Vacant Chancellor Position

Chancellor Shields Pioneers His Way to Southern University

UW-Platteville Communications

UW-Platteville Communications

After nearly 12 years with UW-Platteville, Chancellor Dennis Shields has decided to forgo the Midwest and take up residence as the new President-Chancellor of Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA.

The first African American chancellor of UW-Platteville, Shields will be replacing former President-Chancellor Ray Belton, who will be retiring from the Louisiana school.

Southern University currently hosts more than 13300 students, nearly doubling the modest 7100 students reportedly attending UW-Platteville.

On Friday, Feb. 19, the Southern University System Board of Supervisors unanimously voted for Shields to fill the soon-vacant President-Chancellor position.

Shields had been one of three finalists for the position, and as one of the 2018 most influential American American leaders in Wisconsin, as named by Madison365, he was surely a prominent candidate to be considered.

Belton had announced his retirement in the fall of 2021, giving the board until the following year to find a suitable replacement.

Shields remarked to Belton, “I take it as a great responsibility to help with you to continue the rise of the Southern University System,” as quoted by The Advocate.

This excitement may not be shared by UW-Platteville, which has experienced a 26% drop in enrollment since 2016.

Shields held similar positions for the University of Michigan in 1991 and at Duke University in 1998. Now choosing to lead the Southern University, he said in a video call announcing his new position, “I am humbled and honored by your confidence in me to take on this role in this wonderful institute of higher education. I couldn’t be more happy.”