Chancellor’s Advisory Council

Mission: The purpose of the Chancellor’s Advisory Council (CAC) is to assist the university, by all appropriate means, to carry out its mission more effectively so it may better contribute to the region we serve. The CAC accomplishes this by providing ambassadorship and invaluable counsel and insights to the chancellor.  

Ex-Officio members

  • Executive Director, West Central WI Regional Planning Commission: Scott Allen
  • President, CVTC: Sunem Beaton-Garcia
  • Superintendent, River Falls School District: Jamie Benson
  • President, Inver Hills Community College/Dakota County Technical College: Michael Berndt
  • President & CEO, Pierce Pepin Cooperative Services: Nate Boettcher
  • Chair, UWRF Foundation Board: Dave Drewiske
  • Regional Director, WEDC: Ray French
  • Executive Director, Pierce County EDC: Joe Folsom
  • Director, River Falls Public Library: Tanya Misselt
  • Superintendent, Hudson School District: Nick Ouellette
  • President, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College: Kristen Raney
  • Executive Director, St. Croix County EDC: Melissa Meschke
  • River Falls City Administrator: Scot Simpson
  • Director of Learning and Development, Hudson Hospital & Clinics: Shana Weiss
  • President, Northwood Technical College: John Will
  • President, Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau: Mary Claire Olson Potter
  • Executive Director, River Falls Chamber of Commerce: Russ Korpela

Individual members

  • Jim Harsdorf: DATCP Secretary Emeritus; Dairy Farmer
  • Ben Jay: Executive Director Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (US Bank Stadium)
  • Larry Loverude: Community Service Manager, Xcel Energy (retired)
  • Larry McKenzie, ‘80: Coach; Pillsbury United Communities Public Charter Schools Director
  • Rich Melzer, ’04: CEO, YouthLink MN
  • Randy Romanski, ‘89: DATCP Secretary
  • Mark Tyler: UW Regent; Founder, OEM Fabricators
  • Terri Wilcox, ’77 and ‘85: Co-Founder, Resultants Consulting
  • Shannon Zimmerman: Entrepreneur


  • Provide advice regarding advocacy approaches, community relations and workforce needs. 
  • Help build awareness of UW-River Falls by communicating its impact in the region and beyond. 
  • Offer feedback to the chancellor regarding the institution’s strategic direction, including on ways to better serve the needs of the region through development of new programs or initiatives. 
  • Advise on external revenue building opportunities (e.g., network building/donor referrals, corporate gifts, grant opportunities). 
  • Help advocate for the institution’s needs in the community and with the State of Wisconsin, including accompanying the chancellor and others to meetings, visits, etc. 
  • Work in coordination with other external stakeholder groups, including the UWRF Foundation Board of Directors, academic deans’ advisory councils, university or college alumni advisory boards, center advisory councils, etc.  
  • Council members are not part of the formal governance of the university. 

The CAC is a premier volunteer opportunity, serving as the main resource for external stakeholder input to the operation of the university. Members should be committed, enthusiastic community leaders representing key external stakeholder constituencies. Members are selected on the basis of their leadership, expertise and experience in public, private, business and academic domains.  

  • Members are appointed for renewable three-year terms at the discretion of the chancellor. 
  • Anyone can suggest new members. Suggestions should be forwarded to the Chief of Staff along with a written justification and rationale. 
  • Members may be appointed in representation of specific organizations (ex-officio) or as individuals. 
  • Membership should be representative of the following priority themes. Members wishing to develop specific efforts within these themes may form subcommittees. 
    • Education 
    • Economic Development 
    • Community Relations 
    • Legislative Advocacy 
    • Gifts/Grants/Opportunities  
    • UWRF Core Values 


Formal meetings of the CAC will be held three times/year (tentatively April, August and December). CAC members will be invited to attend other relevant university events throughout the year.