Telfer named provost, academic vice chancellor at UW-W

Telfer named provost, academic vice chancellor at UW-W

Richard Telfer has been selected as the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s new provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, the top academic post at the university, Chancellor Jack Miller has announced.

Telfer, who has been an associate vice chancellor for academic affairs since 1997, has also served as interim provost since April 2002. He emerged as the top choice from a national pool of candidates and five finalists who interviewed on campus in December.

"Dr. Telfer has done an excellent job since he began the position nine months ago and I believe he will continue to function at a very high level in the future," said Miller. "He is greatly committed to helping this campus move forward."

Telfer, has been with UW-Whitewater since 1985 as a professor of curriculum and instruction.

Despite difficult financial issues facing the state, UW-Whitewater needs to stay focused on its areas of strength, Telfer said. "My hope is, by keeping a longer view, we will get past the tough financial times with our focus on our core values and our mission intact," Telfer said.

Many initiatives started in recent months have the potential to create a lasting impact on the university, Telfer said. One such example is the new Advisement Center, which will make six new advisors available to UW-Whitewater freshmen this spring. The project is supported by student tuition and has a goal of improving retention and graduation rates.

Diversity is another issue getting renewed attention, Telfer said. UW-Whitewater a state leader in recruiting and graduating students of color, but a campus committee recently suggested more work is needed to promote a diverse curriculum. The chancellor launched a campus-wide training program that will make up to $100,000 in funding available to faculty and staff, and Telfer will help steer that effort this spring.

Other works in progress include a core values campaign that is helping the university steer a long-term course for the campus. Telfer is also working with the faculty personnel rules committee on an effort to redefine faculty personnel rules to give young faculty a clearer picture of their expectations.

"I see a lot of our future progress being a continuation of these efforts," Telfer said. "We also have the potential for growth in the sciences, in technology programs and in online and blended curriculum."

On the facilities front, the current Upham Hall renovation and the upcoming business building project will greatly enhance science, business and technology instruction, he said. Strong demand is also pushing enrollment growth in technology programs such as the online MBA and management computer systems. On the other side of the coin, budget cuts will force the university to manage enrollment with the expectation of taking fewer students. Telfer said the university will also work to improve the academic profile of its freshman class, while remaining committed to being a campus of opportunity for students from disadvantaged or under-represented groups.

"One strong feeling across the university is that we would like to increase our quality as measured by class rankings and ACT scores," he said. "We are working with the Faculty Senate on this effort."

The position of provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs serves as the chief academic officer for the university, steering the planning, development and review of all academic programs. The position oversees a $48 million budget, more than 400 faculty and staff, and all academic and outreach programming.

Jan. 24, 2003 Small Busines Times, Milwaukee

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