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Former UW-Eau Claire Professor, Administrator Named Interim Chancellor of UW-Eau Claire

RELEASED: Feb. 4, 2005

EAU CLAIRE — UW System President Kevin Reilly will recommend to the Board of Regents during its February meeting that Dr. Vicki Lord Larson, a former long-time professor and administrator at UW-Eau Claire and retired provost from UW-Oshkosh, be the interim chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire starting in early March.

Pending the approval of the Regents, Reilly will appoint Larson, 60, to the interim position to provide leadership to the campus while a search is conducted to replace Chancellor Donald J. Mash. As of March 1, Mash will be the executive senior vice president of the UW System.

"Vicki Lord Larson is a strong, capable and experienced leader," Reilly said. "And her roots and her heart are in Eau Claire. I am confident she will do all that is best for the campus and the community."

A search and screen committee for a permanent successor will be named in the coming weeks, Reilly said.

"I will be here to serve as long as the university needs me," Larson said. "I will not be applying for the permanent position but I will provide the university community ample time to search and screen for a quality chancellor. My goal is to do what is best for UW-Eau Claire no matter how much time it takes."

Larson said she has long respected and admired UW-Eau Claire's reputation as an exceptional interactive public regional university.

"My goal as interim chancellor will be to maintain the momentum and tradition of excellence that has been established by previous chancellors, most recently Chancellor Mash, and the leadership team at UW-Eau Claire," Larson said.

As interim chancellor, Larson will earn an annual salary of $168,622.

"Given her strong leadership skills and her knowledge of and love for this campus, I am confident Dr. Larson will do an excellent job as interim chancellor," said UW-Eau Claire Provost Ron Satz. Larson and Satz worked together at UW-Eau Claire and again when both held provost positions at UW System campuses.

Larson joined UW-Eau Claire's faculty in 1973 as an assistant professor of communicative disorders. She later became a professor of communication disorders, and served as chair of the communication disorders department from 1978-83. In 1984, Larson was named assistant dean for Graduate Studies and University Research. In 1989, she was promoted to associate dean, a position she held until 1991 when she became dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Research at UW-Oshkosh.

In 1994, Larson was named acting provost and vice chancellor at UW-Oshkosh, and was named provost and vice chancellor in 1995. She retired from the institution in 2000 as an emerita professor of communication. She then served as a consultant to the UW System president from 2000-01.

From 2001-04, Larson was an acquisitions editor for Eau Claire-based Thinking Publications. In 2004, she was named acquisitions manager for the company. She will take a leave of absence from the business while she is interim chancellor.

"I'm delighted and excited to be returning to UW-Eau Claire where I have many friends," Larson said. "I spent 18 wonderful years at UW-Eau Claire as a faculty member, department chair and associate dean. In my returning to UW-Eau Claire, I am looking forward to making many new friends at the university and in the community."

Larson was in the process of moving back to Eau Claire when Reilly asked her to consider the interim chancellor position.

"I could have retired any place in the United States and I chose to retire in Eau Claire," Larson said. "I wanted to retire some place that was beautiful geographically, that was a reasonable size and had an outstanding university. I'm back in Eau Claire because I love this area and this university, and I have many friends here.

"I also have a great deal of respect for Thinking Publications, which is located here. Given all of these qualities, Eau Claire was the logical place for me to go for the next phase of my life. This outstanding university adds to the quality of life in this region, which makes it even more meaningful to have the opportunity to serve in this role during this time of transition."

A respected scholar, Larson is a past president of the Wisconsin Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Association, and in 1991 received the association's top award, Honors of the Association. She served as an American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) legislative counselor. And in 1991, she was selected as an ASHA fellow, one of the highest honors given by the national association. She is a board recognized specialist in child language and currently serves as president of the WSHA Foundation.

Larson holds baccalaureate, masters and doctoral degrees from UW-Madison.



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