UW-Green Bay’s new chancellor, Thomas Harden, last week sat down for an introductory meeting with the editorial board of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. He addressed a wide range of topics and talked about student success and moving the University forward in challenging economic times. Brief excerpts from the interview were printed in the Sunday, Oct. 11 edition of the newspaper. Among the quotes:
• On the viability of the Growth Agenda — “I do think we still need to grow… there’s a need for UW-Green Bay to admit, educate and graduate more students… At this point, however, the economy is not at a point where the Growth Agenda’s going to be fully funded. That doesn’t mean we should let it go by any means…”
• On expectations for a four-year path to a degree — “Clearly a lot of students don’t finish in four years — and that’s not new. I mean, I took seven years to finish my bachelor’s degree — I did OK. Maybe I’d have done a lot better if I’d finished in four years. But I don’t think there’s anything special about finishing in four years… (Some people) talk about, if you’re going to be as efficient as we want you to be, you’re going to bring these students in, you’re going to crank them out and be done with them in four years. That’s not the way I approach it… We have 6,500 students, and they’re every one different from the others.”
• On serving community needs — “This region of the state has the lowest percentage of people with bachelor’s degrees per capita in the state, and so we know the community wants us to graduate more students… (but) it’s difficult to have an impact on that when you’re the lowest-funded university per student in the system… We’ll find a way to do better, but we’re going to need the help of the system, with funding, and we’re going to need the help of the Legislature…”
For more detailed excerpts at the Press-Gazette site.