New interim chancellor to apply for permanent role


Pictured is new UW-Whitewater interim chancellor, John Chenoweth, speaking at the unity walk held on campus. (Picture taken by Craig Schreiner)

Sydney Wojcik, Arts & Recreation Editor

Beginning on Tuesday April 5, Provost Dr. John Chenoweth took over as the new interim chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Succeeding Interim Chancellor Jim Henderson, Chenoweth intends to represent and lead the university while the search for a long-term chancellor begins. 

“I expect to stay in the role until a permanent chancellor is appointed. I do intend to apply for the position. My understanding is that the search for that chancellor will begin soon and be completed during the first part of the 2022-2023 academic year,” said Chenoweth. “I do believe that each of the chancellors we hired in the past did intend to stay in the role long-term. Circumstances have been such that our two most recent permanent chancellors did not stay in that role very long regardless of their original intent.” 

Henderson sent out a message to the UW-W campus April 4 stating that he is unable to finish his time as interim chancellor due to a change of circumstances with the UW System regarding a free speech survey that he and other chancellors objected to being sent out to students. The Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service is administering the survey, but the work is funded by UW-Stout’s Menard Center for Public Policy and Service, which receives donations from the conservative Charles Koch Foundation and Menards store chain, which is a donor of GOP causes. The Advisory Board consists of mostly conservatives appointed by former Republican Gov. Scott Walker. There are concerns about leading questions on the survey that would encourage conservative leaning responses, which could be used politically against universities in the future. 

“One of my three goals for my time as interim chancellor has been to help this campus hire the best chancellor possible who will be here for the long term,” said Henderson. “Over the past few days it has become clear to me that I cannot make progress on that goal.” 

The university has had four chancellors or interim chancellors over the past five years. The UW System and UW-Whitewater vice chancellors have pledged to aid the university through yet another leadership transition while maintaining the continued success of it’s students. 

“Interim Chancellor Chenoweth and the vice chancellors have my full support,” said Dean of Students Elizabeth Watson. “The Dean of Students team is committed to ensuring that the campus community continues to move forward to serve our students and their success.”