On the Phone with Thomas Harden, Chancellor-designate

Comments from Chancellor-designate Thomas K. Harden via telephone.



3:44 | 4.3MB | Download the audio file

AUDIO TRANSCRIPT

(phone ringing, being picked up)

Thomas K. Harden
Hi everybody. I’m looking forward to joining (UW-) Green Bay and the System and I had a very good visit at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay on Dec. 9, and I’m sure I’m like others who visit there for the first time, I’m just extremely impressed by the people I met. The warmth and the graciousness and the hospitality just really overwhelmed me. My wife and I came away just feeling extremely good about the people there.

UW-Green Bay
Tell us a little bit, if you could, about what you liked about campus when you made your visit.

Thomas K. Harden
Well, in addition to the people, I thought the buildings were spectacular. The venues there for arts and athletics and the academic buildings were very nice. I appreciated the tunnels.

I couldn’t see the trees very well, and I don’t know about the toilets, but I did like the tunnels when I was there. I thought that, oh gosh, there’s so many things I saw on a quick walk. My wife and I walked through there in about an hour with two of the students, who we were very impressive.

We have talked quite a bit about the campus, but we’re looking forward to seeing it when it’s green and we can actually walk around a little bit more and see the outside of the campus as opposed to just the inside.

UW-Green Bay
Tell us about the transition and what kind of transition you’ll have to make. Will you come up right away? Will you take some time before you make your way up to Green Bay?

Thomas K. Harden
Well, I think it’s going to take a little while for us to get back up there. We have a very, very busy January, and I’d like to get back up there at least for a visit in February. And, following that at some point, make at least one other time.

We anticipate being up there permanently, to begin work there, on or before June 1. I would imagine that during that time, in working with Dr. Ward, and others, I’ll be able to get a pretty good orientation and an awareness of what the issues are and what I would have to really spend some time on initially when I am able to start actually working there on a day-to-day basis.

UW-Green Bay
We know you’re eager to start up in Green Bay, but you still have a commitment to Clayton State. You’ve got some things to finish up there? What’s still on your agenda for work at Clayton State, yet?

Thomas K. Harden
Well, we have the budget for next year to put together. We’ve started that. There’s more work to do on the budget. And, as you’re probably aware, this is going to be a difficult budget year for, I think, all of us. I want to really finish that up. I think I’m in the best position to work through the budget for the next fiscal year.

UW-Green Bay
With the announcement here that’s come out today, happy times at Christmas time in the Harden household? Is it going to be bittersweet? How are you feeling right now?

Thomas K. Harden
Well, whenever you leave something that has been such a big part of your life for so long, I think there’s understandably some emotion associated with it. And Clayton State and this community has been very important to my wife Cathy and me. But on the other hand, it’s really not bittersweet. We’re ready for this change. We’ve been thinking about it for a bit of time. And we were emotionally prepared to do this. We’re just very excited that where we’re going to end up is in Green Bay at UWGB.