Cathy Sandeen, a leader in higher education and innovation, began her appointment as the third
chancellor of the University of Wisconsin Colleges and the University of Wisconsin-Extension
on December 15, 2014.
UW Colleges, which serves almost 14,000 traditional and nontraditional students, is comprised
of 13 campuses around the state and UW Colleges Online. UW-Extension partners with 72
counties, three tribal nations, and statewide and local public and private organizations to deliver
a range of educational programs and services throughout the state to serve Wisconsin’s 6 million
Sandeen previously 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 efforts to increase postsecondary educational
attainment, and oversaw ACE’s Center for Education Attainment and Innovation, including
major grant programs, the ACE credit recommendation service, and veterans’ programs.
Sandeen has more than 22 years of leadership experience at three University of California
campuses. From 2006 to 2012, Sandeen served as dean of UCLA Extension at the University of
California Los Angeles. Prior to joining UCLA, she served for six years as vice provost and dean
of University Extension and the summer session at University of California Santa Cruz. She also
held several positions at University of California San Francisco.
A prolific writer and speaker, Sandeen has published and presented widely on various aspects of
educational innovation and nontraditional students and has received major grants.
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.