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Wednesday, April 24, 2024
Internal chancellor finalist meets with public

gary:

Internal chancellor finalist meets with public

The first of four chancellor finalists met with students, faculty and community members Monday as part of the public process in the search for UW-Madison's next chancellor. 

 

UW-Madison College of Letters & Sciences Dean Gary Sandefur, who was named a finalist May 7 to potentially succeed Chancellor John Wiley, participated in two public receptions Monday afternoon to showcase his talent for the position. 

 

In a separate news briefing, Sandefur spoke of his strengths as the only internal candidate for the position and his approach to the job if selected by the UW System Board of Regents. 

 

The strength of an internal candidate is the experience and knowledge they have about the institution,"" Sandefur said. 

 

Sandefur, who has served in many administrative roles at the university, said he was encouraged by his colleagues on campus to consider running for the position following Wiley's announcement of his intent to step down in September 2008. 

 

""I've been at this university for 24 years and I really have great affection for this place. I enjoy my job as dean, but the opportunity to be chancellor is one that's very exciting to me,"" Sandefur said, adding no matter the outcome, he plans to stay at UW-Madison. 

 

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Sandefur said his differing background in sociology from Wiley's in natural sciences and physics might affect their leadership styles. 

 

""I've learned a lot from John, he's been a mentor and a friend over the years,"" he said. ""But I think that we would be different in how we approach things."" 

 

""Getting out and talking to people, and listening to people and trying to develop common solutions to problems is the approach that I would take to the job."" 

 

Sandefur said he would plan to use this same approach in dealing with state lawmakers to gain support for the university. 

 

""I actually think - weather permitting - there's a symbolic significance of people seeing the chancellor walking down State Street to go visit the Capitol, so I would like to do that from time to time just so people know that kind of communication is taking place.""  

 

Sandefur said he thinks Wiley has been unfairly criticized for his efforts in dealing with state lawmakers. ""I think he's actually done a lot to try to maintain contact with the legislature, but it is something that we need to work on."" 

 

In addition, Sandefur put an emphasis on building relationships with civic and community leaders, as well as business and education leaders in Wisconsin. He also said private fundraising would be a major component of the next chancellor's role.  

 

""I really want to do everything I can to make sure this continues to be a great research university in that our faculty and staff have the resources and opportunities they need to do first class research,"" he said.  

 

""I always thought that one of the major responsibilities at the University of Wisconsin was to train the future leaders of this country and the world because the people who come here are very talented ... I want to do anything I can to improve and enhance the undergraduate educational experience here.""  

 

Sandefur said part of enhancing the educational experience was through diversity on campus. He said diversity is something he has been interested in throughout his career, and that it would remain a top priority if named chancellor.  

 

Sandefur said the external candidates offer a different set of experiences UW System President Kevin Reilly may find appealing for the job. 

 

""Those people come in with perhaps ideas and knowledge that aren't as familiar to us here at Madison."" 

 

Sandefur said he was ""really impressed"" with the group of finalists, which also include Cornell University Provost Biddy Martin, University of Minnesota Vice President for Research R. Timothy Mulcahy and Rebecca Blank, former dean of University of Michigan's school of public policy. 

 

""I would be pleased with any of them as chancellor I think - I would prefer it to be me - but I think the other three candidates are really good people and I would feel like I could work with any of them as dean."" 

 

Check back at dailycardinal.com for complete coverage of the remaining finalists' campus visits. Martin will be on campus Tuesday from 1:30 to 3 p.m. in Memorial Union's Main Lounge and from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the Red Gym's On Wisconsin room.

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