Associate Prof. Jon Shelton (Democracy and Justice Studies) and vice president for higher education with the American Federation of Teachers-Wisconsin labor union gave input on Tommy Thompson’s start as the UW Systems Interim President.
He said while he doesn’t agree with some of the policy platforms Thompson championed during his four terms as governor from 1987 to 2001, he feels that Thompson knows the importance of funding the UW System and ensuring it serves the state.
Shelton also said it’s possible that Thompson’s connections at the federal level could help in securing federal aid for universities suffering heavy financial losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Shelton welcomed Thompson’s inclusive approach, which he said was lacking during the past decade when the UW Board of Regents was dominated by appointees of former Gov. Scott Walker.
“A lot of faculty and staff have felt like they haven’t had people at the system level really listening to their concerns,” Shelton said. “So I think this is a really good step in the right direction.”
Source: Tommy Thompson begins term as UW System president | BusinessNorth.com
As Tommy Thompson takes office today as President of the University of Wisconsin System, his transition team is announcing creation of the “Listening Post” for Wisconsin residents and UW students, faculty, and staff to ask questions and offer ideas.
The Listening Post, and a message from Thompson, is available on the UW System website president’s page.
“Tommy Thompson will begin his tenure as UW System’s ‘Listener-in-Chief,’” said Tom Loftus, the former Wisconsin Assembly Speaker, Ambassador to Norway, and Board of Regents member who co-chairs the transition team. “He will collect ideas, feedback, and questions from the people the UW System serves.”
Lawmakers, regents, chancellors, staff and faculty all largely praised former Gov. Tommy Thompson’s appointment to serve as interim UW System President.
University insiders say the unanimous Board of Regents pick of June 19 means there will be a passionate advocate for the system through tumultuous budget constraints brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s a pretty bold move,” said Jon Shelton, UW-Green Bay faculty representative and American Federation of Teachers-Wisconsin vice president. “The system could’ve tried to go with somebody internal, but I think this indicates they’re looking to bring in some firepower to advocate for the system right now.”
Source: Tommy Thompson praised as choice to lead UW System | Cambridge News / Deerfield Independent | hngnews.com
The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents appointed former Gov. Tommy Thompson as the interim system president, following the collapse of a months-long search for a new leader of one of the country’s largest public university systems.
Jon Shelton, an associate professor at UW-Green Bay and vice president for higher education at the American Federation of Teachers-Wisconsin, said the faculty members he heard from were cautiously optimistic.
“As an interim appointment at a time with a very difficult future (for the system), the real positive is that he is one of the few people in the state who has the ability in this position to effectively advocate for funding for the UW System,” Shelton said.
Source: Seeking unity, UW System board names Tommy Thompson interim president | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
He was also quoted in a number of other stories about the UW System president search:
Chancellor Michael Alexander sent a message to UW-Green Bay faculty and staff on June 19 regarding the new interim UW System President. His full message is below:
Dear UW-Green Bay Faculty and Staff,
As you have probably heard, Tommy Thompson has been named the interim president of the University of Wisconsin System. I am excited to work with President Thompson in his new role. His experience as governor of the state of Wisconsin will be an asset to advocate for the needs of higher education during his tenure. He also has served as the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services, which provides experience that is particularly relevant at this time.
I am looking forward to my first conversation with President Thompson to tell him about the incredible work our faculty, staff, and students are accomplishing. We have so much to be proud of at UW-Green Bay and I believe our mission and the work we are doing to realize it will fully resonate with him.
The UW System has officially released its recommendations for all 13 of its institutions, when it comes to re-opening for the fall 2020-21 semester.
“I think just the continued understanding that there are more steps we’re going to take, primarily long-term, in terms of changing behaviors to protect ourselves and other people,” says Vice President of Administration Robert Cramer.
This school year will look much different than years past, as it is beginning during a global pandemic. Recommendations for all UW schools include limiting class sizes to less than 50 students. Any class with more than that should be taught virtually.
Limiting the number of people utilizing the dining halls at one time is another suggestion.
“Social distancing continues to be seen as an important way to reduce the risk of exposing others,” Cramer says.
Each individual school will implement its own plan. UW-Green Bay and UW-Eau Claire are among the school that have already notified the public about their plans.
Source: UW System Releases Back-To-School Plans Students, Faculty | Spectrum News 1
The University of Wisconsin System has formally announced a plan to bring students back to campus this fall amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The UW System’s new plan includes a detailed list of recommendations, including maximizing “face-to-face instruction” with caveats of maintaining social distancing of 6 feet or more. The system recommends that classes of 50 students or more move online. The guidance states that distancing requirements will limit available classroom space, so laboratory or clinical courses should be prioritized.
Source: UW System Releases Guidelines For Reopening Campuses During Pandemic | Wisconsin Public Radio
The UW System is sponsoring a Free Application Week for the UW-Green Bay Marinette, Manitowoc and Sheboygan Campuses, June 5th-15th, 2020. When completing the application, students who select the Marinette, Manitowoc or Sheboygan Campuses will not be prompted to pay the fee.
Source: UW System Sponsoring ‘Free Application Week’ for Marinette, Manitowoc, & Sheboygan Campuses | Green Bay News Network
The UW System Presidential Search Committee is seeking your input and feedback in the selection of the next UW System President.
June 3, 2020
TO: UW System Community
FROM: Michael M. Grebe Regent Vice President
Chair, UW System Presidential Search Committee
RE: UW System President Finalist June 9, 2020 Campus Forum
As you know by now, for a variety of reasons the Search Committee is advancing one finalist, Jim Johnsen, president of the University of Alaska System. The Search Committee is inviting you to participate in a 90-minute virtual campus forum with Jim next week that we will be hosting live and sharing on the UW System Presidential Search website for convenient viewing if you are unable to attend the live broadcast.
The video conversation will be available for you to view live at 10:15 a.m. on Tuesday, June 9, 2020 by registering via the WebEx Campus Forum link and will be available to view afterwards. If you are interested in submitting a question to be asked during the campus forum, please submit it through the search website. The most frequently requested questions will be used.
The website will also include an opportunity for you to provide your views after the campus forum. The comment page will remain open until the close of business on Thursday, June 11.
In addition to the 10:15 am campus forum, Dr. Johnsen’s schedule includes (all held virtually):
UW System Presidential Search Committee
UW System Administration Leadership
Thank you in advance for participating in these conversations and helping the Search Committee in this important process.