Great start for new academic year with Engagement Sessions; Move-in Day, start of classes next

The new academic year is off to a great start following our invigorating Engagement Sessions on Monday. 

I sat in on sessions in the Memorial Student Center after the Opening Day presentations, and I was struck by the intensity, sincerity and insightfulness of the discussions. More than 400 people weighed in on questions concerning our greatest strengths as an institution and strategies for helping our students succeed and stay at UW-Stout.

Feedback on these questions will be used to help a new chancellor get acclimated to the institution and will aid our recruitment and retention efforts. 

I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who worked so hard on making the Engagement Sessions a success, including the emcee and presenters (Phil Lyons, Justin Utpadel, Amy McGovern and Amy Luethmers) and the facilitators and note-takers, along with Assistant Chancellor Meridith Wentz and her staff, who pull everything together.   

More information on the Engagement Sessions is available here. A news story on my address is available here

Many help to make Move-in Day a success 

We are on the verge of a big weekend here at UW-Stout, when the first-year students and sophomores move back to the residence halls Sunday in advance of classes beginning on Wednesday, Sept. 4.

I have witnessed the yeoman’s effort that is required to plan and execute this move-in process, and I will be attending.

I’ll also attend other events on Sunday, including the Blue Rah pep rally at night in Johnson Fieldhouse. Move-in Day means that more than 7,000 family members and students will be in town, and that doesn’t include the 800 or so students who have arrived early, for athletics and other reasons. 

Some 200 staff and 450 athletes help make the move-in process a model of efficiency by directing the students and their parents to the right locations and helping carry in the personal belongings.

I want to thank everyone — and the list includes departments from all over campus — who collaborate to make Move-in Day a success.

Things I learned my first week as interim chancellor:

  • Other duties as assigned include swearing in new police officers. 
  • You may need to meet with one of our U.S. senators on the fourth day in your new role. 
  • You are a member of the Board of the Greater Menomonie Development Corp., which meets at 7:30 a.m. once a month. 
  • The Chancellor’s Office has a bathroom, complete with a medicine cabinet with a slot for disposing of razor blades (but, alas, no shower). 
  • It may seem cool in the morning, but biking while wearing a tie can still make you sweat. 
  • The new Teaching and Learning Hub in the library is up and running with staff from LIT, Stout Online, the Nakatani Teaching and Learning Center and the library. Make an appointment or visit if you have questions related to teaching and learning.
  • We have an outstanding group of new faculty and staff, who participated in the New@Stout orientation last week. 
  • You can see a little slice of Lake Menomin from the chancellor’s office, between the Mabel Tainter Center for the Arts and Cobblestone Inn. 
  • The university staff on the third floor of the Administration Building (Julie, Dianne, Tara, Bonni, Breanna) are all amazing.


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