RIVER FALLS — Retired dean, professor and coach Connie Foster will return to University of Wisconsin-River Falls to serve as interim chancellor.

UW System President Ray Cross made the announcement Tuesday, May 26.

“Connie has a national reputation as a university expert due to her variety of experience at UW-River Falls,” Cross said in a news release. “She is the right person to lead UW-River Falls given the challenges ahead.”

Interim chancellor is a title Foster held once before, serving in the role from August 2008 to July 2009. Before that, she was interim provost and vice president for academic affairs; dean for the College of Education and Professional Studies; athletic director; chair of the Health and Human Performance department; a Health and Human Performance professor; women’s athletic director; and a gymnastics coach.

She will take over July 1 from current Chancellor Dean Van Galen, who will leave the university to be president of Missouri Southern State University.

“I am humbled and honored to serve as interim chancellor at UW-River Falls,” Foster said. “We are operating in a challenging and unpredictable environment. I look forward to talking with Chancellor Dean Van Galen and the many faculty and staff who are hard at work planning our path forward.”

Committees will be formed to select a permanent replacement.