Wisconsin Northcentral Technical Faculty President Dr. Lori Weyers Prepares for Retirement After Lifelong Love of Training
June 21, 2021 |
Many people begin making career plans in high school or college. For Dr. Lori Weyers started the process a little earlier.
“I wanted to do an apprenticeship when I was in kindergarten,” says Weyers, who is retiring as president of Northcentral Technical College in Wisconsin. “I never deviated from this wish. My first love was to be a teacher, and that’s why I never deviated from it from kindergarten to high school. “
After Weyers served as President for 15 years and held positions in the Wisconsin Technical College System for 42 years, Weyers leaves a record of improvements and accomplishments, including “significant” enrollment growth, strategic partnerships with local businesses, K-12 school districts and Community organizations own and establish NTC’s nationally recognized Virtual College, the district board of trustees stated on their retirement.
Weyers became interested in students with special needs while growing up with a brother who had polio, which affected his physical and mental development. “Looking at all of the challenges my older brother was going through and the implications for our family, I did a Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling and worked with families and individuals affected by tragedy,” says Weyers.
“My brother was a very healthy child and then – bam! – it ended with a complete personality change, ”says Weyers. “I saw what he went through in school while the other children were very cruel.”
This experience and her studies (Bachelor in Psychology and Behavioral Disorders) led her to vocational training, where she was very satisfied. But education leaders repeatedly suggested that she should earn a PhD and seek a college presidency.
“I went back to school when I was 46,” she says with a laugh. Six and a half years later, after her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Weyers became President of the NTC.
During her four decades in college education, she has seen many changes in the makeup of students and the role of college education. The students are much younger now and there are more part-time workers. “Today’s students have a lot to do in their lives: jobs, family and, more recently, coping with COVID-19.”
Weyers believes college continues to play an important role in the community, although the makeup of its students has changed over the years.
“I was able to observe the development of our students, who now see this as a starting point and not an end point,” Weyers emphasizes. “And we’re still the college for people who need a second chance – from the single mother who is very nervous about getting back to college, to the goodbye who wants to start with us to get the technical skills, and then to the dislocated worker who was suddenly outsourced from their job after 30 years because they didn’t know about technology and come back to us for help – and for this student with special needs who just needs a little more attention and Needs care. “
One of the highlights of the Weyers presidency was the establishment of the competence centers with a focus on production, health, economy, public safety, agriculture, wood technology and transport.
“I love working with companies,” says Weyers. “We are an economic engine for the local economy and I firmly believe in listening to our stakeholders, be they our students or the business community.”
Weyers believes the pandemic was “probably the toughest time of my entire career to get 30,000 students and a thousand employees out of a guest room.” She owes her leadership team that she rose to this opportunity. “Everyone improved their game. . . If you’d told me five years ago that in three days we’d have an entire college, including all of our students, outfitted with all of the technology and fully empowered to do their business remotely, I would have said that this is impossible, but we did it here. “
In fact, Weyers says the institution “had a better retention rate for our senior class than before during the shutdown and pandemic.”
As a result, Weyers says many of the practices introduced during the COVID-19 crisis will continue into the future. Your successor, Dr. Jeannie Worden, was a member of the team Weyers praised and served as NTC’s executive vice president prior to her appointment as president.
The pandemic has also “put a different focus on what’s important to us,” says Weyers, explaining her increased appreciation for psychiatrists, employees who work remotely, and the frequent communication with the college community that the crisis has brought was triggered.
Her immediate plans are to catch up with family members, including the new grandchildren she hasn’t seen due to the pandemic, and spend more time with her older brother who has influenced her life so much. “So I’ll be my brother’s helper, and I’ll put more emphasis on being supported by Dr. Lori to go to Grandma Lori’s. “
This article originally appeared in the June 24, 2021 issue of Diverse. Read it here.