Skip to content

Bill Sederburg

William Sederburg grew up in Minnesota. After graduating from Minnesota State University, Mankato he earned a Ph.D. in Political Science from Michigan State University. He married Joyce Witte in 1972 and raised a family in East Lansing, Michigan.

Sederburg has been involved in education policy his entire life. While a graduate student, he was elected to the Michigan State Board of Education. He served for 12 years as a Republican State Senator in Michigan where he distinguished himself as an advocate for higher education and creating futuristic state policy initiatives. For example, in 1986 he conducted the nation’s first statewide public hearing on the future of higher education via computer modems and personal computers. He was the inaugural chair of the Midwest Higher Education Commission, a compact of 11 midwestern states.

In 1994 he was selected as President of Ferris State University, a leading institution in “career oriented” education. Ferris’ mission included both community college and regional state university roles. Over the course of nine years, Sederburg led a renaissance of growth at Ferris State, increasing enrollment, rebuilding the campus, absorbing the private Kendall College of Art and Design of Grand Rapids, and re-establishing a healthy financial situation.  As a career oriented college, he enhanced career pathways, articulation agreements and promoted industry ties.

Sederburg left Michigan in 2003 to become President of Utah Valley State College (UVSC), a community college offering a limited number of baccalaureate degrees. During his tenure, Sederburg led the effort for UVSC to become Utah Valley University (UVU) in addition to serving as a community college.

Due to his success at UVU, the Utah Board of Regents and Governor Huntsman asked him to serve as Utah Commissioner of Higher Education, which he did so for four years.  During that time, he built a successful strategic plan adopted by the Governor and Legislature to achieve a post-secondary education certificate or degree rate of 66% by 2020.

In 2012 Bill and his wife Joyce retired to Asheville, North Carolina. However, he was called out of retirement by UNC President Tom Ross to serve as interim Chancellor of UNC Wilmington for the 2014-15 academic year. During his year he helped rebuild internal relationships among faculty, staff, trustees and civic leaders.

Upon returning to Asheville, Sederburg continues to be publicly engaged by serving on the N.C. Arboretum Board of Trustees, the UNCA Foundation Board (term now expired), and the Hub Leadership group.  He is currently serving as Chair of the West Next Generation Network initiative working to expand internet “broadband” services to western North Carolina.  He also serves as a Senior Scholar for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.    

More articles