This news release describes past events and should be used for historical purposes only. Please note date of release.

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

News Bureau • Schofield Hall 201Eau Claire, WI 54702
phone: (715) 836-4741
fax: (715) 836-2900
Robert Whitcomb Appointed
To Direct Continuing Education
MAILED: May 16, 2001

        EAU CLAIRE—A former Wisconsin resident has been named director of continuing education at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
        Provost and Vice Chancellor Ronald Satz announced the appointment of Dr. Robert Whitcomb, of Waterville, Maine, effective July 2. Whitcomb is a native of Milwaukee and earned his undergraduate degree at UW-River Falls. He comes to UW-Eau Claire from Thomas College, a private college in Maine, where he has been in charge of continuing education and dean of the graduate school.
        At UW-Eau Claire Whitcomb will lead the university’s newly consolidated outreach unit, which recently moved to 210 Water St. and is charged with establishing collaborative ties on and off the campus for the purpose of providing educational programs, services and partnerships for pre-college, non-traditional, special and non-degree students as well as regional employers.
        Satz said the new unit, a collaborative partnership with UW-Extension, makes it easier for citizens in the region to take advantage of opportunities that UW-Eau Claire offers. “The new location on Water Street provides easy access to campus resources. As director, Dr. Whitcomb will work closely with business, education and community leaders and serve as an ambassador for the needs of non-traditional students.”
        Whitcomb said UW-Eau Claire’s outstanding reputation attracted him to the position. He looks forward to working with the continuing education staff and with employers in the area to develop non-credit and credit education programs. “Moving the offices to a central location reinforces the unit’s relationship to the community. The unit offers a wide range of non-credit opportunities, and we will be working with area employers to develop more credit programming to serve the community’s unmet needs.”
        Janice Morse from the Provost’s Office, who chaired the Search and Screen Committee, said Whitcomb possesses a wealth of experience in continuing education in both credit and non-credit programming. “He has a strong background in program development, and the committee members believe he will be a true asset to continuing education, the university and the community.”
        In Maine, Whitcomb dealt with the community on all levels, including business, education and political entities. “We need leadership here — someone who can get out and interact with the community — and I think he will do that,” said Craig Carlson, executive director of the Eau Claire Area Industrial Development Corporation, who participated in the interview process along with other community representatives.
        Dr. Robert Hollon, an associate professor in the School of Education, believes Whitcomb will bring experience, vision and energy to the continuing education directorship.
        “At a time when the professional development of educators is undergoing transformation, it is essential that we synergize expertise and resources. Dr. Whitcomb's experience in program development and marketing will enable Continuing Education in Education to expand its ability to support innovative collaborations among University faculty, K-12 educators, and regional support agencies,” Hollon said.
        Whitcomb began his career at the University of Maine at Presque Isle where he was director of conferences and special programs from 1985 to 1992. He then moved to Thomas College where he was dean of graduate and continuing education and served on the faculty. In 1997, he was named associate vice president for continuing education and dean of the graduate school at Thomas. He holds a bachelor’s degree from UW-River Falls, master’s degree in business from Colorado State University, a certificate of advanced study in educational administration and a doctorate in education from the University of Maine.
        Sue Moore, who has served as interim director of continuing education since the consolidated unit was established last fall, will return to her position as registrar in July. Connie Russell, who has been serving as interim associate registrar, will return to her permanent assignment as assistant registrar.

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Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield 201
(715) 836-4741

Updated: May 16, 2001