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Last update: 4/24/08

[University of Wisconsin-Green Bay News Release]

For Immediate Release:

April 23, 2008

UW-Green Bay's Shepard is preferred candidate for
Western Washington presidency

GREEN BAY - University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Chancellor Bruce Shepard is the preferred candidate to become the next president of Western Washington University, Western's Board of Trustees announced today.

The Board of Trustees will meet Friday with the intention of taking final action on the selection of Shepard as Western's president. He would begin his new duties Sept. 1, succeeding Karen W. Morse, who is retiring after 15 years as president.

Shepard will resign his position at UW-Green Bay effective June 30.

Western Washington University is located in Bellingham, about 90 miles north of Seattle. It has more than 13,000 primarily full-time students and an annual budget of $223.2 million.

University of Wisconsin System President Kevin P. Reilly said today he will work with the UW System Board of Regents, the UW-Green Bay campus and members of the community to begin the search for a new chancellor as quickly as possible. The first step in that process is to name a search and screen committee made up of faculty, academic staff, classified staff, students and community representatives.

In accordance with Regent policies, that search committee will be comprised mostly of UW-Green Bay faculty members. The committee will screen all nominees and candidates, recommending five finalists for consideration by Reilly and a special committee of the UW System Board of Regents.

Board of Regents President Mark J. Bradley today named Regent Judith V. Crain to chair the special Regent committee. Crain, a longtime Green Bay resident, served on Green Bay Board of Education for 16 years and is a former member of the UW-Green Bay Chancellor's Council of Trustees.

(Read UW System news release:

Shepard, who has served as chancellor at UW-Green Bay since 2001, said he is excited by the opportunities presented at Western Washington. He and his wife, Cyndie, will leave UW-Green Bay with a sense of pride in the accomplishments of the University community over the past seven years.

"Cyndie and I are particularly excited by the opportunities presented at Western Washington," he said. "But it also has been difficult for we have very much enjoyed being a part of UW-Green Bay and the Green Bay community.

"UW-Green Bay is a special place and has a very bright future. Universities are about people. And this University is truly fortunate to have such an outstanding faculty and staff and the unwavering support of friends throughout the region and state."

Shepard said he is grateful to the Board of Regents, President Reilly, and former UW System President Katharine Lyall for their leadership and commitment to excellence at UW-Green Bay and throughout the UW System.

Shepard assumed his duties as UW-Green Bay chancellor Nov. 1, 2001. He is the fourth chancellor in the University's history.

In his first few months on the job, he met with more than 2,000 people on and off campus to get a sense of where UW-Green Bay should be headed. Those meetings led to the development of Northeastern Wisconsin's Growth Agenda for UW-Green Bay, an ambitious plan to grow the University's enrollment to 7,500 students, an increase of nearly 40 percent, and to better serve a dynamic, rapidly diversifying region.

The Growth Agenda gained the support of the UW System, the Board of Regents, the state Legislature and Gov. Jim Doyle. The 2007-09 state budget provided $1.7 million to support the first phase of the three-biennium initiative.

Under Shepard's leadership, UW-Green Bay also has had unprecedented success in gaining private financial support. The Campaign for UW-Green Bay so far has raised more than $21 million, including $11 million for the Kress Events Center. The Kress Center, the University's renovated and expanded student sports, recreation and events center, was made possible by a unique partnership of students, the state of Wisconsin and community donors.

UW-Green Bay's campus landscape has undergone a major transformation during Shepard's tenure as chancellor. In addition to the Kress Center, construction at UW-Green Bay during the past six years includes the overhaul of the Laboratory Sciences building, University Union and Student Services area and the addition of three residence halls.

Other major achievements and initiatives at UW-Green Bay under Shepard's leadership include:

development of the Connecting learning to life campuswide theme, a call to action consistent with Shepard's vision for the University.

regional partnerships with educational institutions, local governments and businesses, Native American tribes and community organizations.

creation and growth of the Phuture Phoenix Program, an innovative program that encourages at-risk youngsters to stay in school and go on to higher education. Phuture Phoenix, co-founded and directed by Cyndie Shepard, has received state and national recognition as a model for university/community collaboration and innovative practices for diversity.

a commitment to diversifying the University community. UW-Green Bay's enrollment of students of color has increased nearly 40 percent since 2001.

a recommitment to UW-Green Bay's tradition related to sustainability and environmental awareness. UW-Green Bay is one of four campuses selected by Gov. Doyle to pilot an energy-independence initiative. Shepard also signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, a pledge to develop a long-range plan to reduce and ultimately eliminate greenhouse gas emissions on the campus.

By accepting the presidency at Western Washington University, Shepard would return to the Pacific Northwest where he served as provost and professor of political science at Eastern Oregon University. He previously spent 23 years at Oregon State University, earning tenure as a faculty member in the Department of Political Science before moving into university administration.

Shepard's academic background includes bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in political science from the University of California, Riverside. His scholarship and teaching focus on American government, public policy and policy analysis, research methods, and environmental and natural resource politics and policy.

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University of Wisconsin-Green Bay highlights under Bruce Shepard's leadership

Nov. 1, 2001 Shepard begins duties as UW-Green Bay's fourth chancellor.

Nov. 15, 2001 Shepard announces downsizing of proposed students sports and events center project at UW-Green Bay to eliminate potential for competition with the community Resch Center.

Aug. 26, 2002 Shepard lays out a strategic direction for UW-Green Bay in "Educating the Chancellor," the product of his meetings with more than 2,000 people on and off campus. Central to the strategy is quality, accessible service to the community and region.

Sept. 20, 2002 The inauguration of Shepard as UW-Green Bay chancellor culminates a week of activities focusing on campus and community partnerships.

Oct. 11, 2002 UW System Board of Regents approves a new master's degree in social work developed jointly by UW-Green Bay and UW-Oshkosh. The innovative model for collaboration between UW campuses responds to regional needs for social workers with advanced education.

April 16, 2003 UW-Green Bay unveils the campuswide theme Connecting Learning to Life, a call to action that emphasizes the University's connections to the community and distinct approach to learning.

April 22, 2003 Under the leadership of Cyndie Shepard, UW-Green Bay launches the Phuture Phoenix Program, which encourages at-risk youngsters to stay in school and plan for college. The program has been recognized as a model for university/community collaboration and innovative practices for diversity.

Oct. 12, 2003 UW-Green Bay announces creation of the John P. Blair Endowed Chair in Communications, the first fully endowed chair in the University's history. The chair is made possible by the generosity of the Blair Foundation and Mrs. Dorothy Blair.

Aug. 25, 2004 UW-Green Bay opens and dedicates the renovated and expanded Laboratory Sciences building. The $15 million project transforms the 35-year-old building into a showplace for science education in the 21st century.

Sept. 8, 2004 UW-Green Bay dedicates Tom Haevers Hall, the third of three 122-bed residence halls to open at UW-Green Bay between the fall of 2002 and the fall of 2004. The new residence halls increase on-campus housing capacity to nearly 2,000 residents.

Dec. 29, 2004 UW-Green Bay announces naming-rights gift from the George F. Kress Foundation for the new student sports and events center. The center will be named the Kress Events Center. The gift pushes fund-raising for the center to more than $7.5 million, enabling the University to receive $7.5 million in matching funds from the state of Wisconsin.

Aug. 24, 2005 At UW-Green Bay's Fall Convocation, Shepard explains his commitment to diversifying the University community. He says it is the single greatest challenge UW-Green Bay faces if it is going to become Green Bay's University of Wisconsin.

Nov. 1, 2005 Faculty, staff, students and community members break ground for the $33 million Kress Events Center, which is made possible by a partnership of students, community donors and the state of Wisconsin.

Dec. 12, 2005 Shepard announces new programming model for the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts. Programming will be built primarily around campus and community fine arts performances, speaker series and educational programming. The new model, which is closer to the center's original programming model, will bring greater fiscal stability to the Weidner Center.

April 7, 2006 At a meeting of the UW Board of Regents on the UW-Green Bay campus, University and community leaders unveil Northeastern Wisconsin's Growth Agenda for UW-Green Bay. Regents respond by calling community support for UW-Green Bay "remarkable." They also pledge to support the growth initiative.

Aug. 23, 2006 At UW-Green Bay's Fall Convocation, Shepard calls on the University's faculty and staff to help build "the next UWGB." He encourages the faculty and staff to look to UW-Green Bay's innovative origins for guidance. He also announces the addition of three professorships made possible by to the academic portion of the Capital Campaign.

Sept. 27, 2006 Gov. Jim Doyle announces that UW-Green Bay is one of four UW campuses selected to pilot a program aimed at making the campuses energy independent.

March 21, 2007 UW-Green Bay students, staff and friends break ground for a $6.2 million renovation and expansion of the University Union. The project will convert the Union into one that meets the 21st century needs of students.

April 13, 2007 UW System Board of Regents approves First Nations Studies major at UW-Green Bay, a new major designed to reflect the holistic world view of the indigenous people of Turtle Island (North America) and preserve and promote their sovereign identity.

May 11, 2007 UW System Board of Regents approves UW-Green Bay's Bachelor of Applied Studies degree program. The new program makes a bachelor's degree from UW-Green Bay more accessible to Northeastern Wisconsin residents with technical college degrees. The program is one example of new educational partnerships and collaborations advocated by Shepard and other regional educational leaders.

Oct. 18, 2007 UW-Green Bay opens and dedicates the Kress Events Center.

Oct. 26, 2007 Gov. Jim Doyle signs the 2007-09 state budget, which includes $1.7 million for the first phase of Northeastern Wisconsin's Growth Agenda for UW-Green Bay.

Jan. 14, 2008 At UW-Green Bay's first Mid-Year Convocation, Shepard urges the campus community to look beyond the initial success of the Growth Agenda and concentrate on growing the excellence of academic programs. He focuses on the areas of the environment and sustainability, entrepreneurialism and innovation, and international education.

Jan. 22, 2008 The spring semester opens with a newly remodeled Student Services Building. The building has a more open, modern and comfortable feel.

April 14, 2008 The University announces that the Campaign for UW-Green Bay surpasses the $21 million mark. Among academic enhancements made possible by the steady flow of gifts are 25 new student scholarships.

April 23, 2008 Western Washington University Board of Trustees announces that Shepard is the preferred candidate for Western's presidency.

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08-115 | Contacts: Scott Hildebrand,, (920) 465-2850;
                            Mike Heine, (920) 465-2526, (262) 903-4212

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