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New chancellor Van Galen begins reign at UW-River Falls

Dean Van Galen, becomes the 18th chancellor in UW-River Falls history

RIVER FALLS - Wisconsin native Dean Van Galen joined the UW River Falls today as its 18th chancellor in its 135-year-history as the western-most University of Wisconsin campus.

"As I become a member of the UW-River Falls community--and the St. Croix Valley--the most important task I have will be to listen and learn, so that I may develop a deep understanding of the university's history, traditions, hopes and dreams and most importantly, its people," said Van Galen.

Prior to his selection as chancellor, Van Galen served as the vice president of advancement at the University of West Florida (Pensacola) for six years, where he led alumni relations, development, marketing and communications as well as its Foundation.

He previously served as vice president for advancement at Truman State University in Missouri. Van Galen began his academic career in 1987 at Truman State University as a chemistry professor, earning honors as Educator of the Year in 1988-89. The Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) named him Professor of the Year for the state of Missouri in 1991. In 1994-95 he was American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow.

Van Galen earned his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from UW-Whitewater, where he met his wife, Mary. After earning a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from Kansas State University, he worked as a post-doctoral research associate at the University of California, Berkeley.

"I send my best wishes to Dr. Van Galen as he assumes the role of Chancellor," said Connie Foster, who served as the interim chancellor for the past year. "I am confident he will provide the leadership needed to ensure that we continue to serve as the learning nucleus for the St. Croix Valley."

Foster will return to her previous position as interim provost until Fernando Delgado, currently dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Hamline University, joins Van Galen on July 1.