Viterbo University Strides Magazine Online

President Medland Announces Transition

As he begins his fifteenth year as president of Viterbo University, Bill Medland announced that he will transition to a newly created position as Chancellor of the University.

Medland will assume his new duties effective July 1, 2006, when he concludes his tenure as the longest serving president in Viterbo’s history. The new position will involve community relations and fund raising responsibilities. It is a senior position which will report to the president.

In related news, a committee of trustees has been formed by the board chair to begin a national search for Medland’s successor. A search firm will be hired to assist in the process. 

During the course of Medland’s tenure, endowment has grown from $2.7 to $14.1 million and enrollment has more than doubled to a current figure of over 2,700. This growth, along with other changes in curriculum transformed Viterbo from a college to a university in 2000. Other milestones that occurred since his appointment as Viterbo president in 1991 include the expansion of graduate programs into the areas of business, nursing, servant leadership, and educational leadership. In addition, this year, Viterbo will confer over 460 Master of Arts in Education degrees compared to the 41 which were awarded at the time of Medland’s arrival.

Most significant to the university is the leadership he provided to the successful completion of the strategic plan, VISION 2005: A Renaissance for Living and Learning in the 21st Century. The plan, which dramatically changed the landscape of the university, included: construction of the D.B. and Marge Reinhart Center for Ethics, Science, and Technology (2003); the development of Rose Terrace, an apartment style student residence (1997); construction of the Viterbo Outdoor Athletic Complex along Highway 16 (1998); and the establishment of the D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership (1998).  Elsewhere, the addition of a clock tower, landscaped green spaces, walkways, and courtyards, have been part of a campus beautification effort. 

The final project identified in VISION 2005 will be completed when the doors open this fall for the Amie L. Mathy Center for Recreation and Education which will be the first collaborative facility of its kind in the nation that combined the efforts of a university and a Boys & Girls Club in joint fund raising and construction. In all, over $42 million dollars in enhancements to the university campus and endowment occurred during the VISION 2005 strategic plan.

Medland himself has been the recipient of a number of honors including the 2003 Iverson-Freking Ecumenical Award and the La Crosse Tribune Person of the Year Award for 2003. Recently he earned the 2004 Chamber of Commerce Chair’s Community Service Award and the National Man and Youth Award from the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

Medland is also a cancer survivor who has undergone three surgeries over the course of seven years. In 2004, he was named honorary chair of the American Cancer Society’s Tri-college Relay for Life.

Meanwhile, Medland is looking forward to the changes that will occur as part of the announced transition. “I have always said that change is good and this is a great example of where it applies to me and to the university,” Medland said.  “As I look forward to the year ahead, I am very excited to be working with the faculty and staff in making a smooth transition to new leadership. It has been an honor to serve Viterbo and the people who comprise this campus community and I owe a great deal of thanks to the Trustees, the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, and the faculty and staff for their gracious -support.”

The president appointed to succeed Medland will take office July 1, 2006. The individual selected will be the eighth person in the history of Viterbo to serve as president.