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UW Colleges Chancellor Cathy Sandeen accepts job at University of Alaska Anchorage

UW Colleges Chancellor Cathy Sandeen accepts job at University of Alaska Anchorage

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BASCOM HILL

The Lincoln statue at Bascom Hill in Madison.

Chancellor of UW Colleges and UW Extension Cathy Sandeen was named chancellor of the University of Alaska Anchorage on Wednesday, as the UW System prepares for the merger of its two-year colleges and four-year universities.

Sandeen will remain chancellor of UW Colleges and UW Extension until her new appointment begins on Sept. 19, UW Colleges and UW Extension said. She has been in the UW position since December 2014.

“I am enormously grateful for the opportunity to lead these unique statewide institutions, working with an incredible group of dedicated individuals, as well as getting to know the many interesting, intriguing, and important communities — large and small — throughout the state of Wisconsin,” Sandeen said in a statement.

Sandeen’s departure comes of the heels of UW System President Ray Cross’ announcement to merge 13 two-year colleges with the state’s four-year institutions. UW-Extension will be administered by UW-Madison under the plan announced in October and approved by Regents in November 2017.

In his announcement, Cross also said that the office that oversees UW Colleges and UW Extension, along with a number of other jobs, could be eliminated in the consolidation.

In March, Sandeen was named a finalist for a position as Louisiana’s Commissioner of Higher Education, but eventually withdrew her name from consideration.

The colleges are set to begin transitioning July 1, according to Cross, but the merger process will continue through the 2019-2020 school year, Sandeen told the Wisconsin State Journal in April.

“Cathy has always shown an unwavering commitment to helping students succeed. In a time of transition, she provided a steady hand at the helm and continued to move the UW Colleges and UW Extension forward,” Cross said in a statement.

On Thursday, Sandeen tweeted that she has already started her homework on the history of the University of Alaska Anchorage, where she will be serving over 16,000 new students in the fall.

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A plan to merge the University of Wisconsin System’s two- and four-year schools is proving challenging to execute and likely won’t be complete until at least the end of 2019, chancellors and the two-year schools’ leader told the Board of Regents on Thursday.

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