Faculty note: Prof. Clampitt will be mace bearer for Commencement

The University Mace — a ceremonial staff signifying authority — is carried to the stage by one of the most accomplished faculty members just ahead of the Chancellor during the commencement procession. The centuries-old academic tradition is believed to be based on medieval practice when a member of the king’s court would carry an ornate club as a symbolic protection for the monarch. Carrying the mace for the May 2019 commencement ceremony is UW-Green Bay Professor Phillip G. Clampitt.

Clampitt received his Ph.D. in organizational communication from the University of Kansas. He holds the Blair Endowed Chair of Communication and was previously the Hendrickson Professor of Business. Clampitt is the chair of Communication and Information Science. Sage Publications recently published the sixth edition of his best selling book, Communicating for Managerial Effectiveness. He also has co-authored two books with Robert J. DeKoch, President/COO of the Boldt Company: Embracing Uncertainty: The Essence of Leadership and Transforming Leaders into Progress Makers. His newest book, Social Media Strategies for Professionals, was published in May 2017.

Clampitt’s work on “Decision Downloading” was featured in the MIT Sloan Management Review and the Wall Street Journal. Additionally, he has been published in numerous journals, including The Academy of Management Executive, Journal of Communication Management, Journal of Business Communication and Management Communication Quarterly. He is also on the editorial board of many professional journals. Over the past 30 years he has worked on communication and leadership issues with many organizations including Nokia, PepsiCo, Schneider National, The Boldt Company, Dental City and Menasha Corporation.

Clampitt has been a guest speaker at the U.S. Army War College where his books were used in Strategic Leadership class. In addition to many guest speaking opportunities in the U.S., he has also been invited to speak internationally at places such as The University of Pisa, The University of Aberdeen, The University of Ulster, as well as to numerous multi-national businesses and professional organizations. His students have heard him say, “So what?” so often that they started calling him “Dr. So What.” Subsequently, he developed an associated website (www.drsowhat.com) that highlights his passionate commitment to critical thinking and thoughtful inquiry.

48 and Done. What a Run. Kumar Kangayappan leads his last commencement

UW-Green Bay faculty economist and Professor of Urban and Regional Studies, Kumar Kangayappan, participated in his final commencement ceremony Saturday, May 14. He will be retiring after a 48-year career with the University. Kangayappan joined the UWGB faculty in 1968, the University’s first year offering upper-level courses.

Kumar Kangayappan, 2016 mace-bearer
Kumar Kangayappan,  mace-bearer

The University’s senior-most faculty member, Kangayappan, played a special role in Saturday’s ceremony as mace-bearer. The University Mace — a ceremonial staff signifying authority — was carried to the stage by Kangayappan during the commencement procession. The mace-bearer walks just ahead of the chancellor in academic processions, carrying the heavy, silver art object.

The centuries-old academic tradition is believed to be based on medieval practice when a member of the king’s court would carry an ornate club as a symbol and also a symbolic effort of protecting the monarch.

Prof. Kangayappan first served as the mace-bearer at the December 2011 mid-year commencement. Today’s march represented the 10th and final time he will serve as mace bearer.

Kangayappan taught a full load of courses through this semester and has contributed greatly in terms of institutional and community service. With the five years he taught economics in his native India, his college-teaching career dates to 1963.

UW-Green Bay extends fond farewell to Prof. Kumar Kangayappan

Faculty and staff gathered earlier this week to celebrate and honor Prof. Kangayappan’s and almost five decades of service to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Read more here.

An Inspiring Career of Education, Service and Philanthropy

Dr. Kumar Kangayappan received his M.A. in Economics at Annamalai University in India. After coming to the United States, he received his Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He also holds a M.A. degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a B.A. in Economics from University of Madras in India. Since 1968, he has been teaching at University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, where he is currently the University’s most senior faculty member. He previously taught at the College of Rural Higher Education in India, and was a Visiting Professor of Economics at the National Institute of Bank Management in India from 1972-1973, while on leave from UW-Green Bay.

During his time at UW-Green Bay, Dr. Kangayappan has been Chair of Economics and Chair of Regional Analysis several times. While Chair of Economics in 1984, he worked toward establishing the Economics major and minor programs at UW-Green Bay. Kumar has also served on UW-Green Bay’s Founders Association Board of Directors.

His research interests include economic development, poverty, macroeconomic theory and policy in developing countries, India, and Eastern and Western philosophy. He has been widely published throughout his extensive career.

Courses Dr. Kangayappan has taught include Microeconomic Analysis, Macroeconomic Analysis, Intermediate Micro Economic Theory, History of Economic Thought, Money and Banking, Economics of Land Use, Managerial Economics and many more undergraduate and graduate courses. He has also developed several courses that became part of the curriculum in the Economics and Urban and Regional Studies programs.

In 1984, Dr. Kangayappan and his wife, Dr. Sivu Kangayappan, established the Albert Einstein/Mahatma Gandhi Scholarship recognizing exceptional UW-Green Bay students whose work they feel reflects the qualities of Einstein the scientist and Gandhi the peacemaking humanitarian. Additionally, they have established the Drs. Kumar and Sivu Kangayappan Family Endowed Scholarship at UW-Green Bay, and scholarships at Silver Lake College, UW-Manitowoc, and in Coimbatore and Erode in their native country of India.


Kangayappan, University Mace and scroll will feature prominently

The University Mace — a ceremonial staff signifying authority — will be carried to the stage Friday by the University’s most senior faculty member, Prof. Kumar Kangayappan, a faculty economist since 1968. As part of the ceremony, Kangayappan will remove from the Mace handle a scrolled parchment document signed previously by each of UW-Green Bay’s five chancellors, to which Gary L. Miller will add his own signature affirming the University’s purpose. The text of the proclamation:
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is dedicated to the idea of an educated person as one who is guided by the love of learning, committed to inquiry, creativity and scholarship through interdisciplinary and disciplinary approaches to defining and solving problems, and who is an active citizen providing service to the community.

UW-Shariff: Family follows scholarly advice

top-story-shariffIf teaching at the same institution for 44 years isn’t enough to validate Prof. Ismail Shariff’s commitment to a University of Wisconsin-Green Bay education, consider that he also convinced his son, brother-in-law, and four grandchildren to attend UWGB before retiring in 2011.

The economist who continues to advise the World Bank, travels nationally to present on economic issues, and spends a day a week at the emeriti office on campus, said he found an environment of respectful collegiality along with deep meaning in the interdisciplinary, problem-focused academic program during his more than four decades with UW-Green Bay.

“My major professor at UW-Madison asked whether I was interested in a university job and set up an appointment to see (founding Chancellor) Dr. Edward Weidner. Apart from other things, Weidner explained to me the interdisciplinary curriculum he planned on adapting. I didn’t quite understand his philosophy, but he offered me the job and gave me seven days to reply. I came to benefit as a scholar and teacher, as did our students, from an interdisciplinary approach to problem solving.”

Shariff set out on what became his personal mission: “to prepare and equip future generations of citizens to meet challenges in society and the workplace and in a global context.”

“I believe these goals can be accomplished through a well-rounded educational career which provides breadth and depth of knowledge, insights, and understanding; along with the analytical skills and tools to deal with any exigencies one may encounter on the journey of life.”

Shariff believes UWGB provides this kind of education and through the years became a believer in “Weidner’s novel approach, since adopted by many other reputable institutions.”

“I came to enjoy the significance of the interdisciplinary curriculum, and the breadth of problem solving that came about from working with economists, geographers, political scientists, geologists, sociologists, demographers, statisticians, psychologists and others.”

He so fully appreciated the practical value of a UW-Green Bay education that he advised his children, grandchildren and brother-in-law that UW-Green Bay could provide an undergraduate experience “equal to Ivy League or any other bachelor program in the U.S.”

His family trusts in his wisdom. His son Mazkoor ‘89 graduated with a degree in Business Administration. His brother-in-law Javeed graduated in ‘80 with a degree in Environmental Sciences. His granddaughter Julia will graduate in May of 2015 with a Human Biology degree and honors, and aspiration to attend medical school. Of his three grandsons, Alexander will graduate in May 2015 with a major in Graphic Arts; Zachary is a junior majoring in Political Science and Jacob will enter UWGB as a sophomore in fall of 2015.

Shariff has more than 80 published papers in professional journals in the United States, U.K. and Asia. He is the author of two books, International Trade – Theory and Policy; and Business Cycles in a Dynamic Recovery. In his works and presentation in Italy in 2002, the editor and founder of the Schumpeter Lectures Series, V. Orati, wrote about the “brilliant and fearless” contribution of Dr. Shariff to the discussion about globalization.

Among his proudest moments were the peer-nominated Founders Awards for Excellence in Scholarship in 2002 and Community Outreach in 1997. An occasional e-mail from former students, and thank-you cards from recipients of the Ismail Shariff Endowed Scholarship he established in 2009 are greatly appreciated, he says.

“Something that is more rewarding than any other benefits one can draw, is contributing to the future well-being of our citizens,” he said. “I always hoped to keep their interest at heart.”

Among the honors for Shariff over the years:

• 1997 University Award for Excellence in Community Outreach. Notable were a weekly column in the Green Bay Press-Gazette, and involvement in the Chamber of Commerce, Junior Achievement and SIFE.

• Carrying the ceremonial University Mace at commencement and other academic occasions, an honor accorded the senior-most faculty member. Shariff carried it from 2005 to 2012.

• On March 24, 1994 his name was entered in the Congressional Record from the floor of the U.S. Congress in recognition of his extensive research on the relevance of American Aid to Developing Countries.

• In 1999, he was awarded a prestigious named professorship at UW-Green Bay and bestowed the title Philip J. and Elizabeth Hendrickson Professor for Business.

• In 1991, he was selected to represent the U.S. Department of Agriculture at the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trades (GATT) meetings in Tokyo.

• In 1979, he was voted one of the “enterprising people” in Economic Education by the Wisconsin State Council on Economic Education.

• From 1975-77 he was a United Nations economic adviser to the government of Nigeria.

Photo caption:
From left: grandsons Zachary and Alexander, Ismail Shariff, grandson Jacob, granddaughter Julia and son Mazkor. Missing from the UWGB/Shariff family — brother-in-law Hajee Masood Javeed

Snapshot: Kangayappan carries the mace

He seemed almost as happy and proud as the graduates themselves. Prof. Kumar Kangayappan carried the ceremonial mace during Saturday’s commencement, taking on the honor reserved for UW-Green Bay’s most senior faculty member. He’s proud to have had a 42-year career here; he’s proud to join departmental colleagues Ismail Shariff and Bill Laatsch on the short list of all-time mace bearers (what are the odds of one unit dominating the honor?); and he’s proud of UW-Green Bay and its students. Nice photo, click here.

Kangayappan honored by role as commencement mace-bearer

Prof. Kumar Kangayappan carries the ceremonial maceFor Urban and Regional Studies Prof. Kumar Kangayappan, it was a memorable commencement.

He had the honor of carrying the ceremonial mace and escorting Chancellor Thomas K. Harden to and from the stage as UW-Green Bay celebrated mid-year commencement Dec. 17 at the Weidner Center.

The honor of carrying the ceremonial mace is bestowed upon the faculty member with the most years of service. Kangayappan, who has been with UW-Green Bay since September 1968, earned the distinction when Prof. Ismail Shariff retired earlier this year. It’s a role he’s pleased to inherit.

“I’m truly honored to be the bearer of the mace — happy to be a part of this tradition,” Kangayappan said. “I’ve grown up with this University and feel very much a part of it. I feel one with it. Our own graduates have gone on to become notable and key members of the community in the area and larger community, regionally and nationwide. To serve our students is sheer joy.”

Kangayappan takes pride that he and his predecessors as mace bearers, Shariff and Prof. Emeritus Bill Laatsch, all hail from the same academic area. Each joined UW-Green Bay in the mid- to late-1960s as the institution transitioned from a two-year center to a full-fledged institution, and were able to contribute to its development.

In 42-plus years at UW-Green Bay, Kangayappan can recall his share of commencements. Among the particularly memorable, he says, are 1971 — when the ceremony was first held at the Brown County Arena, founding Chancellor Edward Weidner presiding — and 2008 — when the 25,000th UW-Green Bay grad crossed the stage.

The mace-bearing tradition dates to medieval times, when a mace-bearer would walk ahead to ensure safe passage for the leader of a kingdom, cathedral or university. Just the threat of the heavy, spiked club usually kept potential challengers at bay.

Of course, UW-Green Bay’s mace is a kinder, gentler — and much more aesthetically pleasing — version of the type preferred in days of yore. At the top of the large staff stands a Phoenix, perched upon a representation of an ancient astronomical instrument, in this case bearing images of the Milky Way and the double helix of DNA. The piece was created in 2001 by acclaimed metals artist Prof. Emeritus David Damkoehler of the UW-Green Bay faculty.

Kangayappan hails from Coimbatore, in the state of Tamil Nadu in Southern India. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Madras (Madras, India); master’s degrees from Annamalai University (Chidambaram, India) and UW- Madison; and his Ph.D. from UW-Madison. He has been widely published in national and international journals, and is past chair of programs in regional analysis and economics. Kangayappan and his wife, Dr. Sivu Kangayappan, in 1984 established the Albert Einstein/Mahatma Gandhi Scholarship at UW-Green Bay, and two other scholarships in Manitowoc, where they reside.

It’s been a long, distinguished career for the new mace-bearer, who is often cited as a favorite faculty member among students, alumni and colleagues. Yet he still remembers a prophetic entreaty from founding Chancellor Weidner, more than four decades ago.

“(When) I met Edward Weidner in his farmhouse office at the end of my interview on campus in August 1968,” Kangayappan recalls, “he remarked that he hoped I will stay with UW-Green Bay. Here I am — I have stayed 42 years.”