Leader and chief administrator of UW Colleges and UW-Extension since December 2014, Dr. Cathy Sandeen is responsible for the academic, financial and administrative aspects of both institutions.
Before joining the UW System, Sandeen was vice president for education attainment and innovation at the American Council on Education (ACE), the nation's largest and most visible association representing all sectors of higher education. She led ACE's effort to increase post-secondary educational attainment, capitalizing on her expertise in technology and higher education innovation, non-traditional students, prior learning assessment and alternative credentials.
Her curriculum vitae reveals a career devoted to the development of innovative programs for nontraditional students. Sandeen earned a Ph.D. in communication from the University of Utah and a Master of Business Administration degree from the UCLA Anderson School of Management. And her leadership experience includes more than 22 years promoting educational innovations.
A prolific writer and speaker, Sandeen has published and presented widely on the issues surrounding educational innovation and nontraditional students (read some of her more recent publications here). A recipient of several major grants, Sandeen has earned the University Professional Continuing Education Association’s Research and Scholarship Award and was named an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow in 2010-11.
The third chancellor of the University of Wisconsin Colleges and the University of Wisconsin-Extension, Sandeen reports directly to the UW System President and Board of Regents.