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1080p__DAS3612University of Wisconsin System President Ray Cross announced today he will appoint UW Oshkosh Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Petra Roter as interim UW Oshkosh chancellor upon the retirement of Richard Wells this summer.

“Dr. Roter has not only provided visionary leadership on her campus, but she also is a committed collaborator in the UW System,” Cross said. “At UW Oshkosh, she has been part of a strong leadership team for nearly a decade. The campus community’s faculty, staff and many stakeholders can be confident that she will keep our third-largest institution focused on its mission and moving forward as the search for the 11th Chancellor continues this year.”

“I appreciate the confidence President Cross and colleagues at UW Oshkosh have shown in me, and I look forward to working with our campus community to keep our institution strong and focused on its mission as we search for our next Chancellor,” Roter said.


The Division of Student Affairs, which Roter leads, promotes excellence in student learning, academic success and personal growth and identifies and communicates the needs and concerns of students to the University community and beyond. Since 2005, Roter has been responsible for the administration and leadership of more than 230 Division of Student Affairs staff members at UW Oshkosh. She currently oversees a division budget of $44 million. She also served as interim associate Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs with UW System Administration from July 2011 to May 2012.

Roter has a distinguished career in higher education, receiving a number of institutional and community awards and distinctions. She earned a Doctor of Philosophy, Counseling and Psychological Services from Indiana State University in 1998. She earned a Master of Science in Psychology-Community Mental Health from Western Illinois University in 1984, where she also earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology in 1981. She previously served as dean of student development and academic services at UW-La Crosse from July 2000 to July 2005 and in multiple administrative and student-life roles at her alma maters.

“Dr. Roter’s leadership has been crucial to UW Oshkosh’s growth and distinction as a campus that, through individual members and its collective community, cares for everyone’s wellbeing,” Wells said. “She has been instrumental in our efforts to better involve, listen to and respect our student body’s opinions and guidance. That has helped make UW Oshkosh a more inclusive, efficient and sustainable institution.”

Wells officially retires on Aug. 31. Roter will assume the role of interim Chancellor immediately thereafter and will serve as the search-and-screen process for a new UW Oshkosh deepens and concludes this year. She informed President Cross that she does not intend to pursue the position of Chancellor and will step down from UW Oshkosh’s search-and-screen committee so that she can concentrate on the interim chancellor duties.

The search-and-screen timeline developed by UW System and UW Oshkosh projects that, by mid-August to September, a special UW System Board of Regents committee will field recommendations from UW Oshkosh’s search-and-screen committee to select Chancellor finalists. Finalist interviews are expected to be held in early September with a new Chancellor’s selection in late September or early October. The next UW Oshkosh Chancellor is anticipated to assume office on Jan. 1, 2015 or as negotiated.

Arthur Rathjen, president of the UW Oshkosh Foundation and Vice Chancellor for Advancement, said Roter’s track record of service to both campus and the broader community will serve UW Oshkosh well when she assumes the role of interim Chancellor.

“Every day, our students, faculty and staff partner and collaborate with local governments, businesses and nonprofit organizations,” Rathjen said. “Petra Roter is no exception, and we are proud to see her, once again, stepping forward to serve, embodying the leadership qualities this University deeply values.”

“Dr. Roter’s continued commitment to student academic success is apparent in all that she does on campus,” UW Oshkosh Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Lane Earns said. “I am particularly impressed with her dedication in support of inclusive excellence and the University Studies Program at UW Oshkosh.”

UW Oshkosh Dean of Students Sharon Kipetz will assume the role as interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs while Roter serves as interim Chancellor. President Cross has asked UW Oshkosh Vice Chancellor Tom Sonnleitner to replace Roter on the University’s Chancellor search-and-screen committee.

“We greatly appreciate Petra’s willingness to serve as interim Chancellor and are ready to support her in that role in any way we can,” Sonnleitner said. “Her commitment to our students, staff, faculty and mission, demonstrated here for nearly a decade, is proof she will serve and represent us well.”


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