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UW-Madison names dean of Division of Continuing Studies

June 28, 2011

Jeffrey S. Russell has been named vice provost for lifelong learning and dean of the University of Wisconsin–Madison Division of Continuing Studies.

Russell is professor and chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UW–Madison.

“Connecting learning opportunities at UW–Madison with all learners is such a critical part of our mission, and we believe Jeff has the skills to meet the diverse needs of nontraditional students,” says Provost Paul M. DeLuca Jr. “Jeff’s experience in being innovative and creative to best prepare both undergraduate and graduate students is essential.”

Russell has been on the UW–Madison engineering faculty since 1989 and has served as chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the College of Engineering since 2004. Russell’s primary research areas are decision analysis and construction process improvement.

“My vision is to enable nontraditional students to grow through access to education,” Russell says. “The challenge is to make education more meaningful, more relevant and more accessible. To do that, we have to focus on innovation going forward and how we use people and technology to accomplish that.”

Russell has held the Pieper Foundation Chair in Servant Leadership since 2009. Russell holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati and a master’s and doctorate in civil engineering from Purdue University.

“We have a tremendous brand, both in the division and on campus, and our job is to leverage our skills and resources to benefit those nontraditional students and lifelong learners,” Russell says.

The Division of Continuing Studies is considered a gateway for nontraditional learners to access resources, facilities and programs at UW–Madison and supports the integration of the outreach function into the fabric of the university.

The division’s primary role comprises leadership, administrative oversight, and marketing responsibility for UW–Madison’s noncredit offerings, credit outreach and summer session.

The vice provost and dean provides campuswide leadership of the outreach mission and direct oversight for a combined faculty and staff of approximately 100 full-time equivalent employees and a budget of $15 million. Russell will earn an annual salary of $222,000.