Dan Kuzlik, the longtime face of Oneida County’s UW-Extension program, announced this week that he would be stepping down from his position, effective Feb. 10.
Kuzlik, who has spearheaded dozens of programs and projects in the county during his nearly eight years at the Extension, won’t be going far. He’s been hired to work as a full-time Outreach Specialist for UW-Superior. In his new role, which will be based in Rhinelander, Kuzlik will focus on creating and marketing UW-Superior’s Distance Learning program to prospective Northwoods students, and also serve as a faculty advisor for students enrolled in the program.
“This is a newly-developed position that UW-Superior hopes will help give them a greater presence in the area,” said Kuzlik. “They are making a large effort to sell more students on their distance learning idea, which allows students to enroll in the university and earn a degree without having to be on Superior’s campus. Everything is internet-based, and I’m excited to be a part of that.”
Kuzlik was hired as the head of the Extension in 2004, after serving as the head of several Community Education departments in both Wisconsin and Minnesota, most recently in the Minnetonka School District in Minneapolis, Minn. During his time in the Northwoods, Kuzlik has helped spearhead many community-based programs, including Downtown Rhinelander Inc., the School District of Rhinelander’s Community Education Program, Leadership Oneida County, the Northwoods Alliance on Temporary Housing, ArtStart and the Inventors and Entrepreneurs Club. He also led the charge several years ago to relocate the Oneida County Fair from the Hodag Country Fest grounds to its current location in Pioneer Park in Rhinelander.
“It’s really been quite a run over the last eight years,” said a reflective Kuzlik. “Any time you can be a part of something successful, it’s great.”
Kuzlik said he plans to stay involved in many of the projects he’s worked on over the years, especially those with ties to education. He said he also looks forward to working more on economic development and its ties to the educational infrastructure of the Northwoods moving forward.
“I believe that opening up more educational opportunities will help lead to economic development in this area,” said Kuzlik. “They go hand in hand.”
Kuzlik plans to ask the Oneida County Board to waive it’s 6 month hiring moratorium in order to fill his former extension position immediately.