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Nelson Institute director announces resignation

March 6, 2007 By Tom Sinclair

The director of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison has announced her resignation, effective June 30.

In a letter to Provost Patrick Farrell, Frances Westley says she is leaving the university to be near family members in Canada who are experiencing health and medical problems.

Westley came to UW–Madison in January 2005 from McGill University in Montreal, where she was a professor of management for more than 20 years. She has accepted a new faculty position at the University of Waterloo in Ontario.

“I confess to great sadness in leaving this university and Madison,” she told Farrell. “I have been privileged to work with extraordinary people. Together, we have accomplished an enormous amount in a short period of time, and there is a very real momentum in the Nelson Institute, which I know will continue after my departure.”

During her tenure, Westley and her team worked to expand the Nelson Institute’s involvement in local, state and national affairs in the spirit of the Wisconsin Idea. She also helped lay the groundwork for a new Center for History, Culture and Environment and revitalize the educational mission of the institute.

“Frances has been an outstanding leader of the Nelson Institute,” says Farrell. “She has accomplished a great deal in the short time she has been here and is leaving the institute on a very solid foundation. We are extremely sorry to see her leave, but we understand her need to be closer to family.”

Adds Farrell, “Frances’ expertise in organizational change management has been an asset to the university beyond her leadership of the Nelson Institute. We hope her work at the University of Waterloo will make it possible for her to continue collaborations with colleagues here at Wisconsin.”