Telfer will begin the position after outgoing President Kevin Reilly leaves at the end of the year and will continue until a new president is chosen, according to a statement from the UW System.
“Chancellor Telfer came up through the ranks as a faculty member, administrator and academic leader. He understands the UW System and the complex issues we’re facing,” Board of Regents President Michael Falbo said in the statement. “We are fortunate to have someone with his considerable experience and leadership skill, who can provide an important sense of stability during this transition period.”
Telfer has been a member of UW-Whitewater’s campus community for more than 20 years, the statement said. Telfer has previously served as UW-Whitewater’s provost and vice chancellor, associate vice chancellor, chair of the department of curriculum and instruction and assistant dean of the graduate school.
Telfer worked to strengthen UW-Whitewater’s national success in academics and athletics by strengthening graduation and retention rates, establishing several nationally recognized academic programs, and creating learning communities and a student seminar, the statement said.
UW-Whitewater Provost and Vice Chancellor Beverly Kopper will become the interim chancellor at UW-Whitewater while Telfer serves as interim president.
UW System Spokesperson David Giroux said UW System officials discussed bringing in an interim president when Reilly announced his plan to leave at the end of December.
UW System search and screen committee members determined that it was unlikely to have a new system president named by then, much less in office, Giroux said.
Next month, the search committee for the next system president will begin vetting applications and is expected to name the next president in January 2014.
The search and screen process remains on track, but Giroux said it is likely that it may be some months before the next president is able to actually step into office following their election.
Read the full UW System news release here.