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UW-Rock County dean announces retirement plans

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Gazette Staff
January 19, 2011
— UW-Rock County Dean Diane Pillard announced Tuesday she will retire in July from the position she's held for five years.

Pillard, who also served as the school's chief executive officer, cited personal reasons for retiring.


"When I accepted the deanship a little more than five years ago, I promised the campus I would serve for a minimum of five years," she said in a statement.


"I have fulfilled that promise, and it has been a true pleasure. But I have two of the most adorable grandchildren tugging on my heartstrings, so after 27 years with the UW Colleges, I have decided to spend more time with family."


An interim dean likely will be announced in coming months while the search for a new dean is conducted, a process that may take up to a year, according to a news release.


Pillard of Milton will end a long history with the Janesville campus and with the UW Colleges, an umbrella organization under which UW-Rock is one of 13 two-year campuses.


Pillard started at UW-Rock in 1984 as the director of university relations. She later took on the additional role of outreach program manager.


Pillard also was an associate lecturer of communication for the campus and served as an adviser for the student newspaper. In 1999, she accepted a position at the UW Colleges central office in Madison as director of continuing education and extended services, a position she held for six years before returning to UW-Rock County as interim dean in 2005.


Following a national search, Pillard officially was named dean in January 2006.


Several major accomplishments occurred during Pillard's tenure as dean. These include the addition of a collaborative engineering degree program with UW-Platteville and the construction of the engineering center at UW-Rock; completion of an $11 million building and renovation project; record-breaking enrollment on the campus for the past several years; and the addition of a collaborative bachelor's degree in nursing with UW-Oshkosh and Blackhawk Technical College.


Pillard's role as a leader on the campus extends to the community through her work with the Leadership Development Academy, numerous community organizations and nonprofit boards that include Cedar Crest and St. Mary's Janesville Hospital.


Pillard was named a Woman of Distinction by the YWCA of Rock County in 2008 and is the 2010 recipient of Forward Janesville's Woman of Excellence Award.



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