Dr. Michael Alexander, provost and vice chancellor of academic affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, has been named the University’s seventh chancellor. Alexander began his new role May 1, 2020.
“I am honored and humbled to work for the dedicated and talented students, faculty and staff at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay,” Alexander said. “While my position as chancellor may be new at the University, my passion and dedication for the people of this community are stronger than ever and my family is proud to call Green Bay our home. With a growing academic portfolio, deep connections to the community and presence in the region, UW-Green Bay will continue to expand its impact on the population it serves.”
Alexander has served as provost and vice chancellor at UW-Green Bay since July 2019. As the University’s second highest administrative officer and senior academic officer, he oversees programming and leadership of the four academic colleges; the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts, the Division of Continuing Education and Community Engagement, the UW-Green Bay Libraries, the Office of Admissions, and leads the four UW-Green Bay campuses including those in Marinette, Manitowoc and Sheboygan. As provost, he consults with the chancellor on all aspects of the University and speaks for the University in the chancellor’s absence.
Since joining the University, Alexander led the expansion of the University’s Continuing Education and Community Engagement efforts to build connections to high school students, increase non-credit offerings, and provide educational services to regional businesses; created academic affairs strategic priorities to drive the university’s strategic mission and vision; initiated new, international relationships with universities in Thailand; created an Office of Sustainability to improve efficiencies and increase the profile of UW-Green Bay as a campus traditionally engaged with environmental study; and restructured Graduate Studies and the Office of Grants and Research, setting the stage for the University’s growing research efforts.
“Anyone who has had the opportunity to work closely with Mike Alexander knows what a tremendous asset he is to UW-Green Bay and our region,” said Interim Chancellor Sheryl Van Gruensven. “I have been immensely impressed with his vast knowledge of higher education and his vision for the future that aligns with UW-Green Bay’s mission. Mike has exceptional analytical skills and the ability to quickly put into action the necessary steps to move the university forward. He has quickly gained the respect of cabinet members, colleagues in the UW System and, more importantly, faculty and staff campus wide. His comprehensive understanding of university operations, with a relentless focus on student success, make him an ideal leader for UW-Green Bay at this moment in time.”
Prior to his role at UW-Green Bay, Alexander served as director of the School of Music at the University of Northern Colorado. He has also served as the interim director of the School of Music at Kennesaw State University in Georgia. Alexander holds a Doctor of Musical Arts from UW-Madison. He earned his master’s degree in Instrumental Conducting from UW-Milwaukee, and a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Georgia. The Grand Island, New York native lived in Wisconsin from 1995 to 2004.
“I know the work of the University will increasingly be a driver in the educational, economic, cultural and civic life of Green Bay, Manitowoc, Marinette and Sheboygan. Our mission and vision is for a university that fearlessly meets challenges, solves problems, embraces diversity, cares about our region and provides access to education for all who want it honors the innovative spirit of the founders of the University and moves us forward. The potential for the future of this institution is immense. My belief in that future has been reaffirmed daily from the moment I arrived in Green Bay and first set foot on the campus.”
Alexander will be the UW-Green Bay’s seventh chancellor, succeeding Gary L. Miller, who left the University in September 2019 to serve as president at the University of Akron. Miller served as the university’s top administrator since August 2014.
“During Michael’s tenure at Green Bay he has demonstrated keen listening and engagement skills,” said UW System President Ray Cross. “His experience as a conductor has clearly enriched and influenced his ability to lead individual experts and professionals.”
Michael Draney, chair of UW-Green Bay’s Department of Natural & Applied Science and vice chair of the Chancellor Search and Screen Committee, said Alexander is “widely respected and admired by the faculty, staff, and students at UW-Green Bay, and his vision and leadership abilities are real assets to this institution.”
Alexander reflected on the announcement during this unprecedented time in the history of the University and the world: “I am incredibly proud of how our University has reacted to the challenges we currently face,” he shared. “We support one another, build each other up and always uphold our commitment to educating students. Led by Chancellor Van Gruensven, we have continued to show that we are a resilient and devoted community of teachers, researchers, scholars, artists and students. This community’s courage gives me strength. I am eager to build our future together.”