Faculty note: Clifton Ganyard testifies on Senate Bill 165

Associate Provost Clifton Ganyard provided written testimony before the Wisconsin Committee on Universities, Technical Colleges, Children and Families on Senate Bill 165 (https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2019/proposals/sb165). Here’s his testimony:

UW-Green Bay and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College share a unique relationship. The relationship is enshrined by a co-written charter called Crossing the Bridge. This charter charges each institution to work collaboratively. We hold semi-annual meetings to track successes and collaborations in academic programs.

We now have ten agreements in in a wide array of discipline between the two institutions, with more in development. And we have numerous agreements with other technical colleges, including Northcentral Technical College, Fox Valley Technical College, and Lakeshore Technical College. We hope to develop a similar relationship with the latter institution as we have with NWTC, a relationship that will be facilitated by the recent addition to UW-Green Bay of the Marinette, Manitowoc, and Sheboygan branch campuses.

To be sure this was not a simple task as decades of separation had sown seeds of distrust between the faculty of the two institutions. However, through the leadership of Chancellor Gary Miller and President Jeff Rafn, strong relationships are beginning to develop.  So much so that both institutions ask counterparts to sit on search and screen committees for new hires, as has happened with NWTC’s search for a new Vice President of Education and UWGB’s search for a new Provost.

One of the great successes of this partnership is Turbocharge, a joint project between NWTC, UW-Green Bay, and the Green Bay Area Public School District to offer 15 college credits in high school to EVERY student at a Green Bay public school. These credits are accepted at both institutions.

Our relationship with NWTC has grown only stronger over the past few years and has led to collaboration on numerous projects, such as helping high school teachers meet HLC faculty qualification requirements to teach College Credit in High School.  Even more exciting is our collaboration in Marinette, in which we are trying to create a seamless experience for students, allowing them to move between the two institutions as they desire.

Northeast Wisconsin is proud of our strong relationship with NWTC, and community members in Manitowoc and Sheboygan are excited about the possibilities this type of close collaboration with Lakeshore Technical College may bring. We were able to execute this relationship because we are not constrained, and we have the freedom to experiment with new programs.  As a result, we have been able to demonstrate to faculty the benefits of collaboration, rather than trying to force them into a relationship they may resent. This openness has generated a great deal of excitement and has led many faculty to begin developing new programs sharing the resources of both UW-Green Bay and NWTC.