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May 12, 2001


University Fills Four Key Administrative Positions

Four key administrative positions have been filled at UW-River Falls, following conclusion of national searches and approval of the selection for the institutio's No. 2 administrator by the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents on May 11.

Those selected include a new provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, a founding dean for the College of Business and Economics, a dean of outreach and graduate studies, and an assistant chancellor for university advancement.

"I am so proud of this campus community. We worked hard to bring these searches to closure, and, in my estimation, we have put together an outstanding leadership team for next year‹a team that is enthusiastic about working collaboratively to move UW-River Falls forward in the context of a rapidly-changing environment," said Chancellor Ann Lydecker.

The Board of Regents visited UW-River Falls on May 11 to conduct its monthly business session. The Board of Regents approved the selection of Virginia M. Coombs to serve as the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, reporting to the chancellor. Coombs' oversees all academic programs and the hiring of faculty. She also serves as chief executive officer in the absence of the chancellor, participates in meetings of vice chancellors of the UW System, and represents the Universityıs interests in academic affairs.

Coombs holds a certificate from the Management Development Program at Harvard University and a doctorate in Germanic linguistics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She also has a master's degree in German linguistics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a bachelor's degree in German from Denison University, from which she graduated magna cum laude.

Most recently, Coombs held the position of vice president for academic affairs at Oklahoma City University, Okla., where she provided leadership in the planning, organization, administration and evaluation of the total education program in seven schools of the University.

From August 1998 to February 1999, Coombs was a visiting senior fellow in institutional advancement at The Sage Colleges, Troy, N.Y., where she conducted projects in policies and procedures, prospect research and institutional grant writing, and authored a plan for human resource development in concert with the institutionıs strategic plan.

Coombs served as vice president of academic affairs and dean of the college at Central College in Pella, Iowa, and was associate academic dean at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., from July 1990 to 1994. She was responsible for curriculum development, the faculty development program, special academic programs such as the honors program and international education, as well as summer school. She also served as assistant to the president at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pa., where she was a member of the presidentıs senior executive staff.

Coombs is a member of the American Council of Academic Deans. She has been a member of the Board of Directors since 1999 and has published a number of books and articles, most dealing with the German language and culture.

Barbara Nemecek will serve as founding dean and chief academic officer for the newly established College of Business and Economics. She will provide intellectual leadership to the College, and will represent the University in regional economic development activities. Nemecek will oversee the planning and budgeting processes, make recommendations on budgets, personnel, programs, services and related matters, and she will conitnue to coordinate accreditation activities within the College.

Nemecekıs bachelor's and master's degrees are from the University ofGE 4 Wisconsin-Stout, and she holds a doctorate in business administration from the University of Minnesota. Since 1997, she has been dean of the College of Business and professor of marketing at Montana State University in Billings. Previously she was an associate professor and chair of the management and marketing department in the College of Business and Technology at the University of Nebraska in Kearney.

She was the coordinator of continuing education and extension in the University of Minnesotaıs Marketing and Logistics Management Department, Carlson School of Management. Prior to that, she taught at Northern Illinois University, UW-Stout and the University of Minnesota.

Nemecek has an extensive record of involvement in community and professional activities, including membership on the board of directors for Sigma Beta Delta, Marketing Management Association and Society for Case Research.

Leon M. Zaborowski was named the dean for the newly created position of outreach and graduate studies, responsible for the delivery and evaluation of both graduate and outreach programs. He will develop graduate degree programs, certificate programs, credit and non-credit courses, and international programs.

Zaborowski earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry at UW-RF in 1966, and a doctorate in chemistry at the University of Idaho. He did postgraduate work at the Harvard Institute for Management of Lifelong Education.

He most recently was vice-provost, adult and continuing education, at Northeastern University in Boston, Mass., and dean of University College at Northeastern. He also was dean of extended learning and communication services at Governorıs State University in suburban Chicago.

Prior to that, he was director of the Rochester campus of Winona State University in Winona, Minn, and he was director of educational telecommunications and associate provost of continuing education at the University of Massachusetts in Boston.

From 1975 to 1980 he was director of the division of continuing education and director of grants at UW-RF, prior to which he was an assistant professor of chemistry.

William H. Rost will serve as assistant chancellor for university advancement, reporting to the chancellor as the Universityıs chief development officer and president of the UW-River Falls Foundation. He will implement the Universityıs first capital campaign.

Rost brings to the position 28 years of experience in higher education, 15 of which have been in development and 13 of which have been in positions of teaching and coaching. From 1998 he has been assistant vice president for university development and campaign director at the State University of New York in Buffalo, responsible for implementing a comprehensive national campaign program that successfully met the Universityıs goal of $250 million.

Rost also was director of gift planning and campaign director at Briar Cliff College in Sioux City, Iowa, the director of fund development at Chesapeake General Hospital in Chesapeake, Va., and was associate director for capital support and director of regional programs at The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va.

His development experience began at Indiana University Foundation in Bloomington, Ind.

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