Schmidt was recommended for the position in March by UW System President Kevin P. Reilly and a special regents committee. Schmidt will begin his new leadership role in July.
Schmidt currently serves as vice president for university advancement at Winona State University and as executive director of the WSU Foundation board of trustees. He joined WSU in 1998, overseeing development, government relations, marketing and other functions. Working with the WSU Foundation’s president and other community leaders, Schmidt led efforts to secure significant new investments from the state and federal governments as well as private benefactors, and assets grew significantly.
He previously served as vice president for student affairs at Riverland Community College, which has campuses in Austin, Albert Lea and Owatonna, Minn. At Riverland, he was responsible for admissions, financial aid, diversity, career placement and other programs. He also has held leadership positions at Austin (Minn.) Community College and Minnesota Riverland Technical College, which has campuses in Austin, Rochester, Faribault and Owatonna, Minn.
Schmidt holds a doctorate in educational policy and administration from the University of Minnesota, a master’s degree in business administration from the University of St. Thomas and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Winona State University.
Schmidt succeeds former UW-Eau Claire Chancellor Brian Levin-Stankevich, who stepped down last spring to accept a new job as president of Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah. UW-Madison’s Gilles Bousquet has served as UW-Eau Claire’s interim chancellor since last July.