VICKI LORD LARSON
At the recent annual conference of the Wisconsin Women in Higher Education Leadership (WWHEL) at Marian College of Fond du Lac, Dr. Vicki Lord Larson, Interim Chancellor, UW-Eau Claire, was presented the Outstanding Achievement Award for 2005 by Dr. Carol Sue Butts, President of WWHEL and Provost & Vice Chancellor of UW-Platteville at the dinner and reception at the Fond du Lac Ramada Plaza Inn on October 20. A founding member of WWHEL, Vicki has supported the advancement of women and minorities in higher education in Wisconsin throughout her career. Dr. Lord Larson joined UW-Eau Claire's faculty in 1973. Later she became a professor of communication disorders and served as chair of the department fro
m 1978-1983. From 1984 to 1993, she was assistant, associate, and ultimately dean for Graduate Studies and University Research at UW-Oshkosh. In 1994 and 1995, she became acting and then official provost and vice chancellor at UW-Oshkosh. After her retirement in 2000, she served as a consultant to the UW System president on women’s leadership development.
From highly visible top-level leadership positions such as co-chair of the UW System Committee for the Study of the Status of Women, she has been a courageous role model, providing an improved climate and opportunities for women and minorities to move into leadership positions in Wisconsin higher education. In 1999, she directed a rigorous analysis of the experiences of women students, faculty, and staff in the UW system and co-authored a report which was accepted and endorsed by the UW System President and Board of Regents. This report’s recommendations created a blueprint for action to improve the status of women at UW System institutions. In 2001, she became an acquisitions editor and in 2004 acquisitions manager for Eau Claire-based Thinking Publications. She is on leave from the business while serving as interim chancellor at UW-Eau Claire.
In her enthusiastic letter of nomination, Dr. Louise Root-Robbins noted, "It is truly remarkable that Vicki has managed to have such a successful academic career while continuously taking the time to provide assistance and vision on behalf of improving the status of women and thereby the effectiveness of the entire UW System organization. It is also noteworthy that Vicki is highly respected by the people she works with; every person without exception that I have spoken to in reference to Vicki have unanimously positive comments. I do not add this comment as evidence of her popularity but instead as an indicator of her effectiveness at collaborating and bringing people together around important, and often times controversial, issues such as gender equity in higher education. . . . [She] embodies the purpose and spirit of this award."