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University of Wisconsin System President Kevin P. Reilly Named ACE Presidential Advisor for Leadership

July 30, 2013


​ACE today named Kevin P. Reilly presidential advisor for leadership. Reilly, currently president of the University of Wisconsin System, will join the Council in January 2014 after nearly nine years in that position.

In his new position, Reilly will work closely with ACE President Molly Corbett Broad to expand the capacity and reach of ACE’s wide array of programs that serve college and university chancellors and presidents, as well as other senior leaders and rising administrators. Reilly will also play a major role in the planning and design of ACE’s Annual Meeting.

“For decades, ACE has supported current leaders and helped develop the next generation of individuals who will lead our institutions into the future,” said Broad. “With more than two decades in higher education leadership, Kevin brings with him deep and wide-ranging experience that will bolster and reenergize ACE’s current offerings while helping us think creatively about what the next generation of leaders will need to achieve success.”

“This is a genuinely exciting opportunity for me. As president of the UW System, I have hired and worked as a colleague with 31 chancellors and interim chancellors. Earlier, in New York, I worked closely with leaders in two other large public systems, the State University of New York and the City University of New York, as well as in the Empire State's vast array of independent colleges and universities,” said Reilly.

“As the academic and financial platforms of American higher education morph beneath us in both sectors, leaders of the future will need a new set of skills and attitudes to move the academy forward, while preserving its best traditions. I look forward to partnering with President Broad and ACE to contribute to the development of that new leadership cadre,” said Reilly.

Reilly, who began his tenure as the sixth president of the University of Wisconsin System in September 2004, oversees a system that includes two doctoral universities, 11 comprehensive universities, 13 freshman-sophomore UW Colleges and the statewide UW-Extension. UW serves more than 181,000 students annually and reaches more than 1 million Wisconsin citizens through outreach, public broadcasting and continuing education programs. Reilly currently leads a UW System workforce of approximately 40,000 faculty, academic and classified staff, and graduate assistants. He is also responsible for the UW System’s $5.9 billion annual budget, made up of state support, federal funding, tuition and fees, and private gifts.

In collaboration with the campus chancellors in the System, Reilly developed the “Growth Agenda for Wisconsin,” a long-term vision and strategic plan for what the university needs to do to help Wisconsin and the nation be more competitive in the global knowledge economy. The UW System has been ranked by the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems among the five “most productive state systems and public sectors of higher education relative to their resources.”

Reilly served as chancellor of UW-Extension from July 2000 through August 2004, after serving as provost and vice chancellor of that institution for four years. A native of New York City, he came to Wisconsin from the State University of New York System, where he was associate provost for Academic Programs and then secretary of the university.

Reilly has served as a member and secretary of ACE’s Board of Directors and as chair of ACE’s Commission on Adult Learning and Educational Credentials. He has been a member of the Board of Directors for the University Continuing Education Association (UCEA) and vice chair of its Commission on Leadership and Management. He also was a member of the steering committee for four statewide Wisconsin Economic Summits convened by the UW System. He currently is a member of the Higher Education Working Group on Global Issues for the Council on Foreign Relations and the steering committee for the Celtic Studies Program at UW-Madison. He also serves as president of the National Association of System Heads.

In 2009, Reilly received the Signature of Excellence Award from UCEA for exemplary service to continuing higher education. Also in 2009, he was named one of the top 100 Irish-American educators by Irish Voice weekly. He has authored and edited books and articles on higher education policy, accreditation, biography and autobiography, and Irish studies.

Reilly earned his BA at the University of Notre Dame (IN) and his MA and PhD at the University of Minnesota.

MEDIA CONTACT: Erin Hennessy ▪ 202-939-9367 ▪

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