University of Wisconsin-River Falls

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April 12, 2004


UW-River Falls Announces Two Top Administrative Changes

UW-River Falls Interim Chancellor Ginny Coombs and UW System President Katharine Lyall today announced two top administrative changes at UW-River Falls.

Virgil Nylander, recently retired vice chancellor for administration and finance, will return to the University to serve as interim chancellor effective June 1, and Mary Halada, interim vice chancellor for administration and finance, has been appointed vice chancellor for administration and finance effective immediately.

"After careful consideration and discussion with President Lyall, I have decided that I will not seek candidacy for the chancellor's position at UW-RF," says Coombs, who was named interim chancellor after the death of Chancellor Ann Lydecker March 25. "I will return to my position as provost and vice chancellor on June1 and continue in that position through the 2004-05 academic year."

President Lyall has appointed Nylander to serve as interim chancellor for UW-RF, starting at the end of spring semester, and he will serve until a new chancellor has been selected.

"I'm very pleased that Dr. Ginny Coombs, Dr. Virgil Nylander, and Ms. Mary Halada have agreed to form the senior management team to lead UW-RF during the coming transition," said Lyall. "UW-RF offers excellent educational opportunities to students who want to prepare for 21st century jobs and lives. This UW institution will continue to be a special part of the UW System, fulfilling a critical role for students and families in western Wisconsin and Minnesota. The senior management team has my full support as we work together to move UW-RF forward."

Coombs is pleased to work closely again with Nylander and continue working with Halada. "Virgil, Mary and I have worked well together these past three years, and we are committed to provide a smooth transition for the new chancellor," said Coombs.

Nylander, who retired in January, joined UW-RF in 1969 as a faculty member in the psychology department. He served as department chair and later as associate dean of the College of Education before joining the administration in 1987 as assistant chancellor for administration. Nylander earned his doctorate in experimental physiological psychology from Iowa State University and bachelor's and master's degrees in psychology from Colorado State University.

His community service includes the St. Croix County Economic Development Corporation, Kinnickinnic River Land Trust, U.S. Representative Steve Gunderson's Western Wisconsin 2000 Committee; River Falls Area Hospital Fund Raising Committee, City of River Falls Board of Appeals; and River Falls Rotary Club.

Prior to her interim appointment to replace the position created by Nylander's retirement as vice chancellor for business and finance, Halada was the assistant to the vice chancellor and budget officer at UW-RF. She had also worked as director of auxiliary reporting and food service and assistant to the director of auxiliary services at UW-RF. Additionally, Halada has been the camp coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs Summer Training Camp at UW-RF since it began in 1991. Halada has a master's degree in management and administration from the Metropolitan State University in St. Paul and a B.A. in business administration from Grove City College in Pennsylvania.

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