A surprise question and not-so-surprising answer

Chancellor Meyer pledges to remain at UW-StoutA19A2805

We had our fourth budget forum on Wednesday, with more good questions and discussion. Each forum has brought new perspectives and questions, and I greatly appreciate the participation we’ve had.

However, I was surprised by one question that I was asked after yesterday’s forum. It went something like this: “Bob, you aren’t going to start looking for a job in Minnesota are you? We hope not.” The question made me smile and reminded me of picking up a Wisconsin State Journal while in Madison on May 27, 2014, and being surprised to find an article about being selected as UW-Stout’s next chancellor. 

The article stated:

“Meyer will be the seventh chancellor in the history of the university. (Chancellor) Sorensen, his predecessor, continued an unusual legacy in higher education: No chancellor at UW-Stout has left for another job. Since 1891, campus leaders have followed the same pattern. They come. They stay. They retire. One exception: Lorenzo Dow Harvey, the first. He died in office.”

I remain very honored and privileged to serve as your chancellor and to work with such an amazingly dedicated staff from top to bottom. My plans to follow the lead set by my predecessors and finish my career at UW-Stout have not changed despite our budget challenges, although I don’t plan to finish as President Harvey did.

One big reason is that I believe in this institution’s special mission and committed employees. I truly believe that our future beyond our current difficulties is very bright. For better or worse, I remain steadfastly devoted to working with you as we face our challenges together.

Budget update

The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee has scheduled four public hearings around the state to take testimony on the 2015-17 state budget. The hearing closest to UW-Stout begins at 10 a.m. Monday, March 23, at UW-Barron County in Rice Lake. I certainly plan to be there to make the case for UW-Stout.