UW-Green Bay Associate Prof. Clifton Ganyard and outgoing Chancellor Tom Harden were honored during Friday’s (June 6) UW System Board of Regents meeting at UW-Milwaukee.
During the morning session, Ganyard accepted his Regents Teaching Excellence Award, the UW System’s highest recognition for members of its faculty and academic staff. Introduced by Regent Chuck Pruitt, who praised his passion for teaching and commitment to interdisciplinarity, Ganyard said he truly loves what he does — and how his colleagues and UW-Green Bay help him do it.
“I love teaching, so this award really means a great deal to me,” said Ganyard, Humanistic Studies (History). “I love interacting with my students — it’s why I went to graduate school; it’s why I chose to work at UW-Green Bay.
“For me, teaching is learning — I think that’s why I love it so much. I’m constantly learning new material as I teach, and I learn the most from my students. … It means a great deal to me that you have recognized me for something I really enjoy.”
Ganyard added that his fellow UW-Green Bay faculty members — several of whom were present, along with his wife and Cofrin Library Director Paula Ganyard — motivate him to be a better teacher.
“It’s because of my colleagues,” he said, “that I’ve really been moved and inspired to become the best teacher I can.”
Chancellor Harden also was honored during the meeting, as Regent Tim Higgins read a resolution praising Harden for his years of service at UW-Green Bay. Higgins recalled a holiday party he’d hosted, and the feedback one of his guests — a UW-Green Bay alumna — had about “that darling Tom Harden.” The encounter prompted the alum to send a donation to the UW-Green Bay Foundation, Higgins added.
“I’m jealous,” he said, to laughs. “People love you and they want to send you money.”
In accepting the honor, Harden said he knew the time was right to step down, noting “I didn’t think it’d be emotional, but it is.”
“I feel very fortunate to be here, to have had this opportunity to work with a phenomenal university,” Harden continued. “If you’ve been there, you would agree that we have really, really good people, and they are as committed as any people I’ve ever worked with. And I’ve worked for a long time and I’ve worked with a lot of people.”
Harden recognized his wife, Cathy, as well as UW-Green Bay Provost Julia Wallace and Chief Budget Officer Kelly Franz, calling on Cathy to stand and noting, “that’s my best decision, but the others that have been outstanding have been associated with the people I’ve hired.”
UW-Green Bay’s fifth chancellor closed his remarks with a word about transition, expressing confidence in his successor, the newly hired Gary L. Miller.
“I step aside,” Harden said, “a really happy man.”