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Lockwood takes on leadership role at WITC-New Richmond

Susan Lockwood. (Raymond T. Rivard photo)

Dual role will provide local and college-wide responsibilities

Susan Lockwood, a divisional dean with the Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College, was recently provided a promotion that will give her a dual role and a title nearly as long a preacher’s sermon: WITC-New Richmond campus administrator and collegewide vice president of institutional effectiveness.

Beginning her new roles with the local technical college July 1, Lockwood will replace interim administrator Steve Decker, who had been filling the administrator’s position since Joe Huftel, the previous administrator, retired.

Lockwood is not new to WITC, having been with the college for the past 19 years.

Her journey to New Richmond and WITC began as she grew up in Cornell, “a small town about 45 minutes north of Eau Claire,” she said.

After high school graduation, she went on to college at UW-Eau Claire. “I ended up pursuing and completing a Bachelor’s Degree in psychology and a minor in business administration,” she said.

“I wanted to do something in education and had a good friend who was doing her master’s at UW-River Falls,” Lockwood recalled.

She received a call from a friend who tipped her to a position that her friend thought would be a good fit.

“They were looking for an admissions representative, which was basically a college recruiter. I had worked in a restaurant, had worked for the Post Office, worked for an insurance agent. I was working multiple part-time jobs until I found what I wanted to do,” Lockwood said. “I started as an admissions representative … I’d go out and do recruitment … I was the first point of contact for students. I got to know people in the community, got to learn the programs inside and out … that really got me interested in the whole career decision-making process.”

While continuing to complete her master’s degree, Lockwood started teaching psychology classes at WITC.

“I loved the classroom. It was neat to see the students that I had talked with through the admissions process and then to see them in the classroom … there’s nothing better than seeing that light go on. That was just an amazing thing,” Lockwood said.

From there, she moved into business and industry contract training, working with local businesses to provide customized training on-site and working with continuing education.

In describing her new title, Lockwood said, “WITC is one college with campuses in Superior, Ashland, Rice Lake and New Richmond. I have campus responsibilities and college-wide responsibilities. With the new position — vice president of institutional effectiveness — that position is really looking at the accreditation part of our college.”

The other piece of the position is analyzing data to help determine future goals and programs, as well as quality improvement.

The campus base is connecting with the community and businesses in the public and on campus, she said.

As for future goals:

“The first few months I want to get my feet wet, but we’ll be having the conversations about what our expectations are, how can we better serve the community we’re in,” Lockwood said. “How do we engage and get the word out that we have great quality programming, we have an excellent faculty and the students who are coming here are getting jobs?

“It’s amazing some of the programs we have here that people don’t even know about.

“How do we get the word out? The other piece is understanding the data … what is the data we need internally … how do we use that to best serve, not only internally, but to meet the needs of the growing economics of the region?”

Prior to her recent promotion, Lockwood held the position of divisional dean, public safety.

“I believe my experience, education, values and work ethic are an ideal match that will greatly benefit WITC,” Lockwood said. “Likewise, this position will allow me further career growth and the opportunity to give back to a system that has empowered me to get to this point in my own career.

“This community and this college are my home, and I am optimistic about the opportunities that this leadership position affords me to strengthen WITC’s presence.”

In addition to her work with the college, Lockwood is a member of the New Richmond Area Economic Development Corporation, New Richmond Area Community Foundation, City of New Richmond Economic Development Commission, Child Care Partnership Resource, and has served on numerous other community, religious and business-related organizations.