Chancellor Van Galen



Welcome to my blog. I look forward to keeping you informed on topics that are meaningful to UW-River Falls and the Falcon community. It is my hope that my contributions spark conversations and ignite ideas throughout campus.

As always, I welcome your views and feedback and can be reached directly at


Students converse at URSCA day event


Moments of Pride

Monday, March 6, 2017

A few years ago I was interviewed by a student reporter and was asked the question: "What is your favorite part of being a Chancellor?" For me, interacting with students and seeing the impact our faculty and staff have on student's lives is immensely enjoyable, and probably most rewarding.
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1870 petition


The Power of Universities and Communities Working Together

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

In 1870, a group of citizens from Pierce and St. Croix counties petitioned the Wisconsin Legislature to locate the next state normal school in River Falls.  Voters from the towns of River Falls, Clifton, Troy and Kinnickinnic requested the authority to vote a tax of $20,000 to make this possible. Read More

International Thanksgiving


Global Gratitude

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Over the years, many people have told me that Thanksgiving is their favorite holiday. Perhaps it is the harvest-inspired food, the time spent with family and friends, or the absence of any expectation for exchanging of gifts. Read More



The Enduring Power of Education and Philanthropy

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

As chancellor, I attend and speak at many events.  Although a mentor of mine, a former university president, once quipped that the role of a university president is mostly to talk and eat – and there may be a grain of truth in that!  Read More

Kinnickinnic River 

Who Shaped Your Journey?

Wednesday, September 7, 2016  

Let's try an experiment. Make a list of the ten people who have had the greatest impact on positively shaping your life's journey.
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Community Picnic

Brats, Music, and Is a College Degree Still Worth It?

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

As a first-generation college student, I have seldom questioned the value of college. Education has not only transformed my life, but the lives of so many of my friends and family.
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