The Distinguished Service Award recognizes an individual “for his or her long term devotion and wide ranging contributions to the development of the area economy.” A city or area cannot be great until it has a great college. We are fortunate to have three.
Dr. Lee Rasch is the President of Western Technical College, a position he has held since 1989. He has held various positions in education, government, and private industry since 1974. Notably, under his leadership, Western Technical College was recognized at the Mastery Level in 1999, 2001, 2002, and 2011 with the Wisconsin Forward Award, an award based upon the Malcolm Baldrige quality criteria. In 2010, Western Technical College ranked highest as a college of first choice among the 16 Wisconsin Technical Colleges.
Dr. Rasch has been involved in numerous State initiatives including the Chair of the Legislative Committee of the WTCS Presidents’ Association; member of the Board for the Wisconsin Center for Performance Excellence, and a member of the Governor’s Council on Workforce Investment. He is past president of the board of the national organization, Continuous Quality Improvement Network (CQIN). Lee is thought of as the “Dean of the College Presidents” in that he has served the WTCS the longest.
Lee has moved the WTC campus deep into the 21st century by winning approval of an $84 million referendum that has added muscle and depth and already muscular education institution. The technology center alone is a world class facility and will accommodate a growth of 3,000 students, badly needed in our demand driven economy.
Dr. Rasch has written articles and conducted seminars on the topics of continuous improvement, employee success, sustainability efforts on college campuses, and health and technology efforts in Cameroon.
Locally, he is active in many community ventures serving as chair of the Seven Rivers Alliance, and the Sustainability Institute, as well as past chair of Downtown Mainstreet, Inc and the La Crosse Medical Health Science Consortium.
He is chair of the La Crosse Friends of Cameroon, a citizen-based organization that has provided support for health and technology projects in Cameroon, Africa. He has twice visited Cameroon and helped form the Sister City agreement between La Crosse, Wisconsin and Kumbo, Cameroon.