The University of Wisconsin-Superior Veterans and Nontraditional Student Center will be getting a new coordinator. Brendan Pillsbury, who’s been serving as the center’s coordinator since 2021, recently announced that he was leaving UW-Superior at the end of October to start a job in the insurance industry.

“I really liked my work here and didn’t want to leave, but I had to consider how the difference in income would help my family,” Pillsbury said. “Family comes first.”

Besides coordinating the VNSC programs, Pillsbury had worked with veterans to help with their transitions from military life to college life. As an Army Reserve veteran who served a one-year tour in Afghanistan, Pillsbury was able to apply his
experiences with what other veterans might experience during transitions. He said he’s most proud about the development of a suicide prevention training program he worked on each semester. The role isn’t one he imagined while studying environmental and outdoor education at the University of Minnesota Duluth,
but Pillsbury said he’s gained great fulfillment through the UW-Superior VNSC experience.

Pillsbury said student workers have been hired to keep the VNSC operating while the search for a new coordinator is started. UW-Superior Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Director Salisa Hochstetler said in an e-mail that the VNSC coordinator position will be refilled.

“We will definitely hire another person to replace Brendan,” she wrote.

The VNSC is part of the university’s EDI program. A state legislative committee voted on Oct. 17 a 6% pay raise increase for Wisconsin state staff over the next two years. However, that excludes Universities of Wisconsin staff pushing UW System leaders to dismantle EDI programming.

In an email sent to UWS staff and faculty regarding Wisconsin’s legislative committee’s vote, Chancellor Renée Wachter said, “I have always believed that our strength as a university lies in our ability to support each other and stand together when the going is the most difficult. Please take care and support one another as I know you can.”