LA CROSSE, Wis. (WLAX/WEAU) – The search for the next UW La Crosse Chancellor begins with four listening sessions with UW La Crosse faculty, students, staff, and community members, where everyone gets a chance to speak face-to-face with the search committee. UWL Chancellor Search Committee Chair, Ashok Rai, explains, “We want to find the best person for this university and this region of our wonderful state. So, to do that, you start early. The process takes a while. We’re just kicking off the process now, but we won’t be done for months.”

In August, Chancellor Joe Gow announced he is stepping down at the end of the year. Gow is the longest-serving active chancellor in the UW System and the second-longest-serving Chancellor in school history.

The chair of the search committee says they want to get plenty of feedback before they choose his replacement, “We want to hear ‘What are the key qualities you want in a new chancellor.’ What are the things that you want this person to do both on campus and off campus? The integration with the community is extremely important. What are the key qualities that you would like? Even some of the personality traits that you would like to see. We’re open to all feedback right now, and that’s why we’re just here to listen.”

The La Crosse community is thankful that their voices are being heard by the committee. UWL Chief Communications Officer, Maren Walz, says, “It’s just really special that we’re able to give our input and our ideas and that the campus community is engaged. It’s great the students, faculty, staff, and the community was invited to participate and give their feedback about the future of the institution.”

Walz says it’s important to find a leader that is right for the campus and community, “The thing that’s so special about UWL is that it really belongs to La Crosse and belongs to the entire community. We have to develop a shared vision for the future of this institution because that’s a part of the future of this community. It’s so critical that all of our voices are heard.”

The search officially began on November 6th and the committee will continue searching into next year.

Chancellor Gow became the 10th Chancellor of UW La Crosse in February of 2007.