Dr. Deborah Ford has served as the sixth chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Parkside since 2009, leading the campus with the development of strategic integrated planning. Dr. Ford is a strong believer in community engagement and building strategic partnerships. She serves on the Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin Board of Directors and is actively involved with the Kenosha Area Business Alliance (KABA), Racine County Economic Development Corporation (RCEDC), Racine Area Manufacturers and Commerce (RAMAC), the Kenosha Area Chamber of Commerce, Milwaukee 7, the Racine County United Way Schools of Hope Leadership Council, and the Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast (GSWISE).
Nationally, Dr. Ford has served on the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning Board (CAEL) and as a member of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education Commission on Standards and Performance Reporting. She is also a past member of the NCAA Division II Presidents Council.
Dr. Ford has been recognized by the Network for Change and Continuous Innovation (NCCI) as one of three recipients of the inaugural Leaders of Change Recognition Program award. The award recognizes leaders of change throughout higher education for their accomplishments, and helps link them with their peers to further leverage the impact of their work. In 2015, the Milwaukee Business Journal honored Dr. Ford with its Women of Influence Award. The Business Journal noted that Dr. Ford works to ensure diversity in academic leadership. “Having benefited from many mentors over the course of her career,” the Business Journal wrote, “Ford believes in paying it forward, particularly in helping women leaders flourish.”
Dr. Ford is proud to lead an institution that traditionally serves a majority of first-generation university students, as she, herself, was a first-generation student. She is also proud of the learning environment at UW-Parkside, which reflects the communities in southeast Wisconsin and is the most diverse campus in the prestigious University of Wisconsin System.
Prior to joining the learning community at UW-Parkside, Dr. Ford served as Vice President for Student Affairs at the University of West Florida, and Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students at Spalding University (Kentucky). Dr. Ford holds her B.S. from the University of Louisville, her Master of Education from Indiana University, and her Doctor of Education from the University of Louisville.