Here is a statement by Wisconsin Technology Council President Tom Still on the announcement that Rolf Wegenke, president of the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, will retire by August 2022 following a national search for his successor.
Rolf Wegenke’s contributions to Wisconsin’s private colleges and universities over the past three decades are well-documented, providing strategies that assisted those institutions in becoming more efficient, helped students avail themselves of financial aid, and reinforced the notion that a college degree can help people throughout life.
Wegenke should also be remembered as dedicated public servant before his tenure with WAICU began, working in key economic development roles during the administrations of five Wisconsin governors, both Democrat and Republican.
That experience helped Wegenke envision what Wisconsin’s economy should become over time.
He understood the linkages between education, post-secondary training and a strong workforce. He was a tireless advocate for the notion that financial aid could help all college students – private or public – gain access to education and complete their degree work with less debt.
Wegenke was a founder of the Wisconsin Technology Council, serving on its board of directors since its inception and providing invaluable insights through his work on the Tech Council’s executive committee.
Wisconsin’s private colleges collectively produce as many science, technology, engineering and mathematics degree holders as the state’s public universities, which has enriched the workforce by offering more STEM-educated talent.
It is fortunate for Wisconsin’s private colleges that Wegenke will continue to provide leadership until his successor is found. It is equally fortunate that he will continue to be of service to the Tech Council, an organization he helped to shape over two decades.
U.S. News: Wisconsin Private Colleges leader to retire after 3 decades