Kevin Reilly decided to leave
his position as the University of
Wisconsin System President, spurring
the search for a replacement.
Interviews for the open position
have not begun yet, but Richard Telfer,
Chancellor at UW-Whitewater, will be
taking over as interim president until
a permanent replacement is found.
Reilly’s last day as president will
be on Dec. 31, so he can start his
new position as an advisor for the
American Council on Education and
also return to teaching. Telfer will
begin his role as interim on Jan. 1.
“The hiring process is very
different, normally you would just
go in and interview someone,”
said Carrie Heibler of UniversityRelations and Communications at
the University of Wisconsin-Stevens
Point. “With a public position you
get a committee to find the group
that will be selected and then the
committee will screen the applicants.”
Over the next few months, the
hiring process will be in high gear.
Members of the president search
committee will be sorting through
many resumes and trying to narrow
down the applicants to a small group
they will interview.
Al Thompson, vice chancellor for
student affairs at UWSP, is in the UW
Leadership section of the committee.
“It’s not just one thing, it’s a very
complex job,” Thompson said. “It’s
a position that has to be able to look
at everything through very different
lenses and angles. They should have
a track record of working with very large and complex organizations.”
Because he is a member of student
affairs, Thompson will be keeping his
focus on the 180,969 students that make up the whole system.
“For students it’s someone who has an understanding of college
students and knows what students
today are going through,” Thompson
said. “The key part is to graduate
them and they get their degrees and
diplomas and move forward.”
Thompson claims that students
will always be in the back of his mind
and they should know the committee
is putting their best foot forward.
Aside from students, faculty will
be affected by this transition as well.
Many faculty members know that
change is a part of life and are feeling
indifferent about the president’s
resignation.“I think Kevin Reilly is moving
on to new things, he is at a place
in his career where he has found
something new and wants change,”
said Associate Professor of English
“With any transition there needs
to be a lot of thought of who the next
president will be and what they offer,”
said Assistant Professor of sociology
and social work Kristi Watkins. “The
interim may have to stay longer in
order to and that is okay.”
With Thompson being in the UW
System for 23 years he knows what
the system has gone through and
what the goals are.
“It’s an honor to be on the
committee, I take this seriously and
is one of the most important jobs in
the state to be filled,” Thompson said.