MILWAUKEE _ Dr. Joan Prince, the vice chancellor of Global Inclusion and Engagement at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a nationally renowned advocate for equity, is retiring after more than two decades of distinguished service at her alma mater.
Her retirement is effective Monday, March 1. Appointed vice chancellor in 2000, Prince has been a tireless supporter for the inclusion of all students, faculty and staff in driving UWM’s dual access and research missions.
Her influence stretches far beyond southeastern Wisconsin.
In 2012, President Barack Obama nominated Prince as an alternate representative to the 67th General Assembly of the United Nations, with the honorary rank of ambassador. She also served as a member of the 2013 United States delegation to the Commission on the Status of Women.
More recently, Prince served on the civic nonpartisan board of the host committee for the 2020 Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee. The Network Journal selected Prince as one its 25 Influential Black Women in Business for 2020, and she has been a fixture on the Milwaukee Business Journal’s Power Brokers list.
Prince’s ties to UWM run deep as a four-time graduate. She arrived at UWM at age 16 as a freshman and earned bachelor’s degrees in general studies and medical technology, a master’s degree in clinical laboratory sciences, and a doctorate in urban education with a focus on STEM education.
“Dr. Joan Prince has served this university extraordinarily well for 20 years as the vice chancellor for Global Inclusion and Engagement. She is an effective administrator, strategic thinker, problem solver and mentor to many,” Chancellor Mark Mone said. “As a rare and special four-time Panther alumna, for this campus, community, state and country, Joan has served admirably, and we will miss her.”
Prince worked with five chancellors during her tenure. Part of her responsibilities include serving as the university’s chief inclusion officer.
She has led many important campus-wide initiatives, including the establishment of the first curriculum for anti-bias training, which begins this semester, and formation of a program dedicated to advancing historically underrepresented students and first-generation students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.
Outside of UWM, Prince’s resume includes leadership in positions such as president of Tempo International, the global women’s networking organization. Prince also served as a board member and governance chair of The Council on Foundations, the international foundation membership association, and a board chair of the Urban Libraries Council.
Prince’s service to hometown civic organizations includes tenures on the boards of trustees of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation and the Milwaukee Public Library. She served as chair of the board of the library system that she first used at age 9.
Prince will leave behind a legacy as someone who cared for all people and tried her best to help make life and outcomes positive for everyone she encountered, whether at her office in Chapman Hall or at the U.N. building in New York.
“Personally, Joan has been a dear and valued colleague and her mentorship and our friendship will continue as she transitions to the next phase of activities that we call ‘retirement,’” Mone said. “I suspect that she may be even busier!”
Prince takes pride in the lasting relationships that she has built with many former students. She recalled a recent phone conversation with a woman she first met at age 15, when the woman met Prince in her office and told her that she wanted to become a doctor. Today, that woman has finished her residency rotation as a medical student.
“To be able to say at the end of the day that if nothing else, these students were able to accomplish some of their life goals,” Prince said, “that’s what I really love to hear.”