Key Topics: A foundation, planning, sustainability and grad offerings

by Office of the Chancellor | October 12, 2010

My wife, Cathy, and I were delighted to help new freshmen unload their gear on move-in day this fall.

With the semester well under way, I’d like to take a moment to update the readers of this newsletter on what to expect this year at UW-Green Bay.

As I said to faculty and staff at our annual kickoff breakfast, despite lean times and what I view as a broken system of funding for American higher education, we can be confident nonetheless. UWGB has talented people, a worthy mission and substantial community support. Change is sweeping higher education but I believe our University can help drive that change. In my remarks, I outlined four special objectives for 2010-11.

The first involves creation of a UW-Green Bay Foundation. We are the only UW System institution without its own foundation. While we contract with the UW Foundation in Madison to manage our affairs, and have been well served, we are examining our options. With our own foundation we’d have appropriate control not only of gifts and investments but also real estate, research and service grants, and be better able to address our needs. I intend to ask the Council of Trustees and the Founders Association board for their input.

Another focus in 2010-11 is Strategic Planning. I’ll elaborate in a future Conversations, but we have made great progress in incorporating the ideas from last spring’s listening sessions into seven broad “Strategic Planning Themes.” These themes will guide targeted planning at the division and program levels.

A third key area involves our commitment to sustainability. This could include everything from sustainable funding and business practices to celebrating our heritage as the interdisciplinary, environmentally conscious institution nicknamed “Eco U” 40 years ago.

The fourth will be attention to our graduate programs. For a University of 6,500 students serving a region of nearly one million residents, the status quo is unacceptable. UW-Green Bay has high-quality offerings but we are far too limited in overall array, current enrollment (about 200 master’s students) and our existing model for supporting grad programs. We need to explore new program-delivery and funding models. We will commission a “skunkworks” group — a small task force charged with generating ideas — to get things rolling.

Those are four “special things” to look for from UW-Green Bay during the 2010-11 academic year. Of course, this University achieves special things on a regular basis, and the objectives mentioned here will only complement an already impressive list of day-to-day accomplishments. That’s why I’m optimistic. Thank you for your continuing interest in, and support of, UW-Green Bay.