Chancellor Watson to resume university leadership role


UW-Whitewater photo/Craig Schreiner

UW-Whitewater Chancellor Dwight C. Watson stops to talk with students along Warhawk Drive as new students in learning communities painted Warhawk Drive and participated in other welcome activities presented by the First Year Experience program on Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020.

Chancellor Dwight Watson will be returning to lead the UW-Whitewater campus starting Monday, October 5.

UW System concluded a thorough investigation of certain allegations made against Chancellor Watson and found them to be without merit.

Regent President Andrew S. Petersen issued the following statement:

“I am glad this thorough investigation has concluded and that the allegations made against Chancellor Watson were found to be without merit. We look forward to the Chancellor’s return in leading UW-Whitewater on Monday.”

Statement from Chancellor Watson

I am happy to announce that I will be resuming my role as Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater on Monday, October 5, 2020.  I want to thank my Cabinet for the tremendous work that they have done leading the institution in my absence.  Also, much appreciation to the campus and extended community for your outpouring of support during this time. I know this was a period of additional uncertainty in uncertain times.  I thank you for your patience, understanding, and your trust in the process.

I am returning from leave following the University of Wisconsin System’s investigation of certain allegations made against me.  I am pleased that the outcome of this extensive investigation concludes with the investigators’ findings that I was truthful during my hiring process with the University of Wisconsin and that there is no evidence of misconduct during my tenure at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.  I am also appreciative of the thoroughness of the investigation and the swiftness in which it was conducted.

The University of Wisconsin System has demonstrated that it takes any allegations regarding sexual misconduct seriously and will employ due diligence in investigating and resolving such complaints.  In this instance I went on administrative leave with pay while the General Counsel’s office investigated certain allegations including allegations previously investigated and disposed of as unfounded six years ago on a previous campus where I served.  As I expected, the allegations were investigated thoroughly by the University of Wisconsin System, with no findings of wrongdoing. 

I am ready to return to lead the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and to address the challenges ahead.  I remain vigilant in supporting our processes involving sexual violence and sexual harassment for the betterment of our students. My focus now is on leading as Chancellor, I do not intend to issue any further public statements on this matter.