Monthly Archives: December 2014

Ready for the new year

Inauguration planning begins

A19A0371A committee has started planning my inauguration, which will occur at 2 p.m. on Thursday, April 2, 2015. More details will be forthcoming.

I have emphasized, however, that I want the amount of pomp and circumstance kept to a minimum and that everyone on campus feels they are welcome to attend. I intend to take advantage of the ceremony to highlight all that is great about UW-Stout and to discuss my vision of where I’d like us to go in the future.

Please feel free to let me know if you have ideas or suggestions regarding the inauguration.

Have a great new year

Where has the time gone? I just wanted to take this opportunity to wish everyone connected with UW-Stout the happiest holidays possible.

I plan to spend time away from campus, recharging my batteries with family and friends. This has been an incredible year for me and my family, and we have so much to be thankful for.

I have great optimism that 2015 will be an incredible year, and I can’t wait to share it with our wonderful students, faculty and staff and alumni.

This will be the last blog post of the year. The blog will return Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, with another entry.

Several reasons to be proud at Stout

Commencement a special thrill

Chancellor Bob Meyer - Winter CommencementI’ve lost count how many commencement exercises I’ve attended at UW-Stout as an undergraduate, graduate, faculty member and dean. However, the Saturday, Dec. 13, ceremony was very special to me because I delivered my first address as chancellor.

It is overwhelming looking out onto that sea of faces of new graduates, seeing the optimism in their eyes — and probably relief at having this phase of their long educational journey coming to an end. And to see the pride of the parents, grandparents, other family members and friends of the graduates was heartwarming.

I made it a point to remind graduates that many people contributed to their success, including the dedicated faculty and staff at UW-Stout. Without all of our employees, the success of our students would not be possible.

Watch the video from the morning commencement at

A Rotary whirlwind

Two presentations to Rotary clubs, one in Eau Claire and the Sunrise club in Menomonie, were on the schedule last week as well. These are good opportunities to connect with the communities we serve at UW-Stout.

It also is a way to learn what the public is thinking. I intend to stay as connected as I can to both the Menomonie community and Chippewa Valley.

ChatwchanceAnother Chat with the Chancellor

Speaking of staying connected, we held our second “chat” or town hall meeting last week, and I couldn’t be happier with the turnout and the great questions and comments we received.

They ran the gamut, from employee compensation to bias issues and everywhere in between. I attempted to answer the questions I could and will seek more information for those I couldn’t.

I truly appreciate all the comments I’ve heard in the first two sessions. We are planning for additional chats next semester, including one in the community.

10862626_10153445578759741_7128879850880380350_oQuite a #StoutProud float

I couldn’t attend, but I have to give a shout-out to all the UW-Stout people who worked so hard — and dressed like snowflakes — to enter a float in the downtown Menomonie WinterDaze parade. This is all part of our #stoutproud effort, and it was truly a success.

What a great way to help connect the campus to the community.

I am pleased to note that the float was a winner: It won the Judges’ Choice award for having the most impressive overall display.

Thanks again to everyone who put so much of their own time into the float.

A week of excitement, celebration and advocacy

A memorable trip to Lambeau Field

I have been a Green Bay Packers fan all my life and attend games at historic Lambeau Field every year. But the Sunday, Nov. 30, game between the Packers and the New England Patriots was special for me because I got to attend with my family and more than 100 UW-Stout alumni and guests.

It was a great game, with the Packers holding on for a victory — and I sure enjoyed visiting with the alumni and friends at the tailgate event before the game. What a great way to start the week.

A festive holiday reception10842026_10153421157224741_4097447886388531000_o

I couldn’t think of a better way to officially kick off the holiday season at UW-Stout than with the festive holiday reception I was pleased to host last week. It is a great way to bring students, faculty and staff together for some food, laughs and great conversation.

It was a wonderful way to initiate the holiday season, and I was thrilled with the turnout. I always enjoyed attending when I was a faculty member and dean, and it means that much more to me now since I returned. I hope every member of the UW-Stout community has a happy and healthy holiday season.

Continuing our engineering advocacy

I was extremely honored to be given time last week in Madison to make our case for more engineering programs before the Education Committee of the UW System Board of Regents. I was joined by two other advocates for our engineering plan, which was well-received by the committee.

However, the job is not done; it is clear we have more convincing to do with the full Board of Regents. I will work with the chancellors at UW-River Falls and UW-Eau Claire to answer any remaining questions before the Regents consider this issue again in February. Here is an update from Tuesday’s Leader-Telegram:

A great Hmong celebration

Last Saturday I attended the eighth annual Hmong New Year. This event is planned and facilitated by the Hmong Stout Student Organization in the Multipurpose Room of the Johnson Fieldhouse.

I was blown away by the quality and quantity of events that included Hmong speakers, dancers and singers from throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin. It was a great way to learn more about the Hmong culture, enjoy Hmong cuisine and converse with Hmong artists. This is an annual event, and if you weren’t able to attend look for it again next year.

First ‘Chats with the Chancellor’ held; engineering update

Our first chatchat

I was very pleased with the turnout of nearly 50 people at our first “Chats with the Chancellor” last week. I received a lot of great comments and interesting questions and even became aware of some new issues.

That is the essential value of these chats, which really are town hall meetings: They keep the lines of communication open between the campus and my office. We have a lot of great ideas on campus and need to use every means possible to bring them out.

We will have our next chat at 11:15 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 9, in the Memorial Student Center. Stop in for a chat before eating the glorious Holiday Buffet!


A pivotal time for engineering at UW-Stout

As most people know, we have been pursuing three additional engineering programs to add to our current three programs. This effort goes back to before I became chancellor in August.

Now, apparently, it looks like things might be coming to a head. The Education Committee of the Board of Regents is scheduled to review our plans Thursday, Dec. 4, and I have been asked to make a presentation to the committee. This doesn’t mean the issue will be resolved. It does mean that maybe we are heading to a resolution.

I’m sorry I can’t be more definitive than that right now, but it is an evolving process. I will be sure to keep the campus updated when we know more.