenge.

I have been fully engaged at UW-Eau Claire since my arrival in 1998. This is my 17th year as a campus president/chancellor and nearly my 40th year employed in higher education on a campus. I have always embraced the vitality and the people interaction present in a campus setting, and leaving this outstanding campus will be particularly difficult.

I am most grateful for the terrific support I have received from the UW-Eau Claire campus community during my time here. I am continually inspired by and proud of the outstanding work that is being done here, and I have tremendous respect and admiration for those of you who are doing it day in and day out.

We have continued to build our regional and national reputation for excellence in spite of severe financial challenges. We should take great pride in what we have been able to do here under difficult circumstances. Through your hard work and unyielding commitment to the task, we have enhanced our dynamic living and learning environment while providing our students countless opportunities to grow intellectually and personally in and outside the classroom. We have graduated thousands of students who are now excelling in their careers and giving back to their communities.

Given the exceptional faculty, staff and students who make up UW-Eau Claire, I am confident UW-Eau Claire's successes will continue long after I am gone.

A search for a new Chancellor will be conducted in the coming months, and in the interim UW-Eau Claire will be led by an experienced higher education administrator who knows the UW and this campus well. Pending the approval of the Board of Regents, President Reilly will appoint Dr. Vicki Lord Larson — a former UW-Eau Claire professor and administrator — as the interim chancellor.

Dr. Larson joined UW-Eau Claire's faculty in 1973, and later was named associate dean of graduate studies and university research. She left UW-Eau Claire in 1991 to accept the position of dean of the School of Graduate Studies at UW-Oshkosh.

From 1994-2000, Dr. Larson served as provost and vice chancellor at UW-Oshkosh. Given her extensive experience in higher education leadership positions, I am confident she will serve this campus well in the months ahead.

It has been a privilege and an honor to serve as your chancellor. I look forward to talking with many of you in the weeks and months ahead.

Donald J. Mash, Chancellor


Excellence. Our Measure. Our Motto. Our Goal.