UW System leaders start 'barnstorming' tour here

UW System President Kevin Reilly met with Green Bay area reporters Thursday (July 8) as part of what he called a statewide “barnstorming” tour to promote the importance of the UW System’s Growth Agenda. He was accompanied by Charles Pruitt, president of the Board of Regents, who also addressed the media during a news conference at the Mary Ann Cofrin Hall winter garden.

The two UW System leaders spent the morning in an editorial board visit with the Green Bay Press-Gazette before coming to campus for a meeting with prominent UW-Green Bay supporters and civic leaders. That gathering was hosted by Provost Julia Wallace and Chancellor Thomas Harden (at right in adjacent photo, with Pruitt and Reilly). The session focused on challenges and opportunities for the System and for UW-Green Bay.

The Green Bay stop was the first of what the UW System leaders expect will be numerous campus and media-market visits to promote their “Principles for Progress and Prosperity” compact. The plan is jointly endorsed by Pruitt, the current Regent president appointed by Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle, and former Regent Jay Smith, who served a two-year term as president following his appointment by Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson in 2000. They hope their collaboration will elicit bipartisan support for the UW System and its value as an economic engine.

The Regent proposal calls for stable funding, management flexibility and a commitment to expanding access from the state of Wisconsin, and offers a UW System pledge to provide that access, facilitate job creation, and boost productivity and enhance quality across the System.

News coverage was significant. A Press-Gazette overview story quoted President Kevin Reilly, Chancellor Thomas Harden and current Regent and Green Bay resident Judy Crain, here. The newspaper’s editorial paged called it an “ambitious but admirable goal” — the idea of growing the number of UW System graduates by at least 80,000 over the next decade or so — and worthy of thoughtful consideration despite tough economic times. Click here. TV-2’s video coverage of  “How to Grow the UW System” is here. A print transcript of WLUK-Fox 11’s coverage is archived here.

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