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Last update: 5/5/08

[University of Wisconsin-Green Bay News Release]

For Immediate Release:

May 2, 2008

William Laatsch appointed interim provost at UW-Green Bay

Photo: William Laatsch.

GREEN BAY-William Laatsch, professor of Urban and Regional Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, has been named interim provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at UW-Green Bay.

Laatsch, UW-Green Bay's longest-serving faculty member, will step into the interim role upon the departure of Sue K. Hammersmith, who will assume the presidency of Metropolitan State University in Minnesota on July 1.

As interim provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, Laatsch will be UW-Green Bay's chief academic officer reporting to the chancellor and chief operating officer overseeing student services and information services as well as academic programs.

UW-Green Bay Chancellor Bruce Shepard said the appointment of Laatsch to the interim position is "great news" for UW-Green Bay and Northeastern Wisconsin.

"In his long and distinguished career here, Bill has earned the great respect of his faculty colleagues and the entire campus community," Shepard said. "He also is well-known and highly regarded throughout our region and state."

Laatsch will work closely with David J. Ward, who will become UW-Green Bay interim chancellor June 23. Ward will replace Shepard, who recently was named the next president of Western Washington University.

"I'm delighted that Bill has agreed to serve UW-Green Bay in this new capacity," Ward said. "I've known Bill for many years. He has the skills and knowledge to help keep the campus moving in a positive direction."'

Laatsch said he looks forward to helping UW-Green Bay build on its strong foundations and move its agenda forward.

"The direction is clear," he said. "I will be happy to contribute to the University in any way I can." Laatsch joined the faculty of the UW-Fox Valley two-year campus in 1966. When UW-Green Bay began offering classes as a four-year university in 1968, the Fox Valley campus joined for a time with UW-Green Bay into a four-campus institution. Laatsch took a leave in the early 1970s to complete work on his Ph.D., but returned in 1972 to the faculty at UW-Green Bay where he has been ever since.

A cultural geographer, Laatsch is a specialist in settlement of northern lands, and he began studying the rich history and culture of Belgian settlement in Northeastern Wisconsin shortly after arriving here. He has served UW-Green Bay in many capacities, including service on the faculty University Committee. He was UW-Green Bay's commencement speaker in May 2005.

Laatsch serves as chairman of the Board of Trustees of Carroll College, his alma mater. He is a longtime member of the state Historic Preservation Review Board and was president of that board. He also was for many years a director of the Heritage Hill Corporation and served as its president.

He has received numerous awards from UW-Green Bay and other organizations for his teaching, scholarship and community work.

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08-124 | Contact: Scott Hildebrand, (920) 465-2850

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