Chancellor Katherine Frank has worked a variety of academic and administrative jobs, from being a teacher’s assistant, to assisting with administrative work at the University of Washington, before eventually landing the role of UW-Stout’s 8th Chancellor on March 1st, 2020. Her array of jobs and experience in the educational field have supplied her with a well-rounded and student-centered vision. Her investiture activities normally would have been around that time, but unfortunately, COVID-19 hit around a week later.

Of course, COVID-19 was a huge surprise, and drastically changed the operations of every school across the globe. UW-Stout was no different, and Chancellor Frank certainly had her hands full. She went on to say that working throughout COVID-19 was challenging and impacted going abouts at the University. “Covid impacted all operations at the university, involved university and community coordination and collaboration, included coordination with the UW System, and involved communication with the vast network of university stakeholders.” However, Chancellor Frank states that she’s proud of how the university handled the challenges, including new construction plans and a new athletics team, women’s lacrosse, among other accomplishments.

Eventually, after it was safe to have large gatherings, Chancellor Frank kicked off her investiture activities on October 14th of this year. It was a weeklong event, helmed by a committee of faculty, staff and students who she said “did an outstanding job”. When asked to pick a favorite, Chancellor Frank said that she enjoyed any activity that emphasized our community. She went on to say that “Investiture ceremonies are usually centered on the new leader as they begin a new role at a university. I really wanted our investiture celebration to be about UW-Stout, our community of learners, and our friends and partners who help to support the university’s mission and work.” She specified that the K-12 art exhibit at Raw Deal and the Rotary Packa-thon were some of the standout events, though she was incredibly grateful at the amount of support she got throughout the week.

Chancellor Frank’s joy with the more community emphasized events certainly correlate to her leadership style as well, as she says, “Each role is grounded in student success, meaning that students are always at the center of the work. I have learned how and why students should be kept at the center regardless of the work involved.”. Chancellor Frank hopes that UW-Stout continues to improve as a university through their 10-year plan “FOCUS2030”, increase enrollment numbers, launch their comprehensive Academic Plan led by Provost Rodriguez, implement the Strategic Enrollment Plan led by Vice Chancellor King and design and launch a new Long-Range University Plan focused on university infrastructure led by Vice Chancellor Guenard.

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