Harden does like projections in ‘Academic’ NCAA Tournament

Chancellor Harden couldn’t resist the opportunity Friday to refer Phoenix fans to what is arguably one of the more important of the hypothetical NCAA Tournament brackets. This one is done annually by the online publication Inside Higher Ed, and it plays out the tournament determining winners as if academics were the deciding factor. (The primary measure is your program’s score on the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate, with the Graduation Success Rate as a tiebreaker.)

“In that one, we’re an Elite Eight team,” Harden says, “and rightfully so.” In this mockup, UW-Green Bay tops Iowa State and then outpoints the University of Kentucky and Gonzaga University in succession before falling short in the national quarterfinals vs. Ivy League entrant Princeton University. The UW-Green Bay women’s team scores consistently well on measures of team GPA and  graduation rates, and senior Julie Wojta, an Accounting major, is an NCAA Division I Academic All-America selection. To see the Insider Higher Ed bracket, click on the second link within the story.

Chancellor praises faculty and staff

UW-Green Bay Chancellor Thomas Harden

UW-Green Bay Chancellor Thomas Harden began his semester-opening remarks to UW-Green Bay faculty and staff with words of appreciation for the assembled faculty and staff members and their “astounding individual efforts” during a challenging year.

The Chancellor covered a variety of topics during his unscripted, 30-minute talk at the University’s annual Mid-Year Convocation, held last Wednesday morning (Jan. 18) in the University Union.

Harden said 2011 was the most trying year he had experienced in his higher education career over several decades, institutions and state university systems. In Wisconsin, sizeable budget reductions, policy changes and a significant shift in public-employee benefits drew national attention and worker protests.

While emotions ran high among some at UW-Green Bay, Harden noted, despite the new round of cuts members of the University community remained committed to their core mission of providing excellent and efficient service to students and the larger community.

“Students here hold a great deal of appreciation for the way you have gone about your business while all this was going on,” Harden told faculty and staff. “I personally want to thank you for working hard, and remaining civil. Everyone in this room is critical to student success.”

On other topics during his Jan. 18 talk:

• The Chancellor urged faculty and staff to take advantage of this spring’s rich array of diversity programming, headed by Black History Month events in February.

• He offered an update on plans to revitalize the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts. Announcements are expected later this spring on new programming. He related he has heard questions about the feasibility of re-energizing the Weidner in an era of budget cuts and a still-sluggish economy, and he responds that the University has an obligation to make best use of a unique resource. “It’s a great venue. It helps our academics, it helps the community. To have that great venue under-utilized just doesn’t make sense.”

• Harden said institutional strategic planning is proceeding, with both short-term and long-term goals and objectives taking shape for major divisions across campus. Strategic planning is essential, especially given UW-Green Bay’s $1.6 million “lapse” in state funding for the current biennium. Harden said UW System officials continue to lobby to reduce the total amount of the giveback, making the case that UW campuses are increasingly underfunded.

• He said the institution’s marketing task force continues its work with Stamats, a highly regarded national consulting firm, to refine and then apply UW-Green Bay’s new “brand statement.” The University needs to position itself, promote a strong brand and do a better job of marketing in order to secure a stable enrollment future, Harden said.

• Four candidates for the critical position of Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance would be visiting campus for interviews by late January, Harden announced. The search process includes a brief public presentation from each of the candidates on the topic, “How to deal with and creatively communicate the budgetary challenge facing higher education.”

• The Chancellor publicly acknowledged three trustees and members of the UW-Green Bay Foundation board of directors in attendance — Lou LeCalsey, Ginny Riopelle and Rick Beverstein — as “people who stay with this institution through good times and bad” and who have given UW-Green Bay not only friendship and time, but results… on a series of initiatives.

Good news from Green Bay: Top 10 positive stories of 2011

Top 10 positive stories of 2011It was a good year for good news at UW-Green Bay, with 2011 bringing everything from sweet dance moves (remember the Raji?) to a Sweet 16 run. With an eye toward accentuating the positive, your friendly Marketing and University Communication staff members have voted on the top 10 “good news” stories of 2011 — and here they are, in (mostly) chronological order. Have more to add? Visit UW-Green Bay News on Facebook, message us on Twitter at @uwgreenbaynews or email us at log@uwgb.edu. Here’s to a great 2011 and a promising 2012.

All year – Hit me with your best shot: Aldrete’s armor research has international reach

Prof Greg Aldrete, armor researchHistory and Humanistic Studies Prof. Greg Aldrete continued to drawn national and international attention in 2011, landing several nationally televised TV segments and earning a prestigious National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship (his second) for the 2012-13 school year. Aldrete is perhaps best known for his Linothorax Project, a student-faculty collaboration begun a half-dozen years ago to recreate mysterious ancient linen armor — and shoot arrows at human subjects wearing the stuff. Crews from the Discovery Channel’s “Penn & Teller Tell a Lie” and Canadian TV show “Museum Secrets” came to campus this summer to film Aldrete (and the cringe-worthy human armor-testing scenes), giving widespread exposure to both Aldrete and UW-Green Bay. He got some more airtime in December, appearing on the Smithsonian Channel’s environmentally focused history series Trashopolis, which shows how the development of great cities worldwide has been shaped by sanitation and the disposal of garbage. The segment was filmed in Rome a couple of years ago, but didn’t air until recently. Aldrete’s 2012-13 humanities fellowship will provide a year of support for him to research and write the book Riots in Ancient Rome.

Jan. 8, 2011 – ‘Almost, Maine’ wows critics, earns kudos for Theatre program

Theatre production of Almost, MaineUW-Green Bay Theatre capped its most successful season to date in 2011, earning special accolades and national recognition for its production of Almost, Maine. The production, initially staged in fall 2010, earned numerous regional and national awards at the American College Theatre Festival Region III festival held in January, and was selected as an alternate production to the National Festival at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in April. Directed by UW-Green Bay Theatre Prof. John Mariano, this work from playwright John Cariani is a comic tale of love set in the middle of winter in the fictional town for which the production is named. In addition to its success at the regional festival, held Jan. 8 at Michigan State University, UW-Green Bay also won the covered Golden Handtruck award, which recognizes the best technical work, efficiency and professionalism in getting production materials — including set, lighting, sound system, costumes and props — ready for the performance and then taking them down again. UW-Green Bay Theatre has had continued success in its 2011-12 season, which will culminate in April with a performance of the much-loved musical Cabaret. Check out this video for more on the UW-Green Bay production of Almost, Maine.

Jan. 13, 2011 – UW-Green Bay teaches world to Raji

Raji videoAs Super Bowl fever reached its zenith last year, the UW-Green Bay community took its support of the Green Bay Packers — and pro nose tackle/amateur end zone dancer B.J. Raji — to a whole new level. After Raji famously swiveled his hips in celebration following an interception and touchdown return versus Chicago in the NFC Championship game, the move took off — and so did UW-Green Bay. Under the direction of former University Communication staffer Robert Hornacek, wannabe-dancers campus-wide learned to “Raji” — a takeoff of the Cali Swag District’s infectious “Teach me How to Dougie” and its UW-Madison counterpart, “Teach me how to Bucky” — to viral effect. The video was an instant YouTube sensation, drawing more than 130,000 hits and praise from Raji himself. And although the Pack is out of contention for 2012, the video reminds us that UW-Green Bay has some of the best — and best able to work it — Packer fans around. Always worth another watch: Click here.

Feb. 21-25, 2011 – Business Week is a huge hit

Business WeekThe Austin E. Cofrin School of Business launched the first-ever Business Week at UW-Green Bay, a multifaceted collaborative effort that yielded major kudos from the University and larger communities. Offered in partnership with UW-Green Bay’s Career Services, Alumni Association and Small Business Development Center, Business Week quickly became a signature event for the newly minted business school. The week’s activities included panel discussions, a job and internship fair and networking opportunities, along with a keynote address from father-son duo Sam and Andy MacMillan (of Hewlett-Packard and Oracle Enterprise 2.0, respectively). Business Week organizers including Business Administration faculty members William Lepley, Larry McGregor and David Radosevich, along with Linda Peacock-Landrum of Career Services, earned a 2011 UW-Green Bay Founders Award for their efforts. And Business Week will be back: The 2012 installment — subtitled “Partnering for Success” — runs Monday, Feb. 27 through Monday, March 8. Highlights include a keynote address from TaylorMade-adidas President and CEO Mark King, a 1981 UW-Green Bay Business Administration grad. Check out photos from Business Week 2011.

March 2011 – Hoops heroics: Phoenix women reach Sweet 16

Phoenix womens basketball teamIt was a history-making year for the phenomenal Green Bay women’s basketball team, which capped a 34-2 season with its first-ever trip to the NCAA Sweet 16. The women rode a 25-game winning streak into the Dallas Regional March 27, where they took on the regional top-seed Baylor Bears (and 6’8” Brittney Griner). The Phoenix lost a tough one, 86-76, but came away with their heads held high after a record-breaking season. In addition to their March Madness success, they handily won Horizon League and conference regular-season titles (extending the team’s run of conference titles to 13 straight), all while uniting campus and community alike around their historic feat. The women are staying strong in 2011-12, maintaining a perfect 16-0 record as of this writing. See more on the incredible run, including photos: Click here and Click here.

May 4, 2011 – Gurung is Regents’ teacher of the year …

Prof Regan GurungThe UW System Board of Regents in 2011 confirmed what so many at UW-Green Bay long have known — Prof. Regan Gurung is one outstanding teacher. Gurung, the Ben J. and Joyce Rosenberg Professor of Human Development and Psychology, in May was awarded the 2011 Regents Teaching Excellence Award, making him one of just two individuals and one department (more on that below) to be granted this top System teaching honor. A UW-Green Bay faculty member since 1999, Gurung is held in wide regard by students and colleagues. He credits a careful study of pedagogy (the science and art of teaching), along with old-fashioned hard work (spending hours memorizing student names) with helping him connect in the classroom. He also lauds fellow faculty members who are passionate about their work with students, and has said UW-Green Bay is a “teaching juggernaut,” widely known for that emphasis.

May 4, 2011 – … and Education is top program

Professional Program in EducationNot to be outdone, UW-Green Bay’s Professional Program in Education took home a top honor of its own in 2011, earning the Regents Teaching Excellence Award in the category of outstanding academic department. Innovative programs (such as Phuture Phoenix) and outreach initiatives helped seal the deal for Education, System officials said, as did the unit’s emphasis on providing future teachers with diverse experiences including work with various ethnic, cultural and economic groups and children with exceptional educational needs. The University also has won praise for the success of its Center for First Nation Studies, a resource to help current and future educators do a better job teaching about the history, culture, sovereignty and contemporary issues of Native Americans. Program chair Tim Kaufman credits personal relationships and partnerships with area schools as making a difference for the program. Gurung and the Professional Program in Education were honored during the June 10 Board of Regents meeting in Milwaukee. You can read more and watch a video on their methods and successes here: Click here.

Oct. 11 and 13, 2011 – Phuture Phoenix welcomes 10,000th fifth-grader

Phuture Phoenix DaysTen thousand strong and growing, UW-Green Bay’s signature Phuture Phoenix program hit a major milestone in 2011. The initiative, which raises college aspirations for kids from low-income schools, welcomed its 10,000th campus tour day fifth-grader during the week of Oct. 10. Tour days pair area elementary schoolers with UW-Green Bay student mentors — many of whom are first-generation college students themselves — to get kids talking early and often about going to college. Since its inception in 2002, Phuture Phoenix has grown in scope and size. It now includes youngsters from kindergarten (a pilot program at Green Bay’s Jefferson Elementary School) all the way through grade 12, thanks to a combination of ongoing mentorship, classroom visits and on-site Phuture Phoenix clubs. Phuture Phoenix has been successfully replicated at Western Washington University (Bellingham, Wash.), UW-Eau Claire and Silver Lake College (Manitowoc). Organizers say they can’t wait to welcome the next 10,000 Phuture Phoenix students to UW-Green Bay. The next Phuture Phoenix days are Oct. 9 and 11, 2012. Check out video and photos from 2011.

Oct. 6 and 7, 2011 – Campus hosts UW System Regents

UW System Regents visit Lambeau FieldUW-Green Bay hosted the UW System Board of Regents meeting in October, marking the first time since April 2006 our campus has welcomed the group. Plenty of hard work went into the whirlwind, two-day meeting Oct. 6 and 7, and the campus received rave reviews. Presentations included Chancellor Thomas K. Harden’s “UW-Green Bay: Deep Roots, Strong Wings,” which highlighted the University’s ecological and interdisciplinary history, along with premiering the video, “This is UW-Green Bay.” Cofrin Library Director Paula Ganyard presented a vision for a library remodel designed to take students into the 21st century and beyond, while Prof. Bob Howe highlighted the unique efforts and initiatives of the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity. The meeting also included some fun time for the visiting Regents and folks from other System schools, including a much-lauded Lambeau Field reception and behind-the-scenes tour. You can check out photos and view “This is UW-Green Bay” – Click here and Click here.

December 2011 – Weidner Center sets new course for future

Weidner Center plans for the futureUW-Green Bay’s signature performing arts center is setting a new course for its next phase, officials announced this year, and new plans for staffing, funding and programming are helping to make it happen. Chancellor Thomas K. Harden in early December announced plans for the future of the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts, outlining its next steps after months of meetings with key stakeholder groups and an outside consultant. The Center’s draft strategic plan calls for a 14- to 18-performance 2012-13 lineup, including two Broadway shows, as well as facilitating increased access to the venue for UW-Green Bay and community audiences. It also outlines a 5-year budget plan that draws on ticket sales, philanthropy and University support to keep the Weidner profitable, as well as a tentative staffing plan that would add an executive director, among other key individuals — eight full-time positions by 2015 — beginning this spring. The 2012 lineup will be announced in the spring, which will also bring another University and community highlight — UW-Green Bay Theatre and Music will present the ever-popular Cabaret on the Weidner mainstage. It will be Theatre’s first mainstage production there in more than a decade. See more on the plans and the Center itself.

The day in photos: Mid-Year Convocation 2012

Several hundred UW-Green Bay employees turned out Jan. 18 for the annual Mid-Year Convocation to honor colleagues and welcome the second semester. We don’t have images of all of you, but we do have snapshots of quite a few, including length-of-service honorees, the newly minted emeriti, and, of course, emcee Cliff Abbott in his signature, festive cravat. See photos.

The day in photos: Mid-Year Convocation 2012

Several hundred UW-Green Bay employees turned out Jan. 18 for the annual Mid-Year Convocation to mark the imminent start of the second semester. The gathering in the University Union’s Phoenix Room is highlighted by the presentation of emeritus plaques (above) to distinguished recent retirees; recognition of employees celebrating 10-, 20-, 25-, 30- and 35-year service anniversaries; and a mid-year update from the institution’s chancellor.

Click images to enter slideshow view.

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Photos by Kimberly Vlies,
Office of Marketing and University Communication

UW-Green Bay OKs new policy on post-retirement employment

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has adopted a new policy which sets parameters on the hiring of retired employees. The policy is effective immediately with approval this week (Dec. 8) by Chancellor Thomas K. Harden following affirmative votes by the institution’s Faculty Senate and Academic Staff Committee.

The new policy reiterates that rehiring of retired employees is intended primarily to address short-term needs, and the appointment period of a rehired retiree should generally not exceed one year. Such hirings are permitted only under specific circumstances (see policy, below), and require pre-approval from the University’s top administrators. Open recruitment is not required if retired employees are hired into the same or similar positions from which they retired. Retired university employees hired through a competitive civil service process are not subject to the one-year limitation.

UW-Green Bay Policy on Post-Retirement Employment

 This policy establishes the parameters for hiring retired university employees1.  All hires of retired university employees must also comply with the requirements of state law (ETF 10.08, Wisconsin Administrative Code).

1.  The employment of retired university employees is intended to address short-term needs of the university and is not to be used as a substitute for hiring on-going employees.  Consequently, the appointment period for a retired university employee generally should not exceed one year.

2.  The hiring of a retired university employee is permitted only in specific circumstances.  The Chancellor or Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs or their designee must approve all appointments, in advance. Most of these circumstances are listed here.

  • The individual is needed on an interim basis while recruiting for a permanent employee or while decisions about the necessity of, or financial support for, the position are completed.
  • The individual’s expertise and experience are needed for a specific project and/or position.
  • The individual is needed to teach classes when it is not possible to hire a faculty member.
  • Emeriti can be hired to fill teaching, research and other roles when other resources are not available, or the hire is due to the unique qualifications of the faculty member.
  • The individual is hired as an LTE for a specific event (e.g., a concert).
  • Other exceptional circumstances exist and can be documented.

3.  Retired university employees may be hired into positions similar to those from which they retired  without open recruitment. Hiring retired university employees into substantially different   positions requires that university recruitment policies be followed.  Retired university employees  hired through a competitive civil service process are not subject to the one-year limitation.

4.  Continuation beyond the initial appointment period requires the approval of the Chancellor or  Vice Chancellor, in advance.

Contact the Office of Human Resources with questions about this policy.

1 For purposes of this policy, “retired university employees” refers to those employees who are continuing their annuity during the period of reemployment. This policy does not apply to retirees who stop their annuity and return to WRS participation during the period of employment.

Press-Gazette column: Weidner plan provides clarity, but also raises questions

A plan to reinvigorate the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts has continued to draw media attention, this time by way of a column from Tony Walter of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. Walter’s piece says Northeastern Wisconsin’s entertainment scene is at a crossroads, and that plans for the Weidner provide both clarity as well as questions about the future.

The column ran Friday (Dec. 9), a week after Chancellor Thomas K. Harden wrapped up a series of meetings that presented elements of a draft proposal to key Weidner stakeholders. That plan includes a 14-to 18-performance 2012-13 lineup, including two Broadway shows, as well as facilitating increased access to the venue for UW-Green Bay and community audiences. It also outlines a five-year budget plan that draws on ticket sales, philanthropy and University support to keep the Weidner profitable, as well as a tentative staffing plan that would add an executive director, among other key individuals — eight full-time positions by 2015 — beginning this spring.

Here’s a link to the column, along with our news bureau and other media coverage:
Green Bay Press-Gazette
UW-Green Bay
 

Spotlight shines brightly on Weidner Center’s future

Chancellor Thomas K. Harden, Weidner Center meetingThe UW-Green Bay campus and greater Green Bay community have embraced plans to reinvigorate the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts, responding with interest and enthusiasm to calls for feedback and the presentation of a vision for the signature venue’s future.

Chancellor Thomas K. Harden on Dec. 1 and 2 presented elements of a draft strategic plan proposal to key campus and community stakeholders during a series of meetings at the facility. Joined by consultant Steve Carignan of the Gallagher Bluedorn Center at the University of Northern Iowa, Harden outlined UW-Green Bay’s vision for programming, budgetary support and staffing at the Weidner, among other areas of interest.

The kinds of things people want to see here are changing,” Harden said, introducing a plan for a diverse array of programming at the center, “just as the community itself is changing.”

The draft proposal calls for a 14- to 18-performance 2012-13 lineup, including two Broadway shows, as well as facilitating increased access to the venue for UW-Green Bay and community audiences. It also outlines a 5-year budget plan that draws on ticket sales, philanthropy and University support to keep the Weidner profitable, as well as a tentative staffing plan that would add an executive director, among other key individuals — eight full-time positions by 2015 — beginning this spring.

Weidner Center, strategic plan meeting

Campus and community members aren’t the only ones taking notice of plans for the Weidner Center, which will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2013. Local media also have taken an interest, with the Green Bay Press-Gazette newspaper, all four Green Bay-area television stations and two local radio stations covering the outline for the Weidner’s future.

University news bureau coverage can be found here.

In the media: Weidner Center looks to the future

Changes on tap at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts received considerable media attention late last week, when Chancellor Thomas K. Harden hosted a series of meetings to outline the venue’s future. Harden, along with consultant Steve Carignan of the Gallagher Bluedorn Center at the University of Northern Iowa, held the meetings with key stakeholder groups to present elements of a draft plan for reenergizing the 19-year-old venue. Harden outlined plans for programming, funding, campus and community involvement and more.

Here is a sampling of media coverage on the plans: Green Bay Press-Gazette | WBAY, Channel 2 | WFRV, Channel 5. And, in case you missed it, here’s our news bureau coverage of the plans: UW-Green Bay

University weighs Weidner Center plans

The process of reinvigorating the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts took another step forward Dec. 1 and 2 as UW-Green Bay held meetings with key stakeholders who are looking to the facility’s future.

Joined by consultant Steve Carignan of the Gallagher Bluedorn Center at  the University of Northern Iowa, UW-Green Bay Chancellor Thomas K. Harden presented elements of a draft proposal during the sessions, which were attended by Weidner Center Presents board members, donors, ushers, ticket holders and other invited campus and community groups.

Goals for the Weidner Center strategic planning process include serving the University’s academic mission, using programming to engage diverse demographic groups, increasing access to the Weidner throughout greater Green Bay and re-branding the Weidner as an arts event epicenter. That includes a focus on what traditionally has been termed “mainstage” programming, as well as access and opportunities for faculty and students, various community organizations and K-12 educational programming. Officials will release the Weidner’s 2012-13 lineup, expected to consist of 14 to 18 performances — including two Broadway shows — in spring.

“The kinds of things people want to see here are changing,” Harden said, introducing a plan for a diverse array of programming at the center, “just as the community itself is changing.”

During the meetings Dec. 1 and 2, Harden presented a draft budget plan and tentative staffing levels for the center, noting that broad-based support — from ticket sales, philanthropy and the University — will be important moving forward. The five-year plan anticipates total inflows of $1.54 million for 2012-13, projected to increase to $2.34 million by 2016-17. Costs also will increase, Harden said — outflows will be an estimated $1.53 million next year, increasing to $2.27 million five years out — but under the plan, the Weidner will remain in the black.

“The bottom line is really important,” Harden told the Dec. 2 afternoon session involving about 50 faculty and staff, indicating the draft plan. “Every year we finish in the black. That’s critical.”

Staffing also would increase under the draft plan, and the center plans to hire an executive director, along with two other full-time positions, in 2012-13. Four more full-time employees would be brought on in 2013-14 – provided revenue projections are achieved – and a final additional full-time staffer the year after that, according to the draft outline.

University officials and consultant Carignan began meeting with various campus and community stakeholder groups this fall, working on a vision for the signature facility’s future. Part of that process, Harden said, includes addressing the misperception that the Weidner Center closed six years ago, when UW-Green Bay stepped back from being the primary programmer. Recalling what some refer to as the facility’s “heyday” prior to that, Harden said hosting more than a dozen Broadway shows each year simply isn’t feasible. Kate Green, Weidner Center director of programming, agreed.

“The big shows and mainstage productions remain a crucial part of what the Weidner offers for campus and community,” Green said. “But we also want to emphasize all the other ways in which this facility serves Northeastern Wisconsin. We had 115 ushered events last year, ranging from programs for school groups to University Theatre and music productions and shows from big-name entertainers.”

The campus community got a glimpse of how increased collaboration with the Weidner might look Dec. 2, when staff organist Michael Stefanek offered a noon recital on the Weidner’s Wood Family Organ for faculty, staff and students. Stefanek also was slated to play the evening of Dec. 3 during the UW-Green Bay Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band Concert at the Weidner. Music faculty members are exited to pursue new avenues of collaboration with the facility, said Kevin Collins, UW-Green Bay director of bands and music program chair.

Next steps for the Weidner include hiring its executive director, completing programming for the 2012-13 season — when the facility will celebrate its twentieth anniversary — and launching marketing and fundraising operations to build toward the goal of a self-supporting facility. Officials plan to establish a “Friends of the Weidner” annual campaign as part of efforts to better engage stakeholders through improved communication and other efforts.

As for the facility’s “heyday” — a reference that has come up multiple times during the planning process — Harden isn’t convinced it’s passed. The Weidner’s heyday, he said, “may be yet to come. I think we’re onto something pretty significant.”