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Fry brings enthusiasm, experience to new role

October 19, 2007

Blake Fry has worked for UW-River Falls since 2005 as the Dean of Student Development and Campus Diversity, but after the senior administration reorganization this summer, his title has changed to special assistant to the chancellor. His duties, for the most part, have stayed the same.

“The job has changed very little,” Fry said. “But now the title better reflects what I do.”

A few of his duties, such as issues with student conduct and his status as supervisor for several student-oriented programs, has shifted to the new Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Gregg Heinselman, Fry said.

“All the people that were reporting to me are all reporting to other individuals,” he said. “It’s causing some confusion on who to talk to.”

Fry is still the UW-System multicultural disadvantaged coordinator, according to the UWRF Web site. Students remain an important part of his job.

“Things are so student oriented; no matter which one of the hats I’m wearing, it’s always about the students,” Fry said.

Several student-workers are employed by him as administrative assistants. Nikki Shonoiki, one of his assistants, knew him from when he was part of the campus diversity project.

“He’s cool people,” Shonoiki said.

Aside from student involvement, Fry is also in charge of Civic Engagement, Emergency Preparedness & Crisis Intervention, Project Research, and supporting the Chancellor, according to the UWRF senior leadership organizational chart.

Fry has worked at five different universities throughout the country in the past 13 years, according to his online résumé. He has worked at universities in Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Though moving can be hard on him and his family, Fry says that it is important for his career.

Fry’s wife is a speech pathologist, and they have two children: a four-year-old daughter and a one-year-old son.

Fry has lived all over the country, but calls Kansas City home.

“Most of our relatives live there,” Fry said. “We maybe get to visit twice a year.”

He his currently writing his dissertation on moral development and spends time studying religions. Through his research of theology, Fry found his ideal religion in Buddhism.

“I spent a lot of time learning about the world’s theology and that’s the one that spoke to me,” Fry said.

Fry hopes to someday move back to a metropolitan area and aspires to be the chancellor of his own university.