Kris Ackerbauer retirement; Ellen Agnew to serve as Interim Director of Services at Physical Plant

Ellen Agnew has agreed to serve in an interim role as Director of Services at Physical Plant, succeeding Kris Ackerbauer who has retired.

Ellen has lengthy and dedicated experience in Physical Plant, not just Grounds, and FP&M is pleased that she is accepting this opportunity to serve in a more prominent interim role. There is a recruitment planned soon for a permanent replacement.

Her office is now located on the fourth floor of 30 N. Mills that had previously been used by Kris.

Kris is claiming his well-earned retirement after serving our university with distinction for 22 years and our country with distinction for 28 years in the US Navy. He has many great hobbies to engage in and family who are happy for more of his time.

Kris was responsible for many advances in Physical Plant Services that would have seemed unfathomable in the 1980s and ‘90s:

  • He is the reason that we support multiple languages for employees in our Custodial program.
  • UW-Madison, under Kris’ leadership, has been on the leading edge of responsible and effective snow removal techniques and practices.
  • Our various safety-related committees have been huge beneficiaries of Kris’ time, attention and expertise.
  • Kris has volunteered for governance duty in the Midwest region of the educational facilities association, APPA; Eagle Heights Garden Oversight committee; and a multitude of UW committees. Anyone who speaks with Kris can ask him about his most notorious committee engagement; the answer is quite interesting.

Thank you, Kris, for spending long hours thoroughly considering issues that affect our workforce. Whether it was a one-to-one situation, COVID response, or a business plan, Kris was always thinking about the impacts on people, the point of view of the individuals affected, and their wellbeing.

Please join in wishing Kris nothing but fair winds in his next phase of life and welcoming Ellen to this essential role.