UW-Stevens Point Chancellor Bernie Patterson announced plans to retire at the end of 2020 on Monday.
Patterson, who began serving as chancellor in 2010, will officially step down in December to allow time for the UW System to find a replacement, according to a UW-Stevens Point press release.
He informed the UW-Stevens Point campus of his decision in a letter Monday, calling his tenure “some of the most rewarding years of my career.”
“At this university, I have made lifelong friends. I have been introduced to new ideas and new academic programs. I have worked with remarkable professionals. And most importantly, I have had the privilege of leading an institution that transformed the lives of 20,000 graduates who walked across the stage, shook my hand and moved on to fulfilling careers,” Patterson wrote.
In 2018, Patterson faced calls for his resignation over UW-Stevens Point’s controversial “Point Forward” plan, which initially proposed eliminating 13 humanities majors. It eventually reduced intended cuts to six majors before finally saving all of them in favor of faculty retirements and resignations.
Also under Patterson’s leadership, UW-Stevens Point received its largest gift in school history — $4.3 million for the UW-Stevens Point Foundation for the School of Education — from alumna Dorothea Harju.
UW System President Ray Cross praised Patterson for his “unwavering commitment to UW-Stevens Point’s core mission of helping students succeed” in a statement. UW System Board of Regents President Drew Petersen commended Patterson for his fundraising and efforts to maintain “stability in the face of enrollment challenges.”
“We are pleased the new indicators show positive trends for UW-Stevens Point and believe the next leader will find UW-Stevens Point has a strong foundation and a bright future,” Petersen said in his statement.