May 11: Mike Falbo on UW System Leadership Transition

–submitted by Valerie Renk

Mike Falbo shared a path to university system success on May 11; 37,000 degrees will be granted this year by the UW System. Falbo is the interim president of the University of Wisconsin System.  He was a regent for 11 years, being appointed twice. 

Jay Rothman takes over the helm as system president June 1, following a national search that started in January. Falbo served on the search and screen committee when he visited all UW campuses and talked with many stakeholders. Rothman led Foley & Lardner, where he developed his leadership skills. Rothman grew up on a farm in the Wausau area. 

Falbo originally told Rothman, “You have zero chances of getting this job, but you’ll learn a lot from the process.”  While he has no academic experience, Falbo described Roth’s qualifications, saying a good leader knows their strengths, a great leader knows their weaknesses. 

The UW System is big business, with 40,000 employees, a $6 billion budget, and 165,000 students.  Falbo said the system is trying to leverage positives such as the Chancellor group, making it campus driven. They are building into a strategic plan in a short time frame, finishing by end of 2022.  He found separate groups during the campus visits, so team building is important. 

If you missed our meeting this week, you can watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHpAC9x0XYo.

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