MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Marquette University's gain is UW-Milwaukee's loss. On Wednesday, March 26th, it was announced that UW-Milwaukee Chancellor Dr. Michael Lovell is headed to Marquette -- to serve as the university's first lay president. Many on the UW-Milwaukee campus say they were shocked to hear the news.
Those with UW-Milwaukee say Lovell was able to strengthen UW-Milwaukee as a destination for research -- and was able to make UWM a place that has an impact far beyond its campus.
Milwaukee's Global Water Center is a shining example of Lovell's legacy on the UW-Milwaukee campus.
"It's putting Milwaukee on the map," Water Council President Dean Amhaus said.
There are labs designed for detecting invasive species, and for monitoring water quality. The space is reserved for UW-Milwaukee's School of Freshwater Sciences.
"It's the only one in the U.S. It's one of three in the world," Amhaus said.
Lovell helped to shepherd programs like this one during his three-and-a-half years as UW-Milwaukee's chancellor.
Now, he'll lead at Marquette University.
Lovell says his new position will allow him to integrate his religious and professional lives.
"We love Mike Lovell. He's been a terrific chancellor here on campus," Tom Luljak, with UW-Milwaukee University Relations and Communications said.
Colleagues at UWM say the announcement Wednesday came as a surprise -- as the average stay for a chancellor at a university the size of UWM is four to six years.
"He really did a fabulous job connecting industry and businesses," Luljak said.
The search for Lovell's replacement is now in the hands of the UW System's Board of Regents.
Amhaus has some suggestions for the type of person they should look for.
"They've got to be able to have that link with the business community that Mike has been able to create," Amhaus said.
Lovell's last day at UWM will be at the end of July. He starts at Marquette on August 1st.