UW-Green Bay chief of Police and chancellor share message about ‘Minneapolis’

Dear UW-Green Bay community,

We would like to take a moment to address the tragic incident in the City of Minneapolis and the resulting civil unrest that has ensued across the country. Our deepest sympathies go to Mr. Floyd’s family and friends. This was a devastating incident and it should not have happened.

At UW-Green Bay, we place great emphasis on the safety of our community and want to reassure you that our university police officers are trained to use force only in situations that are absolutely necessary. Our officers have worked diligently to earn the trust of the community and have formed meaningful partnerships based on mutual respect. Our officers are well trained, educated, and have proven their ability to resolve situations peacefully time and time again. On the rare occasions when a use of force is unavoidable, only the minimum amount of force required to obtain control of a situation is used. We take pride in knowing that our philosophy of public safety is working, with no excessive force complaints filed against our department in several years.

Incidents such as the death of Mr. Floyd are not localized and erode the trust in law enforcement across the country. As an institution of higher learning we must work together to seek resolutions for the issues affecting our community. As disturbing as this matter is, it provides a platform for change, learning, the opportunity to examine our practices, and to have conversations on how we can best serve our students, faculty, and staff.

Over the coming months you will see a series of initiatives at UW-Green Bay designed to further build trust, transparency and communication regarding sensitive topics. One of these initiatives will be a “Citizens Police Academy” where community members will be exposed to the training and challenges affecting law enforcement today. Other initiatives will include a ride along program and regular open forums with the Chief of Police.

While we continue to mourn the events in Minneapolis, we will continue to work together to ensure the University of Wisconsin Green Bay is not only a safe community, but one that is united in treating all members of our community with respect.


Michael Alexander

David Jones
Chief of Police

Chancellor Update, May 21, 2020

UW-Green Bay Chancellor Mike Alexander sent this update to campus on Thursday, May 21, 2020:

Dear UW-Green Bay Faculty and Staff,

I realize that not all faculty and staff were able to attend our most recent Coffee Break conversation.  Since that event, I have been asked by some faculty to send a note to campus to ensure that everyone understood my viewpoints on a number of current topics.  During this time, I know that communication is key and would like to do my best to reiterate the points I made during the Coffee Break and keep everyone informed. I want to make certain that we retain the atmosphere of trust and positive morale on our campus moving forward.  It is vital to the short and long-term health of our institution.  I also understand that the recent comments from UW-System have caused great concerns.  I will also address those below.

1)      The Blueprint put forward by President Cross and the UW-System has not been adopted by the Board of Regents.  As such, they are only ideas that were introduced without plans for implementation.  UW-Green Bay has a unique mission and vision and we will work with UW System to ensure that we are able to continue on our path to achieving it.  The best thing we can do as a campus is to control what we can control, which is to do our best to achieve our mission, recruit and retain students, and be good financial stewards of our resources.  To the extent we achieve those objectives, we place ourselves in the strongest position possible to support the faculty, staff, and students at UW-Green Bay.

2)      I acknowledge the anxiety about the future of our university and the UW System.  As you have already seen, we have taken steps to institute furloughs through this December to preserve our good financial position and mitigate the risks we face as a campus moving forward.  We will do everything we can to ensure we retain the outstanding faculty and staff necessary to carry out our mission.

3)      I recognize there is still a lot of uncertainty around the fall semester.  Unfortunately, I do not see the uncertainty changing soon.  However, we have announced our intentions to slowly reopen the campus on July 1 and to hold some version of in-person, hybrid, and online offerings for the fall.  I am so appreciative of the tremendous flexibility you all have already shown in readying our campus for possible contingencies.  We will use the Federal CARES Act funds to support our faculty and staff to be ready for the “new normal” in the fall.  In my opinion, the greatest risk we currently face as a university is to not get this right.  A significant drop in enrollment will leave us with no other option than having to make very difficult personnel decisions.

4)      I understand that faculty and staff are concerned about their health and safety as we slowly reopen campus.  The first priority we have as an institution is the health and safety of our faculty, staff, and students.  If you have concerns or need accommodations to the way you do your work due to conditions that put you or your loved ones at risk, please contact HR so that we can begin to sort out how to help make sure you feel safe in the workplace.

5)      I am fully supportive of academic freedom.  The content of every course is fully up to the person teaching it.  In these extraordinary times, we must just be willing to adapt our delivery methods to current circumstances and as always, do all we can to give the best educational experience possible to our students.

6)      I know the sudden transition to online instruction in March was a challenge for all faculty and staff.  I trust faculty and instructors to recognize the unknowns ahead and structure their individual course syllabi to ensure they are prepared for potential shifts in modes of instruction. CATL will provide support to assist faculty in being ready for the fall.  We cannot overstate the gratitude we have for our staff and their role in keeping the university moving forward during this difficult time

7)      As I stated at the Coffee Break, “I work for you.”  We value shared governance, tenure, and academic freedom.  We are stronger when we are together and we want to support all faculty and staff to reach their pedagogical, research, creative activity, and professional goals.  This in turn helps our students reach their goals and the university to excel.

8)      I will gladly listen to any individual faculty, staff member, or any group on campus who would like to share concerns about any issues on campus.  All campus leadership will continue to work with Shared Governance Units in addressing any concerns which may arise as we move forward in making UW-Green Bay successful.  Each one of you is vital in fulfilling the mission of our university, and I know our campus is at its best when everyone is free to share their concerns and to advocate for working conditions that will make them healthier and more productive.  We may not always agree on the best way to solve a problem, but I pledge to always listen to anyone’s point of view and do my best to explain the reasoning on how we are reaching decisions that impact the university.




Application fee will be waived for transfers to UW-Green Bay from Holy Family College

Members of UW-Green Bay’s campus community were sad to learn about the announced closing of Holy Family College. Personnel from both campuses have been working diligently to serve the needs of students, and help them transfer as seamlessly as possible should they continue their higher educational pursuits at UW-Green Bay campuses. The application fee will be waived for students applying from Holy Family to UW-Green Bay. In addition, admissions advisor Jennie Strohm is available for questions or consultation at uwgb@uwgb.edu or 920-376-2679.

UW-Green Bay Chancellor Mike Alexander provided this statement, earlier today (May 7, 2020):

“We were deeply saddened to hear the news this week that Holy Family College will no longer be open after the summer. Anytime an educational institution closes, it hurts all of us. As fellow educators, we want to do everything we can to support the students, faculty and staff at Holy Family that are now looking for work and opportunities to finish out their educational goals. To that end, we have signed an agreement with Holy Family to help students transfer seamlessly and continue their educational pursuits at UW-Green Bay. While we cannot reverse the closure, we will do everything we can to help those affected. Our hearts and thoughts are with everyone at Holy Family right now. Please know that we will be here to help in any way that we can.”


UW-Green Bay Spring 2020 Coffee Break recording is available

Thank you to all who joined the Spring 2020 Coffee Break. The session was conducted and recorded using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. Video recording and the slide deck for the session are available. Coffee Break Q and A is currently planned for Friday, May 15, 2020 at 8:30 a.m.

Video and memorandum: UW-Green Bay announces furloughs

Note: This was a communication from UW-Green Bay leaders to the University Community

April 24, 2020
To: UW-Green Bay Faculty and Staff
Re: Furlough Impact at UW-Green Bay

It’s the people at this University that give UW-Green Bay its life and strength. We are extremely proud of where we have been able to take the University, collectively, in the last few years—overcoming fiscal challenges with thoughtful planning, quick response and meeting enrollment challenges head-on. We believe in UW-Green Bay. We believe in each of you.

Please watch this video as we discuss the difficult times ahead and the decision to implement furloughs to protect the future of the University.

It is terribly unfortunate that the COVID-19 pandemic has forced our hand. Today, we must announce plans to enact furloughs at UW-Green Bay to protect the future of the institution. This disruption in our lives and our livelihood is one that is greatly disappointing, considering the amazing momentum we had heading into the 2020-21 academic year. Although our financial health is not in jeopardy at this particular time, the reality is, we lost $3 million in revenue in just the past month and we must navigate risk until we can find some level of normalcy. We must also position ourselves to maintain healthy cash balances in the event we experience additional losses in revenue and other funding sources.

To that end, beginning with May 2, 2020, 227 staff members will be placed on furlough. All staff members who are to be furloughed received the news via their supervisors in the last 24 hours. With furloughs, as opposed to layoffs, we know that our staff will maintain their benefits and be eligible for unemployment compensation during the time they are furloughed.

In addition to furloughs of some of its staff members, Green Bay Athletics announced today that it will be suspending its men’s and women’s tennis teams indefinitely at the conclusion of the 2019-20 academic year. Several long-standing challenges have continued to hinder the opportunity for growth of the program and have contributed to rising costs and outpacing revenue, the most significant of which is the lack of an on-campus tennis facility and off-campus rental. Based on past expenditures, the suspension of these two programs will result in a savings of approximately $170,000 operationally per year and $160,000 in athletic tuition scholarships awarded per year. This decision does not impact Division I status nor membership in the Horizon League. See the full statement.

Here are the answers to some questions you may have:

Q. How long will staff members be furloughed?
A. The current furlough will run May 2 through May 31, 2020

Q. Who will be affected?
A. 227 employees; 111 Academic Staff and 116 University Staff, totaling 2,907 furlough days. In addition, all staff making more than $100,000 will take intermittent furloughs.

Q. How was it determined who would receive furloughs?
A. When Governor Evers announced last week that he was extending Safer at Home through May 26, the campus made a decision to close until May 31. As a result, employees who are not able to perform the greatest part of their duties from home were selected for furlough. This was after consultation with deans and division leaders

Q. What cost savings does this amount to?
A. UW-Green Bay expects to see about $250,000 in cost recovery with the furlough, in addition to the savings from International Education and Athletics.

Q. Why weren’t faculty furloughed?
A. Nine-month employees are exempt from furloughs this fiscal year.

Q. Where can we furloughed employees turn to help navigate next steps?
A. Furloughed employees can start with the UW System Employee Benefits site regarding furloughs.

Q. What happens after May 31, 2020?
A. Like you, we hope for better times ahead. We will be giving a presentation on the state of the University on May 1 and can give you more details at that time about our strategy for moving forward through the pandemic.

Take care and stay safe.

Mike Alexander

Sheryl Van Gruensven




New chancellor announcement is big news in the region

A University of Wisconsin-Green Bay provost will take the helm as the University’s seventh chancellor. University officials announced Thursday that Michael Alexander, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at UW-Green Bay, has been hired to serve as chancellor beginning May 1. Alexander will replace replace Gary Miller, who left last year to become president of the University of Akron. Alexander will oversee UWGB campuses in Green Bay, Manitowoc, Marinette and Sheboygan. Source: UW System hires UW-Green Bay Provost Michael Alexander as new chancellor at UWGB, Green Bay Press Gazette, April 2.

Here’s more media coverage on the announcement:

Taking caring of a colony of cockroaches while schools remain closed (UW-Green Bay’s Michael Draney cares for hissing cockroaches at University), Fox 11, April 3

New UW-Green Bay chancellor named, WBAY, Apr. 2

New Chancellor Named At UW-Green Bay, WPR, Apr. 2

UW-Green Bay Provost Alexander to be new chancellor, WHBY, April 2

Wisconsin regents OK new Green Bay chancellor, Star Tribune/AP, April 2

UW-Green Bay taps new chancellor, Insight on Business, April 2

UW System hires UW-Green Bay Provost Michael Alexander as new chancellor at UWGB, Green Bay Press Gazette, April 2

UW-Green Bay Names New Chancellor, WTAQ, April 2

UWGB names Alexander next chancellor, Fox 11, April 2