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Raymond W. Cross appointed UW System president

January 17, 2014

Raymond W. (Ray) Cross, chancellor of University of Wisconsin Colleges and University of Wisconsin-Extension, has been appointed as the next president of the University of Wisconsin System.
The UW System Board of Regents today approved Cross’s appointment, following the recommendation made by a selection committee. Cross plans to step into the new leadership post in mid-February.
Cross has led UW Colleges and UW-Extension since 2011. In that role, he has been responsible for the academic, financial, development, and administrative aspects of both statewide institutions. One of the highlights of his tenure has been the development and launch of the innovative UW Flexible Option.Cross-th
Prior to coming to Wisconsin, Cross served as president of Morrisville State College, a residential agriculture and technology college of the State University of New York (SUNY). He has also served as president of Northwest Technical College in Bemidji, Minn., and was a department head and a professor at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Mich.
In addition to his career in academia, Cross has experience in the private sector as a design engineer, small-business owner and consultant to business, industry and government. From 1967-70, Cross served with the U.S. Army and was awarded four medals for his service in Vietnam.
Cross received his doctorate in college and university administration from Michigan State University. He earned a master’s degree in industrial education at Central Michigan University and a bachelor’s degree in technical education from Ferris State University. In 2007, Colgate University awarded Cross an honorary doctorate of science.
Cross will be the UW System’s seventh president, succeeding Kevin P. Reilly, who stepped out of the office last month to advise the American Council on Education (ACE) and return to teaching. UW-Whitewater Chancellor Richard J. Telfer stepped in as interim president on January 1, and will continue serving in that role until Cross takes office.
In line with market-based compensation guidelines approved by the Board of Regents in October, Cross will earn $525,000 as president. Cross said he intends to create a new need-based scholarship fund for students at UW Colleges and UW-Extension.
Ray lives in Fitchburg with his wife, Miriam. They have four children and five grandchildren.