Many diverse viewpoints during Free Speech Week; renovation celebration, Fam Jam events coming up

The campus community had and has a tremendous opportunity to hear from a diverse group of national experts in the area of free speech this week, courtesy of our Center for the Study of Institutions and Innovation, led by Professor Tim Shiell. 

Presenters included John McAdams, a Marquette University law professor who was fired by the school and reinstated by the state Supreme Court; Kent Greenfield, a Boston law professor and expert in the area of constitutional law and corporate governance; Rick Esenberg, president and general counsel for the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, which defended McAdams; and Associate Professor Jennifer Lambe of the University of Delaware, who addressed hate speech issues with our Associate Dean of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Dominique Vargas. 

Also featured were sessions on UW-Stout students and their experiences as part of a class civil rights trip to Selma, Ala.; and Free Speech and Civil Rights, featuring Selika Ducksworth-Lawton, Conor Friedersdorf and Scott Skinner Thompson. 

The last session is today, when the issues of free speech, social media and universities is discussed from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in Ballroom A of the Memorial Student Center. Panelists include Joe Cohn, legislative and policy director of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education; Franciska Coleman, law, Kansas; and Eric Kasper, political science and director of the Center for Constitutional Studies at UW-Eau Claire. The panel will be moderated by Dean of Students Sandra Scott. 

I want to thank Shiell, his staff and the presenters and moderators for making this an exceptional event.   

Event to celebrate renovations of Price Commons, North Hall 

I’d like to remind the campus that this Friday we will celebrate the grand reopening of Merle M. Price Commons and North Hall, both of which have undergone extensive renovations. The event, including a ribbon-cutting ceremony and remarks, will be held at 3:30 p.m. between the buildings. 

A reception will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. in both buildings with live music, refreshments and tours. 

More information is available here. I hope to see you Friday. The forecast is for sunny weather, although a bit chilly!  

Fam Jam events this Saturday 

Speaking of special events, this Saturday is the first Fam Jam weekend, sponsored by Blue Devil Athletics. Fam Jam has been created to encourage family members of students and others to enjoy a fall visit to campus, similar to the university’s spring Family Weekend. 

Fam Jam includes, at 11 a.m., a tailgate party in the parking lot north of the football stadium featuring live music by the Cutaways and food trucks; the Blue Devils will host UW-Stevens Point for a 1 p.m. football game at Williams Stadium, with our players wearing special uniforms that pay tribute to the military. The game is the annual Heroes Day celebration, with free admission for current and former members of the military, police and first responders, with appropriate ID.  

At halftime, the university’s Army ROTC program will have a swearing-in ceremony and the dance team will feature a performance with local children from the Kids Clinic.  

At 10 a.m., the Blue Devil women’s soccer team will host UW-Whitewater. The game will be played in Eau Claire because of ongoing renovations at UW-Stout’s Nelson Field, including the addition of artificial turf. More information is available here

Strategic Planning Group helps guide UW-Stout’s future 

Finally, as most people know, we are still the only four-year institution of higher education to have received the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. A key result of the Baldrige process on campus was the creation of the Strategic Planning Group, which has undergone changes throughout the years but remains a key element of our Baldrige framework. 

SPG is responsible for implementing the university’s strategic planning process. Led by the assistant chancellor for Planning, Assessment, Research and Quality, this campuswide committee includes representation from governance groups, leaders of university action plans and members of the Chancellor’s Advisory Council.  

The committee’s responsibilities are modeled after the Baldrige Excellence Framework, which emphasizes strategy development and strategy implementation. At UW-Stout, SPG’s role in strategy development is to review the mission, vision and values, as well as to develop five-year FOCUS goals and performance indicators.  

SPG’s role in strategy implementation includes annual action items identified through the Engagement Sessions and university action plans to achieve the strategy. At UW-Stout, strategic planning is a joint responsibility of the faculty, staff, students and leadership team, and therefore one role of SPG is to ensure that the campus community has an opportunity to provide input into both strategy development and implementation. 


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