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UWFox CEO/Dean Jim Perry Announces Retirement

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University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley Campus Executive Office/Dean, James W. Perry, Ph.D., has announced his retirement, effective February 11, 2011.  Perry, who is also a Professor of Biological Sciences for the UW Colleges, has been the UWFox administrative leader since 1993. 

CEO/Dean Jim PerryIn a letter to his faculty and staff colleagues at UWFox, Perry said, “Many of you know how much I love this campus and the many people involved in its success, so you may be surprised by my announcement and its suddenness. However you should know that I have contemplated this decision for a long time and had many discussions with Joy [Mrs. Joy Perry] about it. I recently came to the decision that stepping into a new life now is the right choice.  And once I made that decision to retire, I decided that I did not want to operate as a “lame duck” for any interim period.  In short, the time is right for me now.”

During his time at UWFox, the Menasha campus experienced significant growth in enrollment and in facilities, with more than 1,700 students currently enrolled.

In the mid-90’s, he spearheaded the drive to construct the Barlow Planetarium, one of the finest facilities of its kind in the entire Midwest. The Barlow opened its doors in 1998. 

In the late ‘90’s, Perry helped establish the Weis Earth Science Museum, which is designated as the state’s official earth science museum.  The WESM opened in 2002. 

Several years later, working with UW-Platteville, the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce and numerous local businesses, Perry helped establish the Fox Valley Collaborative Engineering Program, which included a new engineering lab for those students who were studying to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering or Electrical Engineering at the UWFox campus. 

Perry collaborated with UW-Oshkosh to bring a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Administration and a Bachelor’s Degree in Leadership Development to UWFox. Working with UW-Stevens Point, he helped establish the Bachelor’s Degree in American Studies at the Menasha campus.

Most recently, Perry worked with the UW-Fox Valley Foundation, Inc. to bring the Communication Arts Center to UWFox. The CAC opened in 2009. 

Perry is a proud product of the UW System. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Marathon County in Wausau for the first two years of his undergraduate education, before transferring to UW-Madison. 

He received all of his university degrees from UW-Madison, including a Bachelor of Science in Zoology and Secondary Education (1971); a Master of Science in Botany and Zoology (1973); and a Ph.D. in Botany and Plant Pathology (1982). 

His post-doctoral experience includes participation in the Harvard Institute of Educational Management. Upon completion of his M.S., he served as a non-instructional academic staff member in Botany at UW-Madison. In 1983 he took a faculty position at Frostburg State University in the University System of Maryland, where he became a tenured professor and chair of the Department of Biology, Wildlife and Fisheries, was active in statewide faculty governance organizations, served as Chair of the Faculty, and was awarded FSU's 1987 Faculty Achievement Award in Teaching. 

In his letter to the campus community, Perry said, “The Fox Cities community has enriched my life and I’ve been privileged to give back to some limited extent,” he said. “This new phase of my life will allow me to devote more time to assisting in whatever ways I can.” 

Perry has been a member of numerous boards of directors within the greater Fox Cities, as well as several state-wide organizations. 

He has been recognized by numerous local civic and educational organizations. In 1999, the Fox Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau presented him with its “Pinnacle Award.”  In 2004, he was cited by Appleton Downtown Rotary with its, “Paul Harris Fellow Award,” and by the University of Wisconsin Alumni Association with its, “Wisconsin Alumni Award.”  He received the UW Colleges “Chancellor’s Award” in 2008, and the “Appleton Education Foundation Award” in 2010.

UW Colleges Interim Chancellor Marv Van Kekerix said, “Since he joined the UW-Fox Valley campus, he [Jim Perry] has made innumerable positive contributions to the campus, the Fox Valley community, and the UW Colleges as a whole.  I want to assure you that incoming Chancellor Ray Cross will make the smooth transition of campus leadership at UWFox one of his utmost priorities in the coming week, and the search for a permanent replacement will start sometime in the coming year. 

Incoming Chancellor Cross will appoint an interim CEO/Dean at UWFox while a search is made for Perry’s permanent replacement. 

For more information about UWFox, Perry’s retirement, or the succession plan, contact Dave Hager, director of University Relations, at 920-832-2611 or email david.hager@uwc.edu.


Posted 2/5/2011