Chancellor Search

Chancellor Maria Gallo


Dr. Maria Gallo named new Chancellor of UW-River Falls

Appointment takes effect July 15, 2021

MADISON, Wis.—Dr. Maria Gallo, President of Delaware Valley University in Doylestown, Pa., has been named the 20th Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin–River Falls.

The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents today unanimously approved Gallo’s appointment, following a recommendation made by a selection committee. Gallo will assume the leadership post on July 15, 2021.

Gallo, a Fulbright Scholar and a fellow of the American Society of Agronomy and the Crop Science Society of America, has been president of Delaware Valley University since July 1, 2016. Under her leadership, the university has announced its first endowed professorship, increased student retention, and grown its hydroponics and aquaponics education program.

Prior to that, she was Dean and Director of Research and Cooperative Extension of the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. A plant molecular biologist, Gallo was professor and chair of the agronomy department at the University of Florida where she specialized in crop improvement. She earned her B.S. in agronomy from Cornell University, and both her M.S. in crop science and Ph.D. in genetics from North Carolina State University.

“Dr. Gallo will be a terrific asset to UW-River Falls,” said UW System President Tommy Thompson.  “She has an extensive academic background as a scholar with expertise in agronomy and genetics. She will take UW-River Falls to new heights.”

"I would like to thank the Board of Regents, President Thompson, the Search Committee, and the UW-River Falls community for the honor of serving as Chancellor,” Gallo said. “I am inspired by the university’s commitment to academic excellence, student success, and affordability. I look forward to partnering with the 12 chancellors in the UW System along with UW-River Falls faculty, staff, alumni, and friends to bring innovation and opportunity to the state and the St. Croix Valley."

“Dr. Gallo is a dynamic leader who we believe will be a great fit as the next UW-River Falls Chancellor,” said Regent Scott Beightol, chair of the Search and Screen Committee. “Her experience is exemplary, and we look forward to her leading the next generation of students. She was extraordinarily impressive to the search committee. We were impressed with her energy, her enthusiasm for the opportunity to lead UW‑River Falls, her strong ties to agriculture and outstanding credentials, her sense of urgency in addressing enrollment and financial challenges, and her desire to make UW‑River Falls an outstanding comprehensive university in the UW System.”

“Dr. Gallo has a multitude of strengths which complement and further add to our wonderful university,” said Sylvia Kehoe, committee vice chair and professor of dairy science at UW-River Falls. “She will have a lot of eager staff, faculty, and students to rely on who are ready to take us to the next level and into the future.”

The Special Regent Committee for the UW-River Falls Chancellor Search that recommended Gallo to the full Board of Regents includes Regents Beightol, Amy Blumenfeld Bogost, Becky Levzow, Corey Saffold, and Kyle Weatherly. President Thompson concurred in the recommendation.

The Search and Screen Committee includes members of the Special Regent Committee; Kehoe; Neil Kraus, professor of politics, geography, and international studies; Sarah Nelson, executive director of admissions; Dan McGinty, alumnus and former employee; Madeleine Olson, student; and Carlos Alderete, student (ex-officio).

Gallo will earn $268,200 as chancellor.

The naming of Dr. Gallo as UWRF’s 20th chancellor follows the departure of Chancellor Dean Van Galen who left UW-River Falls in July 2020 after being selected as president of Missouri Southern State University. Van Galen was succeeded by Interim Chancellor Connie Foster who has been leading the university for the past year. The process of selecting UWRF’s next permanent chancellor began in November 2020 with the selection of the Search and Screen Committee as announced by University of Wisconsin System President Tommy Thompson and Board of Regents President Andrew S. Petersen. Listening sessions were held Dec. 7, 2020, for employees, students and other stakeholders to provide input on priorities and challenges for the next chancellor. That input was used to build the position opportunity summary and prospectus On April 19, UW System President Tommy Thompson announced five finalists for the position of chancellor. All five finalists held on-campus visits the week of April 26.

Learn more about Gallo in her curriculum vitae.

Media Contact:

Mark Pitsch
UW System

Beth Schommer
UW-River Falls