Madison, Wisconsin – Dr. Rolf Wegenke, President/CEO of the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (WAICU), has announced that he plans to retire in the summer of 2022.

Wegenke states, “I have had two professional careers—nearly 17 years in economic development in the administrations of five Wisconsin Governors: Lucey, Schreiber, Dreyfus, Earl, and Thompson, and then, starting in January 1992, over 30 years in higher education with WAICU.

“I have been blessed to have had the opportunity to lead in the context of the most important issues of our times: economic development and education. A lot has happened in my more than 30 years as President of WAICU. WAICU’s mission is ‘Working together for educational opportunity,’ and Wisconsin Grants totaling $844,179,815 have gone to 478,066 Wisconsin college students during my tenure.

“Nationally, WAICU has been known for its creative collaborative services—called ‘transformative’ in the Congressional report, the College Cost Crisis. The 45+ programs now in place have saved over $230 million for our members and helped control college costs.”

Wegenke, having served under 88 WAICU presidents, credits his success to two factors: the presidents of the 23 private, nonprofit colleges who serve as WAICU’s Board of Directors “have been entrepreneurial risk takers and supported me over the years. I have also been the beneficiary of a dedicated and hardworking staff.”

A national search firm will be heading the recruitment process. The formal search will begin in November/December 2021, and the transition will be in July/August 2022.

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