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Van Galen Installed as UWRF's Eighteenth Chancellor

March 30, 2010--The University of Wisconsin-River Falls has a rich history and a bright future, Chancellor Dean Van Galen told those gathered for his inauguration Friday in the University Center. Together, he said, members of the campus community will be “stewards of place and promise.”

With his wife Mary, daughter Ashley, and father Delmar looking on along with students, faculty, staff, and guests, University of Wisconsin System President Kevin Reilly installed Van Galen as UWRF’s 18th chancellor. “It is a privilege and a great responsibility to serve as this institution’s eighteenth leader,” Van Galen said.

Opening with a procession of international students in their native dress, the inauguration was emceed by alumnus and KARE-11 reporter Boyd Huppert. According to Van Galen, being true to the University’s past and sustaining its mission will require teamwork, dedication, and bridge building on campus and beyond.

“I provide three guiding principles for our journey into this future of tremendous promise for the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Namely, a commitment to teaching and learning, an intentional focus on education practices that lead to student success, and building bridges and partnerships beyond our campus,” Van Galen said.

Van Galen also quoted poet William Butler Yeats, saying “Education is not filling a pail, but lighting a fire.” Central to Van Galen’s speech was the concept of “high impact educational practices,” techniques that lead to enriched student learning, increased retention and success.

These educational best practices resulted from the research of George Kuh, Ph.D., Chancellor’s Professor of Higher Education at Indiana University. Kuh visited campus as part of Van Galen’s inauguration week events, discussed his work and made recommendations for UWRF.

Other inauguration week events included “Bowls of Hope,” a charity event which drew more than 230 campus and community members and raised more than $5,000 for Our Neighbors’ Place, a River Falls-based homeless shelter for Pierce and St. Croix county families.

As part of his inaugural address, Van Galen noted that more than half of UWRF’s students are first-generation college students, as he was. Van Galen said the University has, and will continue to serve the needs of students from Wisconsin, the Twin Cities and beyond.

“As a guiding principle, let us build upon our commitment to provide students with outstanding, life-changing opportunities for learning and success,” Van Galen said. The inauguration also featured well wishes from many of the University’s supporters, including a video from international students, students studying abroad and alumni, and gifts from faculty, staff, and students were presented.

“In the years ahead, please join me in stewarding this wonderful place, the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, to fulfill its tremendous promise,” concluded Van Galen.

For more information, including Van Galen’s speech, visit http://mediasite.ics.uwex.edu/mediasite5/Viewer/?peid=574321ae51f347fe8b0eeac797a3e473.


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