As we approach the end of the first semester, I want to update the campus on the transition that is already underway to welcome Katherine P. Frank as the eighth chancellor of UW-Stout.
Chancellor-designate Frank will assume office on Sunday, March 1, and she visited Menomonie and campus this week to look for housing and to gain further insight into the university. She intends to return to UW-Stout in January to further the transition process.
During my meeting with her, I pledged to do everything I can to assure a very smooth and orderly transition and to give the new chancellor every opportunity to be successful. I also invited Chancellor-designate Frank, and she accepted, to give remarks to campus in conjunction with me during the opening day address on Tuesday, Jan. 21, that precedes the “You Said…We Did” presentation.
I again want to thank the entire campus community for participating in the extremely successful search process that resulted in Chancellor-designate Frank’s selection. It is a true testament to our ability to come together to make important choices.
By the way, Chancellor-designate Frank sat for an extensive interview with University Communications staff members when she was here, so look for a video of that interview on YouTube and a Q&A on our social media platforms.
Civil liberties center receives generous donation
I also wanted to ensure that as many people as possible saw the great news Wednesday of a generous donation from the Menard family, Wisconsin natives and owners of a Midwestern chain of home improvement stores, that will allow the Center for the Study of Institutions and Innovation to expand.
The donation of $2.36 million will be accompanied by the center being renamed to the Menard Center for the Study of Institutions and Innovation. It will remain at 312 Bowman Hall. This center is providing important programming on campus and across the state on the issues of civil liberties, free speech, etc., for students, faculty, staff and the public.
I want to thank the Menard family for the donation; Professor Tim Shiell, for his excellent leadership of the center; and the Stout University Foundation for its work on the donation. More information on the donation is available here.
Final step in pay increases near
The 2019-21 state budget contained funding for salary increases for eligible faculty and staff that would mean 2% increases on Jan. 1, 2020, and Jan. 1, 2021. However, those increases need final approval from the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Employment Relations. That committee has set a meeting for next Wednesday, and approval is expected.
While the increases will not push the salaries of faculty and staff to the level of their peers, they are still an important move in that direction, coming after similar 2% increases in the previous budget. I certainly hope that the UW System continues to lobby for even larger salary increases for faculty and staff in the 2021-23 state budget. A news story about the salary increases is available here.
A great time reading to preschoolers
The job of the chancellor is quite varied, I have found, and some things are more enjoyable than others. One of the most enjoyable parts is the occasional invitation I get to read to preschool children who attend the Child and Family Study Center on campus.
On Wednesday, I read from “The Hat,” a classic children’s picture book by Jan Brett, featuring Lisa’s woolen stocking and Hedgie finding it. I want to thank Allison Feller, the center director, for inviting me and all of the center’s staff who do a great job taking care of the children at the center.
Commencement and other events this week
Saturday is commencement, and last week’s blog discussed that event. I’d like to remind faculty and staff that the ceremonies are at 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. in Johnson Fieldhouse.
I’d also like to remind the campus of the STEMM Student Expo from 1 to 3 p.m. today, Dec. 12, in the Great Hall of the Memorial Student Center, featuring 160 student research projects; and the Senior Show from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13, in Micheels Hall and Applied Arts, featuring art and design projects by seniors in the School of Art and Design.