Key topics: Good people and great friends, inside and out

by Office of the Chancellor | December 17, 2010

University employees celebrate their ten year service anniversaries at January 2010 convocation.

Happy holidays from UW-Green Bay! My wife, Cathy, and I extend best wishes. In the Harden household, we’re looking forward to visits from children and grandchildren. For the benefit of the Sun Belt branch of the family, especially the younger members, we hope the good sledding persists.

At UW-Green Bay, we’ll have a celebratory get-together for our University family later next month, on Jan. 19. It’s the annual mid-winter convocation of faculty and staff to open the second semester. We honor retirees receiving emeritus status and co-workers celebrating service anniversaries.

The snapshot above is from last January’s gathering. This particular image is of faculty and staff marking 10-year anniversaries — we also acknowledge 20, 25, 30 and 35 years — but I believe you could choose just about any photo, any group from that day, to illustrate my larger point here, which is this: UW-Green Bay has quality people.

As I close my first full calendar year as chancellor, the outstanding impression I carry is of a group of faculty and staff notable for their competence, commitment and creativity. That’s not idle talk. From a perspective gained through working at several other colleges and universities, I can honestly say that UW-Green Bay is special. You can be proud of your University.

Some faculty and staff are natives of the Green Bay area, Wisconsin or the Midwest. Others come from across the nation and around the world. They’re well credentialed, well educated, and highly motivated to serve the community and our students. They’re effective and cost conscious, too. They have become so adept at “doing more with less,” I argue, that when the cycle turns and conditions allow for reinvestment, UW-Green Bay some day deserves first crack at “doing more with more.” We’ve shown what we can do.

That’s a message I have shared widely. With the general public. With Governor-elect Walker and other state officials. With members of our various citizen advisory groups who, in turn, spread the word on our behalf. (I thank those members of the Chancellor’s Council of Trustees, for example, who took part in last Monday’s meeting with local state legislators.) UW-Green Bay has quality people. Our students, alumni, faculty, staff and community supporters have accomplished amazing things, working together.

I know that, as 2010 draws to a close, Wisconsin’s budget deficit is generating talk of freezes and cuts, along with headlines about the climate for state agencies and employees “growing chillier by the day.” I’m realistic, but also optimistic.

We’ll not only weather the chill. With good people and great friends, we’re going to prosper. Thank you for your continuing interest in, and support of, UW-Green Bay. Happy holidays.