Following the resignation of Chancellor Beverly Kopper, UW-Whitewater and the UW System will in the coming months have their attention turned to finding who will become the university’s 17th top administrator.
Kopper wrote to UW System President Ray Cross on Dec. 6 saying she knew the Board of Regents wanted new leadership in Whitewater in a one-sentence letter offering her resignation effective Dec. 31.
Cross in the summer told Kopper that her husband, Alan “Pete” Hill, would be banned from campus after an investigation showed the allegations he sexually harassed female employees had merit.
As the search for a new chancellor moves forward in 2019, Kopper will be on paid leave—making eight months’ worth of her $242,760 annual chancellor’s salary. She is then slated to return to campus as a tenured professor in the Department of Psychology for the next fall semester—making $118,308 on a nine-month salary.
Cross announced Friday that Cheryl Green, currently the vice chancellor for student affairs at UW- Oshkosh, will serve as UW-Whitewater’s interim chancellor starting Jan. 1.
Green will not be eligible for the permanent position.
While UW System policy does not require Cross to make a committee for an interim appointment, he was “urged to consult with members of the university community where a chancellor vacancy is expected.”
Cross can decide the length of the interim appointment, but it cannot exceed three years.
He gave no specific timeline for Green’s appointment in his Friday announcement but said the board of regents’ goal is to have someone selected by June 1—the end of the 2018-19 academic year.
When it comes to picking who will become the new official chancellor, the board of regents will eventually vote to approve an appointee and salary.
The regent president names a special committee of three to five regents. The committee should then meet with Cross and UW-W students, faculty and staff to develop a job description.
“The job description shall be inclusive and encourage applicants from various professional backgrounds and not require candidates for chancellor to have a terminal degree or the academic experience to be awarded tenure at the institution,” the policy states.
Then, a search and screen committee eventually will create a list of finalists.
The special committee will take the list and determine which finalists will get further interviews and campus visits.
Kopper in July 2015 replaced Richard Telfer, who started as chancellor in 2007. Kopper also served as interim chancellor herself from Jan. 1 to Feb. 14, 2014, while Telfer served as interim UW System president.
During the university’s last chancellor search, Cross appointed 21 people to a search committee made up of faculty, students, administrators, staff and community representatives.
Cross announced Friday the UW System will begin its search for a new chancellor in the first week of January. Five members of the Whitewater community and five regents selected by Board of Regents President John Behling will conduct the search.
Last week after news of Kopper’s coming resignation broke, some student representatives shared what they wanted in a new chancellor.
Tom Kind, UW-W’s student body president, said he wants a chancellor who will focus on students and making relationships across the community.
Jimmy Schulgit is a senior at UW-W who serves on the Whitewater City Council. He said the next top administrator should make the environment “welcoming” for everyone and not a place where “people are afraid to report wrongdoing.”