UW-Whitewater interim chancellor abruptly resigns

Jim Henderson cites inability to make progress on hiring long-term campus leader

empty tables line a concrete walkway that leads up to the university center
A student walks into the University Center on Friday, Oct. 2, 2020, at UW-Whitewater. Angela Major/WPR

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater interim Chancellor Jim Henderson has abruptly resigned from his position as head of the school.

In a brief message posted on the campus website, Henderson said that one of his three goals as interim chancellor has been to “help this campus hire the best chancellor possible who will be here for the long term.”

“Over the past few days it has become clear to me that I cannot make progress on that goal,” Henderson wrote. “Given that, I feel it is in both the best interest of UW-Whitewater and me personally that I resign my position as interim chancellor, and I have submitted my resignation effective at the end of the day today.”

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Henderson was appointed interim chancellor at UW-Whitewater in June 2021 by former UW System President Tommy Thompson. Prior to that, Henderson served as UW System vice president for academic and student affairs from 2016 to 2018.

In a statement, current UW System Interim President Michael Falbo announced that UW-Whitewater Provost John Chenoweth will replace Henderson as interim chancellor at Whitewater.

“This is an unexpected situation, but I am confident that Provost Chenoweth will maintain continuity at UW-Whitewater,” Falbo said.

Chenowith is the fourth chancellor to lead the Whitewater campus since 2018. That year, former Chancellor Beverly Kopper resigned after her husband was banned from campus amid sexual harassment allegations.

Former UW System President Ray Cross named UW-Oshkosh Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Cheryl Green as Whitewater’s interim chancellor in December 2018.

Green was succeeded in 2019 by former Chancellor Dwight Watson, who resigned in June 2021 after being diagnosed with stomach and intestinal cancer.

Watson was then replaced with Henderson, who served until Monday afternoon.