After five months of preparation, Patrick Guilfoile moved into his new office Monday.
Guilfoile was appointed the interim chancellor at UW-Stout in March when Chancellor Bob Meyer announced his retirement set for August.
Guilfoile has been Stout’s provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs since July 2015. He has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Northland College, a master’s from UW-Eau Claire in teaching biology and a doctorate in bacteriology from UW-Madison, according to UW-Stout. He also was a postdoctoral fellow for biomedical research at MIT.
Meyer served the university as chancellor for the previous five year and has been with UW-Stout for 32 years.
Guilfoile’s first day featured meetings with cabinet to lay out a foundation for the school year and new staff to ensure the culture at UW-Stout continues under the leadership change.
In his role as provost, Guilfoile has filled in for the chancellor in his absence in the short-term and that has put him in position to get a better understanding of what his new role will entail.
“I’ve also worked closely with Chancellor Meyer and been involved in many discussions and decision-making processes, so I’ve gained some insight from that as well,” Guilfoile said. “Being the provost, I’ve had a particular opportunity to work on the academic side of the university so I have that insight, but I’ve also had the opportunity to work with people across campus so I feel like I know quite a few folks.”
A key for Guilfoile during his duration as interim chancellor is maintaining the vision built by Meyer. The two were working on a comprehensive fundraising campaign that is nearing its original goal, and continuing that campaign is near the top of Guilfoile’s priorities.
“One of my thoughts was trying to make sure to preserve the legacy that he’s developed,” Guilfoile said.
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With a December announcement for the new full-time chancellor scheduled, Guilfoile isn’t concerned about what he can accomplish in that duration. He knows whether he is selected to continue as chancellor or moved back to his previous position, he can continue to work toward the administration’s goals.
“The orientation will be a little bit different, but I think a lot of the work will be the same,” Guilfoile said the unknown of his interim title. “What we start or continue — for example, a comprehensive campaign that will be something that will continue this year no matter whether I continue as interim chancellor or somebody else does.”
Meyer told Stout faculty and students in March he fully endorsed Guilfoile and is “very pleased that Patrick will take over as chancellor when I step away.”
Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Glendali Rodriguez took over as UW-Stout interim provost on Monday as well.
Rodriguez is a licensed architect in Wisconsin and holds a Master of Architecture degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She joined UW-Stout in 2005, according to UW-Stout.
A search process is underway for a permanent replacement for Chancellor Meyer. Applications are due Friday, Sept. 13.
Guilfoile will officially address faculty and staff for Opening Day and Engagement Sessions on Aug. 26 to kick off the 2019-20 academic year. Classes begin Sept. 4.
“I look forward to continuing to advance our mission and vision as a polytechnic institution with an emphasis on applied learning, a focus on career preparation and a continued spotlight on collaboration within and beyond the walls of our institution,” Guilfoile said.