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UW-Eau Claire Hires Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Strategic Planning

RELEASED: March 26, 2007

Mary Jane BurkardtEAU CLAIRE — University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Chancellor Brian Levin-Stankevich has announced the hiring of a communication professional with extensive experience in strategic planning and higher education communication as his special assistant to the chancellor for strategic planning.

Mary Jane Brukardt, who currently serves as associate to the provost at Eastern Washington University, will begin her new duties at UW-Eau Claire May 1.

"I'm thrilled that Ms. Brukardt is bringing her considerable experience, knowledge and skills to UW-Eau Claire," Levin-Stankevich said. "Having worked closely with her at Eastern Washington University, I know she shares my belief that meaningful strategic planning is critical if UW-Eau Claire is to continue to be a leader in higher education and to maintain its status as a world-class institution."

In her new position, Brukardt will lead the university as it develops an inclusive, effective and engaging strategic plan for UW-Eau Claire, Levin-Stankevich said.

"Through the strategic planning process, the UW-Eau Claire community will define its priorities, again identify what makes us distinctive and build a plan that creates such an extraordinary level of excellence that others must continue to look to UW-Eau Claire as the standard against which to compare themselves," Levin-Stankevich said. "It's essential that we have someone with Ms. Brukardt's experience leading us through this complex but critical process."

UW-Eau Claire has built a strong foundation of excellence, essential in a rapidly changing higher-education environment, Brukardt said, noting that changes include everything from funding and accountability concerns to student demographics.

"I'm looking forward to joining the UW-Eau Claire community in collaboratively planning our pathway through change to a future of even better service to our students," Brukardt said.

At Eastern Washington, Brukardt served as associate to the provost from September 2004 to the present. From July 2005-April 2006, she served as interim associate to the president for strategic planning.

In her position as associate to the provost, Brukardt managed a strategic planning process that produced first an academic plan and then an implementation plan with broad university support. As interim associate to the president, she continued to coordinate strategic planning efforts, and provided communication support to the interim president.

Brukardt also has strong ties to the UW System. From 1998-2003, she worked for UW-Milwaukee, first as an assistant to the chancellor for editorial projects and later as the communications director for The Milwaukee Idea. She has co-authored two books on The Milwaukee Idea with former UW-Milwaukee Chancellor Nancy Zimpher.

Since 1984, Brukardt has been a communication and project consultant for higher education institutions, non-profit organizations and corporations throughout the United States.

Brukardt earned a bachelor's degree at Wilfred Laurier University in Canada and a master's degree from Indiana University in Indianapolis.

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JB

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