Dr. Lee Rasch, Ed.D. ’90, presented to the EAF 512 Advanced Topics in Research Methodology: Educational Policy Analysis class on “Leading in a Politically Divided Environment.” Rasch, who served as president of Western Technical College in La Crosse, Wisconsin, for 26 years, founded Leader Ethics Wisconsin in 2018.  Leader Ethics Wisconsin serves as a nonpartisan/nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting integrity in American democracy through ethical leadership practices among elected officials.

Leader Ethics Wisconsin developed out of numerous conversations with people on concerns with mistrust among government officials,” Rasch said. “This mistrust has permeated not only how we view government leaders, but now also how we view many public officials, including school administrators. The political climate is a real challenge for current and emerging leaders. Clearly, now is the time to promote ethical leadership.” 

During his class presentation, Rasch shared research and experiences from his work as a former education administrator and what he is observing now in today’s political environment to offer students a better understanding of the environment in which they are working and key strategies in which to lead in this kind of contentious environment. The presentation was recorded and can be accessed by clicking on the link and using the password 8tMKM=w4.

Throughout Rasch’s career, he has actively promoted leadership development, continuous improvement, economic development, and sustainability at the national, statewide, and local levels. He has written articles and given numerous presentations on these topics. Rasch was chair of the Legislative Committee for the Wisconsin Technical College System, was a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Congress in 1994 and 1996, and has a doctorate in higher education administration from Illinois State University.

Rasch is married to Susan Fox. They have two children and three grandchildren, and in his spare time, Lee sings in a quartet and plays bass guitar in a rock band.