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An official with the largest advocacy and research group in higher education will leave her post in Washington, D.C., to take over as chancellor of the University of Wisconsin Colleges and UW-Extension.

Cathy Sandeen has been vice president for education attainment and innovation at the American Council on Education since 2012. She'll start her new job Dec. 15 and earn $245,000.

Ray Cross formerly held the job before his promotion to UW System president in February.

Prior to her Washington job, Sandeen was an administrator on three public campuses in California. From 2006 to 2012 she was dean of continuing education at UCLA Extension. For the six years before that she was vice provost and dean of university extension and summer session at UC-Santa Cruz. Prior to that she held several leadership jobs at UC-San Francisco.

“Dr. Sandeen’s experience and expertise at the national level, her clear grasp of what quality and access mean for our UW Colleges and statewide Extension, and her excellent communication skills make her uniquely qualified to lead these institutions to a bright future,” Cross said in a statement.

Sandeen holds a PhD in communication from the University of Utah. She earned a master’s of business administration in management from UCLA, a master’s in broadcast communication from San Francisco State University and a bachelor’s degree in speech pathology from Humboldt State University.

“It is an honor to have been selected to lead these institutions, especially at this point in time,” Sandeen said in a statement. “With their clear focus on access, opportunity, service, and innovation — the embodiment of the Wisconsin Idea — I look forward to working with the faculty and staff of the Colleges and Extension as well as President Cross and the Board of Regents.”

Sandeen was announced in early October as one of four finalists for the job. They included Aaron Brower, who's been interim chancellor of UW Colleges and UW-Extension since February.

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Reporter, Wisconsin State Journal

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