The Western Technical College District Board has announced the selection of Dr. Roger Stanford as the college’s seventh president. Stanford, currently the Vice President of Academic Affairs at Western, will succeed Dr. Lee Rasch, who will retire on June 30.
In announcing the selection, District Board Chairperson Dennis Treu said, “Roger’s passion for education, student success, technical college mission, and, ultimately, for Western really came through in his interviews. He has a deep respect for the work that has gone into our Vision 2020 strategic plan and brings inspiring ideas for how to keep the college moving in that direction.”
During his two years at Western, Stanford started a flexible learning initiative that targets working adult students, created a team model to engage faculty in student success initiatives and college priorities, and led the implementation of a K-12 academy model, including the design of a facility to serve high school juniors and seniors.
“I’m both humbled and honored to have been selected to lead this great college,” said Stanford. “Western has a stellar reputation in the district and the state for high-quality education, and has even garnered national attention for leading-edge sustainability efforts. I look forward to sharing my experience and continuing the momentum for many years to come.”
Prior to Western, he served as the Vice President of Instruction at Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) in Eau Claire. He has also worked in higher education as an instructor, a dean, and a director of professional development, in addition to 10 years teaching at the high school level.
Stanford was the first in his family to attend college, and is a graduate of the Wisconsin Technical College System. He earned an associate’s degree in Marketing Management from CVTC before continuing his education with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing Education from the University of Wisconsin-Stout, a master’s degree in Education and Professional Development from UW-La Crosse, and a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from Capella University.
“We had an excellent pool of applicants from which to choose,” said Treu. “Roger rose to the top based on his extensive experience, his enthusiasm for technical education, and his recognition of the importance of community. He is a perfect fit for Western and the district we serve.”
Stanford was selected from a pool of 35 candidates from across the United States. The Search Committee – made up of District Board members, staff, faculty, and members of the community – shaped the president profile after gathering input through staff meetings, community forums, phone interviews, online surveys, and face-to-face sessions. The committee invited three finalists to participate in additional interviews, presentations, open forums, tours, and meetings with various groups around campus.
“The finalists were outstanding and the committee recommended all three to the full board, which ultimately selected Dr. Stanford following a final round of face-to-face interviews on April 6,” said Treu. “We want to thank everyone who participated in this important process.”
Stanford’s selection will be officially approved at the April 18 Board meeting, and he will begin in the position on July 1.