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Regents Recognize Nylander for Leadership


MAY 6, 2005--UW-River Falls Interim Chancellor Virgil Nylander was recognized for his leadership of the campus by the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents Friday.

Nylander was recognized with a resolution and medallion for his service during the monthly meeting of the board, which was held at UW-Stout in Menomonie.

The campus leader left a brief retirement following the death of Chancellor Ann Lydecker in March 2004 and accepted the position of interim chancellor last June. He will serve through the end of June in anticipation of Dr. Don Betz, who assumes the post July 1 after a national search was conducted.

In presenting the resolution, Regent Chuck Pruitt of Milwaukee said he and other Regents who were appointed to the search and screen committee to seek Lydecker’s successor were confronted with a daunting task.

He recalled that Nylander had only recently retired after 34 years of service when Lydecker died in a traffic accident. Shortly afterwards former President Katharine Lyall called and asked the former vice chancellor for administration and finance if he would step into the position for a year while a search was being conducted

"It was an extremely difficult job for myself and my Regent colleagues because we knew that we needed to fill some very big shoes—those of Ann Lydecker. This was at one of the most difficult and heart-breaking times in the history of River Falls.

"For that and all kinds of other reasons, Virgil Nylander could have said no. But people like Virgil Nylander don’t do that."

Regent Toby Marcovich of Superior also expressed his appreciation. He noted that he and Nylander had an opportunity to become more closely acquainted when both of them served on the committee that selected Lydecker. Marcovich said that he talked regularly with Nylander about educational issues and "you’ve been absolutely great."

Nylander, in thanking the Regents, reported that "It’s been a very, very interesting year and rewarding year. I love UW-River Falls, and I love everyone that I work with there."
He added as a humorous afterthought that he did not plan to come out of retirement again and that it would be his last Regents meeting.

The citation noted Nylander’s collaborative leadership style, fiscal acumen at leading the University during difficult state budget times, expanding the institution’s commitment to addressing the challenges of unparalled growth in the St.Croix Valley, the ongoing construction of three new buildings valued at $44.5 million and which are being constructed without any taxpayers funding, and his advocacy for Wisconsin public higher education.

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Last updated: Tuesday, 22-Jun-2010 16:21:23 Central Daylight Time

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