Campus Update to Students

The UW-Green Bay Office of the Chancellor emailed the following from Chancellor Michael Alexander to students on Thursday, May 14, 2020.

Dear UW-Green Bay Students,

Each day, I am exceptionally proud to work for the students, faculty, and staff at UW-Green Bay. I’ve found that this University is an amazing place with incredible people. The way you continue to respond to the challenges that we have faced over the last two months is truly overwhelming. You have all faced unprecedented challenges this year and continue to be resilient, caring and dedicated to pursuing your dreams and making our communities better places to live, work and play. I look forward to our conversation tomorrow at the Student Coffee Break to be able to answer your questions. Since not everyone will be able to be at the online gathering tomorrow, I thought I would also update you here on some items of importance.

  1. If you have any concerns about your registration, ability to pay tuition, or need emergency support of any kind, please contact us immediately at We are here to help and thousands of you have already received assistance. Your University is here to support you through this time and beyond.
  2. We intend to have in-person classes in the fall. We also understand that some of you would prefer to have online or hybrid options for your education next semester and even beyond. To expand the ways we serve you, we are working to create a University that can be as nimble as possible for the next academic year. We do not know what the pandemic will bring next, but know that we are doing everything we can to prepare for any and all possible scenarios to accommodate all students to access education in the fall in the way they feel most comfortable.
  3. We have formed a task force consisting of five working groups to address all of the issues we will need to solve this summer to be ready for the fall. The working groups include academic delivery, health and safety, events, residence life and finances. These groups will advise us on the best ways to proceed in the fall. We will send regular updates throughout the summer to keep you apprised of the progress we are making.

I am very pleased that the retention rate of our current students is higher than it has been in a long time. We are listening to you, intend to continue to listen to you, and want to support you through your time with us in every way that we possibly can. Please know that we value every student and stubbornly refuse to let the current crisis interrupt your educational journey. I have so much respect for the way the members of our student body have handled themselves this year. Please stay safe this summer, stay connected with us for updates, and for those that will not be taking summer classes, we look forward to seeing you in the fall.

Finally, and most importantly, congratulations to our graduating class. Our communities need you. Use what you have learned at this University to make the world a better place. You join a group of nearly 40,000 alumni who have graduated from UW-Green Bay and are united by a common spirit. It’s probably never been more befitting of a time to embrace being a Phoenix. Together we are capable, we are tenacious, and we will rise!Remember that we are always here to support you on your journey and that we are all exceptionally proud to call you our alumni.

I hope to see as many of you as are able tomorrow at 11 a.m. at the Coffee Break student listening session. Please join us if you are able. If you are not able to attend, and if you have any questions you would like answered, please connect with us at

Warmest regards,


Michael Alexander
UW-Green Bay, Chancellor

Campus Update

The UW-Green Bay Office of the Chancellor emailed the following from Chancellor Michael Alexander to faculty and staff on Thursday, May 14, 2020.

Dear UW-Green Bay Faculty and Staff,

Each day, I am exceptionally proud to work for the faculty and staff at UW-Green Bay. This University is an amazing place with incredible people. The way you continue to respond to the unprecedented challenges that we have faced over the last two months is truly overwhelming. However, despite our best efforts, we still have many unknowns and financial hurdles that we must clear to make it through the current crisis.

To this point, we have deliberately been slow in announcing furloughs in the hopes that our path through the crisis would become more clear. Unfortunately, it has become apparent that we must take some preventative measures to be able to better ensure the long-term health of our institution. These are painful decisions, particularly because of the immense work that everyone on this campus has done to put us on solid financial footing before COVID-19.

In order to remain fiscally responsible, we must find ways to offset the 5% budget lapse that we will need to give back before the end of this fiscal year. In our case, it will likely amount to approximately $1.4 million. As a result of the furloughs in May, we were able to conserve approximately $250,000. In June, we will widen the scope of our furloughs to reach approximately $360,750. All staff that will be furloughed in June should have been contacted by their supervisors as this memo is being sent. In order to reach these higher savings, all staff with an annual salary of $70,000 or more will take a minimum of two intermittent furlough days for the month of June.

There is some better news to report. As a result of our work leading up to the virus, furloughs in May and June, promising signs on the enrollment front, and the work of our task force groups, we intend to bring everyone back to work on July 1. We will still encourage telecommuting where possible, but will lift general restrictions on faculty and staff being on campus and provide details regarding the safety measures we will take for those that want or need to return to the campus to get their work done.

However, because of the risks that still lie ahead, we must also enact furloughs from July through December and take other measures to reduce our financial exposure moving ahead. The furloughs over those six months will be across the board and unlike earlier furloughs, will include faculty when they are back on contract in August. They will not include limited term employees or ad-hoc instructors. The furloughs are also tiered to ensure that we are protecting the bulk of our campus as much as possible from additional financial harm from the virus. The plan below will save the campus a projected $466,080 in the first six months of the next fiscal year.

The entire campus will take a furlough day on Friday, Nov. 27, 2020, the day after Thanksgiving. Below is the projected total number of assigned furlough days (inclusive of Nov. 27) and the projected savings:

Salary Range # of employees Days Total Days Savings
150,000 + 9 9 81 72,500*
100,000 – 149,999 32 6 192 82,680
70,000 – 99,999 89 4 356 103,700
69,999 – below 567 2 1134 207,200
Total 697 1763 $466,080

(*includes a voluntary salary reduction)

Additionally, we will be offering specific VSIP (Volunteer Separation Incentive Program) in the coming weeks. The VSIPS are voluntary and will be offered to individuals by area leaders based upon expected long-term savings to the institution. Finally, while we hope program revenues will return in the fall, we must reserve the option to take additional cost saving measures for units on campus that rely on program revenues in the event that we are unable to generate any income due to the impacts of COVID-19. This would be a last resort and only done to protect the core mission of the University, which is to offer instruction to students. These areas could include units like Union/Dining, Residence Life, University Recreation, Weidner Center, and Athletics.

The anxiety and disruption caused by COVID-19 is real, but so is the resiliency of this campus community. We will get through this, with some sacrifice no doubt, but also by forging ahead in the most positive and responsible way possible. Our community is suffering right now. I know I am asking you all to sacrifice due to no fault of your own. However, the potential consequences of not being able to navigate successfully through the current crisis are immense, not just to UW-Green Bay, but to our capacity to support a more equitable and sustainable future for our students and our region. I say this knowing that we have the people to get us to the other side of this. We will do so united, and with determination, empathy, and the fierce belief that our mission and vision matters to our students and to the future of our region and state.

Sheryl Van Gruensven, Kate Burns, and I will answer your questions about what I have written above and talk further about our academic plans when we meet together at the Coffee Break Q and A, tomorrow (May 15, 2020) at 8:30 a.m. Please join us if you are able. Please take care of each other and I look forward to talking with you soon.

Warmest regards,