Time well spent

Students gather to discuss hate crime incident1911223_10153389164384741_5218379197242703976_o

I had the great privilege Wednesday night of attending a student-organized meeting to discuss the recent hate-crime incident on our campus, during which racial slurs were directed at one of our students. A Menomonie resident has been arrested in the incident.

Students who led the discussion were amazing in their preparation and ability to manage a very emotional gathering. Likewise, all the students who attended were respectful of others and their viewpoints, while still speaking passionately about their own experiences and how this incident was handled.

As I told the students at the end of the meeting, this has been a learning experience for me and my staff. We already have started discussions about how incidents like this should be handled and communicated in the future. We have our students to thank for starting those needed discussions.

A great reading experience1511974_10153386669309741_1158238743447606986_o

One of the delights this past week was being asked to read to the children at the campus Child and Family Study Center. We laughed our way through “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie,” and I’m not sure who laughed more — me or the children.

What a joy it is to be with a group of happy, innocent and well-behaved children. And the professional staff at the center does such a great job with the children as well. A big thanks for inviting me, and I can’t wait for my next reading experience.

Come chat with the chancellor

I just wanted to remind all students, faculty and staff that they have the chance to come to a meeting Tuesday and discuss with me anything, and I mean anything, that is on their mind. The first Chat with the Chancellor will be held at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday in Ballroom B/C of the Memorial Student Center.

No topic is too big or too small. I want to hear what you think of how I am doing so far and what issues are important for us to focus on in the future. Please take this opportunity to share your thoughts with me.

Happy Thanksgiving, one and all

First of all, this Thanksgiving week, and I want to wish everyone in the UW-Stout community a very happy holiday. I hope you, like me, will have the chance to spend time with family and friends, eat a little too much turkey and reflect on all the things in life that we have to be grateful for.

There obviously have been a lot of changes in my life in the past year, but the time I spend with family and friends is still what is most important for me. I also am grateful that I have been able to return to UW-Stout, where I spent 25 wonderful years, to help move the campus forward. I feel extraordinarily fortunate and honored to work with such wonderful students and employees. Again, happy Thanksgiving!