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Women's History Month - Chancellor Spotlight

Published: March 30, 2021
By: UW-Parkside Communications

For more than 22 years of UW-Parkside’s 52-year history, women have led the way.

March was Women’s History Month, and we want to honor those incredible women who’ve served as chancellor at our university as well as highlight the legacies of many of the amazing women who contributed to our bright futures here at Parkside.

First up, let’s talk about Sheila Kaplan, who led from 1986-1993. Chancellor Kaplan, a Brooklyn native, came to UW-Parkside from Minnesota State University system in 1986. Kaplan stepped into her leadership role with a focus on increasing enrollment and strengthening community relations. During her chancellorship, Parkside saw construction of its first student housing and implementation of better outreach to potential students. She also focused on building programs to improve minority education in the area, doubling the number of African American and Hispanic Parkside graduates during her tenure.

We are thankful to Shelia for #ChoosingToChallenge as she became the first female chancellor of Parkside, and the second female chancellor in the UW System. Her bold beginning has led to a bright future for all of us.

Chancellor Graphic Sheila

 

Women chancellors have led the way at UW-Parkside for over 22 years – considering our university is only 52 years old, that’s saying a lot.

For Women’s History Month, we wanted to highlight the legacies of the amazing women who have contributed to our bright futures here at UW-Parkside.

This week we want to highlight Eleanor Smith, who was chosen to follow Sheila Kaplan as chancellor from 1994-97. She came to Parkside from William Paterson College in New Jersey. During her time in office, she focused on strengthening community relationships and meeting the needs of non-traditional students. Smith made history with her inauguration, becoming the first African American female chancellor at any school in the UW system.

We are thankful to Eleanor for #ChoosingToChallenge as she became the second female chancellor of Parkside, and the first African American female chancellor in the UW System. Her bold beginning has led to a bright future for all of us.

Chancellor Graphic Eleanor

 

As we look back on past women leaders of UW-Parkside, we see how they have transformed our campus and made way for our current chancellor, Debbie Ford, to contribute to our story.

For Women’s History Month, we want to highlight the legacies of the forward-thinking women who have contributed to our bright futures here at UW-Parkside.

Since her arrival as chancellor on campus in 2009, Dr. Debbie Ford has emphasized all that makes the university an inclusive learning community, including transforming lives as a premier regional university, achieving sustainable growth, and advancing economic growth through community engagement and partnerships. As a first-generation university student, Dr. Ford is proud to lead an institution that traditionally serves a majority of first-generation students. She is also proud of the learning environment at UW-Parkside, the most diverse campus in the prestigious University of Wisconsin System. Chancellor Ford has led UW-Parkside for 12 years, the longest stint for any chancellor at our university.

We are thankful to Chancellor Ford for #ChoosingToChallenge as she is the third female chancellor of Parkside. Her bold beginning has led to a bright future for all of us.

Chancellor Graphic Debbie

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