Message to Faculty and Staff on Thursday, April 11, 2024

Dear UW-Green Bay Faculty and Staff,

Today, Deloitte’s Financial and Strategic Assessment reports will be released publicly for 7 universities.  The reports discuss the economic assessment and opportunities for us as well as Oshkosh, Parkside, Platteville, River Falls, Superior, and Whitewater.  Attached you will find three documents.  The first talks about our current economic assessment, the second potential opportunities for us, and the third, labeled UW Green Bay UFA, is a summary of the Deloitte reports along with a presentation I gave to the Board of Regents that provides context to those reports.  We will discuss all of this at the Coffee Break on Tuesday, but below are some important things to keep in mind.

Documents can be found here:

UW Green Bay UFA

UW-Green Bay Current State Assessment

UW-Green Bay Opportunity Report

First, the slide shown from Deloitte on page 19 of their Current State Assessment and again on pages 8 and 10 of the summary are crucial to put in context. It takes FY23, which was our worst year by far of the last 6 years, and projects out as if we have not made any financial adjustments in FY24 or planned reductions in FY25.  As a reminder, in FY23, we purposely chose to spend down some of our tuition balance to support our mission.  Page 11 of the summary talks broadly about adjustments we have made in FY24 and FY25 and page 12 outlines the projections for our tuition balance as a result, which shows a much more accurate and positive trajectory for us moving forward.  We pledged to end our “structural deficit” by FY25 and I believe that we have done that with the understanding that changes to projected enrollment can always cause us to have to adjust.  We used flat enrollment as a baseline for our numbers.  The Deloitte reports are a snapshot of our financials in Fall 2023. It is important to recognize this distinction and the heavy lifting you have done in recent months to set the stage for us to move into the opportunities before us.

Second, the structural deficit as defined by Deloitte does not include any revenue that we generate through our Continuing Education Division.  This revenue has been stable for some time now and we continue to seek to grow our presence here in the future as a unique revenue stream that we can rely on.

Third, on page 19 of the summary, I talk about our future plans to keep our budget on the plus side of the ledger and build on our mission.  I discussed further growing our dual enrollment and continuing education work, continually examining the sustainability of our program array, developing Phoenix Innovation Park as an entity that drives enrollment and revenue, exploring additional revenue opportunities for athletics, and continually pushing ourselves to have the strongest possible student support network.

Finally, at the Coffee Break on April 16th, we will discuss some of the other findings in the financial assessment and opportunities.  I have already met with governance leaders at the UC regarding the report.  Nothing in the report is new to us, but having these things validated by a third-party source will be helpful for us to continue to have conversations about our future.

Please feel free to reach out to me directly if you have any questions that you would like clarified.

Best,  Mike

The university financial assessments for seven universities and President Rothman’s statement are now live:

Open Letter to UW-Green Bay and the Region

Dear UW-Green Bay Faculty and Staff,

People inside and outside of UW-Green Bay often ask me how I feel about the future of our institution, including how I see the overall higher education landscape changing and affecting us.  On July 10, 2020, a few months after I began my role as chancellor and in the midst of the pandemic, I wrote this open letter to the communities of Green Bay, Manitowoc, Marinette, and Sheboygan.  The pandemic accelerated the evolution that was already happening in higher education. Now, we are fully experiencing the pressures of rapid change in an industry that has not typically handled change well.  Yet, I remain incredibly optimistic about our future.  It is clear that our future and the future of Northeast Wisconsin demands us to be bold.  There are a lot of loud voices saying what you do is not important or valuable. But it is. Today, I still feel what I wrote in 2020 is true in that, ‘We are positioned well to deal with whatever challenges emerge in the coming year, but it is not enough.  We must do much more.’

To do more, we will fully embrace the same skills we are teaching our students.  We will be leaders in our individual disciplines, we will be great communicators, and we will individually and collectively become increasingly relevant to the common good of the region we serve. Using these skills, we will shape our own distinct future as a university.  We need to continue to unite our region in the belief that access to education for all who want to learn makes our families and communities stronger.  Education creates bridges between people and our bridge must be built on the strength of our unique blend of rural and urban locality.  We are empowered to ask uncomfortable questions, fight through the noise of an increasingly complex world, and have a chip on our shoulder that pushes us to welcome challenges, continue learning throughout our lives and overcome obstacles.  We should celebrate our journey and show gratitude for those who have chosen to join us while embracing those who have not.

We have proven that where we are going is noteworthy.  Our enrollment has grown to 10,338 students, an increase of 17.4% over the last four years.  Additionally, in 2023, we served over 60,000 people with non-credit classes, second only to UW-Madison and gaining fast. Our Rising Phoenix program began in 2020 and currently helps 367 high school students each year, earn a UW-Green Bay associate degree while still in high school.  We were the first university in the state of Wisconsin to offer direct admission for students in the Green Bay Area Public Schools, an initiative that will now be copied across the state.  We have been recognized nationally for our expertise in serving First Generation College Students, who now make up approximately half of our student population.

UW-Green Bay accomplished all of this growth and change during a global pandemic as our country, state, and region have become more polarized.  Although we are a state institution, we cannot wait for the complex educational bureaucracy within our state to solve our problems.  Nor can we rely on politicians on both sides of the aisle to come together to fund our operations at a level that is above 42nd in the country.  Instead, we must adapt to the reality that approximately 20% of our operating budget comes from the state.  That means creating new revenue sources and further streamlining our operations to be completely focused on our strategic priorities.  In short, we must focus all of our time on making sure we are doing everything possible to meet our noble mission.  We have done a lot.  And we must do more.

So, where are we headed for the next five years?  In 2020, we agreed upon six strategic priorities that would drive us toward our access mission.  Consider what we have been able to achieve since then.  It is important to celebrate how far we have come in each of these priorities in less than four years.  It is equally important to quantify what success can look like in the next five years when we all work together in these challenging times toward the new goals outlined below.

Student Success

We must not only have more students enter UW-Green Bay, but also ensure that those who enter reach their educational goals before leaving us.  Not all students will complete a degree, but all students who start with us should leave with a credential that can be used to better their lives and career prospects.  While some will experience higher education in a linear fashion, we need fluid options for others to enter, exit, and reenter higher education when their lives allow for it and career coaching for all to help navigate those paths.  We need to start measuring and tracking retention in ways that make sense to an access institution.  What percentage of students who start with us leave with a tangible credential?  Our goal should be 100%.  Finally, we will become the largest provider of non-credit offerings in the state of Wisconsin with classes that help all people value education as opposed to just those seeking credit-bearing degrees.


Higher education has two major crises that it must deal with.  One is historic and ongoing: the exclusion of people from underrepresented populations into higher education.  The second is relatively new: the rapidly declining perception of the value of higher education in rural, conservative areas.  Both issues must be resolved for our communities to grow together, for equity in the ability to be upwardly mobile between generations, and to allow all people the opportunity to advance their careers over a lifetime.  UW-Green Bay must measure success in the following ways for this priority to be actualized.

Rising Phoenix enrollment numbers should continue to increase annually in rural districts.  In addition to providing rural students a pathway into higher education, our program also supports rural school districts to expand advanced offerings they can make to their students.  Additionally, we must create and grow a network for rural students at UW-Green Bay that creates a sense of engagement with the university and provide support for issues that concern them.

In a perfect world, the demographics of UW-Green Bay would roughly match the demographics of the region we serve.  This is why it makes sense that we are now the 3rd most racially diverse university within the Universities of Wisconsin.  Our communities are changing and evolving, and so are we.  Since 2020, We have averaged growth of 15% per year in students who identify as Hispanic.  We must maintain that pace for the next five years so that we keep up with the overall growth of the Hispanic population in our region.  Providing education for all demographics prevents large income and socioeconomic disparities due to educational opportunity gaps.  Eliminating these gaps helps the economy and improves the quality of life of everyone in our communities.  While our goal to be a Hispanic Serving Institution would highlight our service to the Hispanic population as the largest traditionally underserved demographic in our region, we will pursue the same goals to increase participation and retention for all students regardless of how they identify.  We will not stray from the overarching goal of educational equity and opportunity.  All have a place at UW-Green Bay.

Enhanced Community Connections and University Philanthropy

Since 2020, we have expanded our community reach in various ways.  We transformed the struggling Shorewood Golf Course into a thriving cross-country course that brings thousands of people to UW-Green Bay each year.  Our camps and youth programs have grown and will now serve over 1,000 students in 2024.  Estamos Aquí brought over 8,000 people to the Green Bay campus for a Hispanic arts and culture festival.  We earned the designation as a Carnegie Elective Classification for Community Engagement.  In addition, we raised $30,163,273 from 2020-2023, an increase of 43.94% over the prior four years.  To continue to support our growth, we should hold ourselves accountable by keeping up this pace over the next five years.  Finally, we should see the first physical infrastructure of the Cofrin Technology and Education Center, Phoenix Innovation Park, and the National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) come to fruition.  Phoenix Innovation Park and the NERR connect our mission directly to the constituents we serve in our region.

Digital Transformation

Our work to modernize our practices to thrive in a digital world has created positive changes in how we educate, broaden our connections to students, and complete our business functions.  Now we need to put increased attention on how technology can further inform our work and prepare our students to thrive in a world where technology is ubiquitous.  We will develop clear strategies for how we will use emerging technologies to increase access to education and the quality with which it is delivered.  We will begin to use powerful technologies like AI to help us expand the impact of the people who work here.  We must use technology to cover the mundane and instead use our “people power” to do what humans do best: communicate, solve complex problems, and inspire others.  Given our current budget realities, we must get comfortable quickly with this way of operating.  We know we are understaffed.  Therefore, we must use technology to manage workloads, inspire human interaction, and increase the satisfaction that our faculty and staff get from doing their jobs.

Sustainability and Environmental Work

We have begun to recapture our identity as an institution that was founded on the ideals of environmental stewardship and sustainability, but we still have a long way to go to be seen as a leader in these efforts.  There are two things we should strive for in the coming years.  First, we should achieve Gold status on the STARS report for the first time in our history.  The second goal is more complicated.  We have to work together to think at scale.  Each individual makes a difference, but as a whole, we can have a much greater impact on the future of UW-Green Bay and our region.  The upcoming establishment of a National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) is a good example of this.  We need to ask ourselves, what is our next NERR-like project that inspires education and hope for the next generation of leaders on these compelling and urgent subjects?

Sustainable Path for the Weidner and Green Bay Athletics

Event-generated revenue has tripled and visitors have doubled at the Weidner since FY17. We are on track to hit $3,000,000 in venue ticket sales this year. This year will also be the highest contributed revenue year since the last capital campaign in 2012 and the highest non-campaign fundraising year since 2004.  The dramatic positive trajectory of contributed and earned revenue the Weidner now generates is in stark contrast to the trends nationally of centers for performing arts.  Given the complicated history of the Weidner, this is a remarkable accomplishment.  The Weidner has fully embraced the mission of UW-Green Bay.  It is an important access point for the public, our students, and potential future students.  All of these great benefits accrue with only one position funded with state resources.  The Weidner is becoming a model for how auxiliaries should operate within a broader university budget.  We will expect continued steady growth in ticket sales and community engagement over the next five years as the Weidner returns to its rightful position as a place that the region can be incredibly proud to have built.

Despite tremendous upheaval within the NCAA, we are finding a way forward in athletics that has tremendous benefit to how we are perceived as a university.  We won three Horizon League titles in 2023, our first titles since 2018.  Our coaches and teams are engaging with the community like never before with near constant interactions across the region with civic groups, schools, and donors.  Athletics social media accounts have increased dramatically in the past year, helping us bring more exposure and attention to the entire University. Facebook and Instagram impressions are up 250%, and men’s basketball has had four different videos with over 90,000 views each. The total number of athletic gifts are the highest since 2018, and ticket sales are on track to be the highest since 2018.  While we are still the lowest funded University in the Horizon League and one of the lowest in the country for a D1 University, we have set the goal to close that gap through earned income and fundraising in the coming years so that we are no longer the lowest funded university in our league for athletics.

We should always see our glass as half-full with the opportunity to create our own future.  While we are in difficult times, my hope for a bright future has not wavered.  I believe that we can chart an even brighter future.  We have already made tremendous progress in the face of great challenges over the last four years.  We have ignited something special within ourselves and our community.  The question now is can we build on our successes, accelerate the speed of our progress, and continue to relate our mission to the region and students we serve? Can we ignite the future?

We are The Phoenix.  This is our time and together we will rise.



Thanksgiving and Winter Break University Hours

Dear UW-Green Bay Faculty and Staff,

In accordance with the Office Hours and Institutional Closures Policy (HR 14-17-3), I am approving the closure of offices across UW-Green Bay (all locations) on November 25 and December 27-30. Area leaders will have the discretion to determine limited essential functions for these days in accordance with that policy. Individual employees may elect to work on a day in which their office has been closed, and any employees requesting to work should connect with their immediate supervisor to confirm. Employees who do not work on these specified dates will be required to take paid leave time (vacation, personal holiday, floating legal holiday) if their employment classification provides such leave. This closure does not represent an additional holiday. A majority of campus buildings will be closed during this period. For those in essential operations or those who choose to work in person on these dates, buildings will be accessible, but communication should be made with supervisors to ensure access is available. In addition to the dates mentioned prior, offices will be closed for observed legal holidays on December 26 and January 2.

When we have fewer people in buildings during low density times of the year, it also allows us to be more environmentally conscious with how we are heating buildings.

Please reach out to HR if you have further questions.

Michael Alexander
Michael Alexander

Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Search

Dear UW-Green Bay Faculty and Staff,

I am excited to announce that Kate Burns has been appointed as the next Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, effective immediately. Since being named Interim Provost in May of 2020, Kate has successfully managed two years of enrollment growth in the most complicated circumstances higher education has likely ever seen. She has guided Academic Affairs through massive shifts in modality during every semester she has been in the role. Despite being primarily in a virtual environment, she has gained the trust of her colleagues across the state and at UW System. She has led the effort to overhaul our advising system and has built consensus around important issues regarding how we are developing as an access institution.

I can keep going, but all of this is not why I feel Kate is right for the job now and in the future. Having been in the position for 18 months, she is the most experienced provost in the pool; knows the pressures it brings, and understands what we need moving forward. Second, Kate has tremendous character and integrity. It is vital to me and to the whole university that we have someone in the role whose judgment is always sound and student-centered. Third, Kate is an exceptional listener and has the inner strength and courage that is required in the role. She will work collaboratively, but also quickly and decisively to move Academic Affairs ahead. Finally, Kate fully understands our mission and knows how to help us move towards it. This is essential for us to continue the momentum we have.

I want to thank the search committee, led by Sheryl Van Gruensven, for their work. It was important that we do a full national search for this position. Please join me in congratulating, Kate. We are very fortunate to have her leadership at UW-Green Bay!

Michael Alexander

A Big Week, A Big Thank You

The UW-Green Bay Office of the Chancellor sent the following e-mail message from Chancellor Gary Miller to the campus community on Thursday, October 12, 2017.

University Community—

To say that we’re at the tail end of a big week is an understatement. It started with a visit from the Higher Learning Commission, a reflective process on where we are as an institution of higher education, and is ending with an announcement from the UW System that could significantly and positively impact the trajectory of UW-Green Bay.

It’s important that we end such a big week on a note of gratitude and celebration. I can’t thank all of you enough for the countless hours you put forward to prepare for and conduct the 10-year site visit. It’s extremely gratifying to see and hear so many of you represent your campus, your colleagues and your teaching with such great pride and passion.

I also want to specifically recognize a campus leader who has been living and breathing accreditation for the last year and a half.  A great visit can only happen with great leadership. For that, I hope you will join me in thanking and congratulating Clif Ganyard for his exceptional work in guiding us through this process. Your University and community are grateful for your expertise and leadership.

We are gathering tomorrow afternoon, Friday, October 13 from 4-5 p.m. in the Phoenix Club for a complimentary ice cream social to celebrate your work. I hope you can join us.

Congratulations again on a job well done and bringing this multi-year process to a close.

Go Phoenix!

Gary L. Miller

Budget Meetings

Per communication earlier this week regarding a proposed $2M budget reduction the 2017/18 fiscal year, Chancellor Miller will visit each of the UW-Green Bay colleges and various administrative and support units to discuss and take questions. The schedule of those visits are as follows:

Group 1: College of Science & Technology (Dean John Katers)

Date: Thursday, March 30, 2017
Time: 7 a.m.
Location: University Union, 1965 Room

Group 2: College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (Dean Scott Furlong)

Date: Friday, March 24, 2017
Time: 2 p.m.
Location: University Union, Phoenix C

Group 3: Austin E. Cofrin School of Business (Dean Doug Hensler)

Date: Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Time: 12:30 p.m.
Location: Wood Hall 328

Group 4:  College of Health, Education & Social Welfare (Dean Susan Gallaghler-Lepak)

Date: Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Time: 10 a.m.
Location: University Union, 1965 Room

Group 5: Business and Finance

  • Human Resources
  • Controller
  • Business and Finance
  • Public Safety
  • Facilities
  • Purchasing
  • Information Services
  • University Union

Date: Thursday, March 30, 2017
Time: 2:30 p.m.
Location: University Union 103

Group 6: Athletics

Date: Thursday, March 23, 2017
Time: 8 a.m.
Location: Kress Center, Special Events Room

Group 7: Library and Administration

  • Chancellor’s Office
  • Provost’s Office
  • Weidner Center
  • Library
  • Marketing and Communication
  • Continuing Education/Extension

Date: Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Time: 8:30 a.m.
Location: University Union, 1965 Room

Group 8: Advancement

Date: Monday, April 10, 2017
Time: 10 a.m.
Location: Cofrin Library 805

Group 9: Student Services

  • Enrollment Services
  • Student Affairs
  • Residence Life

Date: March 23, 2017
Time: 2:30 p.m.
Location: University Union, Christie Theater

Academic Achievement Night

UW-Green Bay Chancellor Gary Miller e-mailed the following message to faculty and staff on Thursday, February 12, 2016.

Excellence in academics is at the core of what we do as a university, and we will be emphasizing that commitment at the women’s basketball game on Thursday, February 11 at the Kress Events Center.  We will be recognizing the many student-athletes who have earned a GPA of 3.5 or better in the spring or fall 2015 during a halftime ceremony.

To help honor these student-athletes and thank those who contribute to their academic success, I join Athletics Director Mary Ellen Gillespie and the entire Athletics Department in inviting you – UW-Green Bay faculty and staff – to attend the game as guests of the Athletics Department.

The Athletics Department will provide a ticket free of charge for you and a guest.  Additional tickets can also be purchased for $10.

Our student-athletes’ success is made possible because of what you do for all of our students.  That is why we will be recognizing all faculty and staff colleagues in attendance during a pre-game announcement prior to the national anthem.

Here are the details:

Green Bay Women’s Basketball vs. Youngstown State
Thursday, February 11, 2015
7:00 p.m. at the Kress Events Center

Tickets ordered by Tuesday, February 9th, will be mailed via campus mail. Orders received after that date will be held at will call.

Order the complimentary tickets

Gary L. Miller

Emeritus & Service Awards Presentation

On behalf of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Chancellor Gary L. Miller cordially invites the campus community to a special presentation of Emeritus and Service Awards on Thursday, February 11 from 4 to 4:45 p.m. in Phoenix Room A/B of the University Union.

Date: Thurs., Feb. 11
Time: 4 to 4:45 p.m.
Location: Phoenix Room A/B, University Union

Lead by emcee Prof. Steven Meyer, UW-Green Bay will honor colleagues achieving emeritus status and years of service milestones to the University of Wisconsin System

Faculty and Staff Emeritus Honorees

Clifford Abbott
Forrest Baulieu
Carol Emmons
Cheryl Grosso
Pamela Harvey-Jacobs
Catherine Henze
Tian-You Hu
Warren Johnson
Ken Knauf
William Lepley
Don McCartney
Larry McGregor
E. Nicole Meyer
Stephen Perkins
Christopher Sampson
Jeanellyn Schwarzenbach
Ann Selk
Daniel Spielmann
Michael Stearney

Service Anniversary Celebrants

10 Years of Service
Kristin Aoki, Lynn Brandt, Mathew Dornbush, Janet Gomez, Steven Kimball, James Loebl, Pao Lor, John Luczaj, Ryan Martin, Michael McIntire, Nathan Rusch, Erin VanDaalwyk, Paul Wikgren, Amanda Wildenberg, Jeffrey Willems, Amy Wolf, Julie Wondergem

20 Years of Service
Gregory Aldrete, Joanie Dovekas, Deborah Furlong, Nora Kanzenbach, John Katers, Paul Pinkston, Patricia Terry, Barbara Tomashek-Ditter, Mark Wenzel, Georjeanna Wilson-Doenges

25 Years of Service
Lucy Arendt, Joseph Biese, Susan Bodilly, Therese Greve, Jennifer Ham, Tian-You Hu, Dennis Lorenz, Christopher Luedtke, Michael Schmitt

30 Years of Service
Lisa Fink, Cheryl Grosso, Donald McDowell, Christopher Sampson

35 Years of  Service
Carol Emmons

40 Years of Service
Patrea (Poppy) Grant

Mid-Year Convocation

UW-Green Bay Chancellor Gary Miller e-mailed the following message to faculty and staff on Tuesday, January 12, 2016.


I hope each of you had a wonderful winter break.  Welcome back to campus to begin the spring semester.

I wanted to let you know that we will not be convening for a Mid-Year Convocation this year.   We are currently planning a concluding 50th year anniversary celebration for the campus this spring..

We are making plans to recognize service milestones and retirements in another format.

Thank you.


Gary L. Miller