Rolf Wegenke

Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (WAICU)
(608) 256-7761
122 W. Washington Ave., Ste. 700
Appointment Term: 
Oct 3, 2014 to Jul 1, 2018

Rolf Wegenke is president and chief executive officer of the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (WAICU). WAICU represents the 23 private, nonprofit institutions of higher education in the state. Dr. Wegenke is also president/CEO of the WAICU Benefits Consortium and the WAICU Educational Technology Consortium. WAICU is recognized in state law (ss. 14.57, 15.377, 15.67, 16.979, 38.50, 39.285, 39.437(4)(a), and 115.297, and 2011 Governors Executive Order #37 and 2012 Governors Executive Order #59) as the official organization of Wisconsin private (or independent) colleges and universities.Previously, Dr. Wegenke served in the administrations of five Wisconsin governors, directing the states international trade and investment, business development, technology transfer, community development, and finance programs.Dr. Wegenke serves as co-chair of the Wisconsin PK16 Leadership Council. He is also chair of the Wisconsin Educational Communications Board and the Wisconsin Public Broadcasting Foundation. He is president of the national Fund for Campus Servant Leadership. He sits on the executive committee of the Wisconsin Technology Council and chairs its Human Capital Committee. He serves on the Board of Directors of Competitive Wisconsin, Inc. and is chair of its Education Committee. He is a member of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities State Executives and of the Foundation for Independent Higher Education. He is a member of the Governors Early Childhood Advisory Council, the Commission of Midwestern Higher Education Compact and its Executive Committee, and the Governing Board of Wisconsin Lutheran Chapel and Student Center.Dr. Wegenke is past president of the national Council of State Community Affairs Agencies and of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters. Dr. Wegenke has served as chair of the following: the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities State Executives (NAICUSE), the Universal (Telecommunications) Service Fund Council, the Board of the Wisconsin Venture Fairs, the Governors Task Force on International Education, the Board of Regents of Wisconsin Lutheran College, and the Dane County Economic Development Summit. He has also served on the following boards: the Commission on Financial Aid Consolidation and Modernization, the Wisconsin International Trade Council, (and as chair of its education committee). In addition, he has served on the steering committee of the Wisconsin Economic Summits, the Governors Council on Workforce Investment, the Wisconsin Center for Academically Talented Youth Board of Directors, the Wisconsin Innovation Network Foundation Board of Directors, the Wisconsin Education Network Collaboration Committee, the Advisory Committee of the Wisconsin Youth Arts Festival, as a member of the Governors Blue Ribbon Commission on 21st Century Jobs, the Wisconsin Council on Workforce Investment and its executive committee, the Wisconsin Covenant College Access Council, Forward Wisconsin, Inc. He was a founding member of the Friends of the Wisconsin-Chiba (Japan) Sister State, Inc. and on the editorial advisory boards for Academic Leader and Administrator. Dr. Wegenke is the recipient of many awards and honors including the Governors Exceptional Performance Award, the Pro Gloria Dei Award of Wisconsin Lutheran College, the Robert Marshall Award for the advancement of entrepreneurialism and technology transfer, and a Doctorate in Humane Letters (honors causa) from both Beloit and Ripon colleges.Dr. Wegenke is a native of Montello, Wisconsin, is married and has one son. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He earned his masters and doctoral degrees at the University of Chicago.Updated: 8.14.2012