Dr. Dennis J. Shields – Black Men in Educational Leadership

April 29, 2021

Dr. Dennis J. Shields, Chancellor UW-Platteville

Dr. Dennis J. Shields has overseen a transformation of the University of Wisconsin Platteville campus during his 10 years as chancellor. Since he assumed office on July 1, 2010, the university has experienced tremendous growth in students, programs and facilities, including construction of two residence halls and—most recently—the successful efforts to gain approval for a $23.7 million renovation project for the university’s primary science building and the construction of a new, $55 million engineering building.

During the 2020/2021 academic year, Shields also took on a unique role as the color commentator of the men’s and women’s basketball games. A former basketball player himself at Graceland University, Shields said color commentary comes naturally for him, according to an interview aired by WKOW-TV in Madison.

Shields was named the 14th Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville on March 17, 2010. At the time of his selection, he had been serving as Acting Vice President for Student Affairs at the City College of New York in New York City. Prior to joining the City College of New York in 2009, Shields served as Dean and Professor of Law at the Phoenix School of Law, which was established in 2005. He led that school to provisional accreditation by the American Bar Association. He previously directed admissions and financial aid at the Duke University School of Law for seven years, and has served in leadership roles with several national organizations affiliated with legal education.

Shields is a native of Johnston, Iowa. Early in his career, he held several senior positions at the University of Michigan Law School and the University of Iowa. He earned an undergraduate degree in business administration from Graceland College in Lamoni, Iowa. He earned his J.D. from the University of Iowa in 1982.