Happy Thanksgiving; updates on campus concealed carry, HLC forums

A time to be thankful

We are entering the holiday season at UW-Stout, and I want to wish everyone the happiest Thanksgiving possible. I will be spending my holiday with family and friends and will be reflecting on all that I have to be grateful for.

While a fantastic family and good health obviously are at the top of the list, I am blessed by having the privilege of working for an institution that I love and with dedicated, hard-working and innovative students, faculty and staff. This job obviously has its challenges, but I am excited about coming to work every day because of who I get to work with.

UW-Stout has a lot going for it, but our main assets are our students, faculty and staff. So while I am thankful for many, many things in my life, the ability to serve this campus as chancellor is right at the top. Please have a healthy and safe Thanksgiving.

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An update on the campus conceal carry proposal

One of the more emotional issues facing the UW System this fall is a proposal by two legislators to allow people to carry concealed weapons into campus buildings. People now have the right to carry concealed weapons on UW property but not into buildings.

I have discussed concerns about this issue at length with the representatives of our four governance groups and many other people on campus. Additionally, our four governance groups have passed resolutions opposing concealed weapons in campus buildings. These resolutions have been delivered to the offices of our local legislators in Madison to ensure they know where the campus stands on this issue.

I am happy to report that we are hearing from people in the state Capitol that it is very unlikely this issue will even come up for a vote, at least in the state Senate. I will keep the campus apprised of any developments on this issue.

HLC open forums informative

I recently attended a campus forum on the upcoming Higher Learning Commission accreditation site visit and enjoyed the discussion surrounding UW-Stout’s quality initiative and its ties to our Focus 2020 initiatives.

If you’re not aware of the quality initiative, here it is in a nutshell: UW-Stout is developing systems and incentives for maintaining and even increasing the quality of our faculty and staff. To do this, our main actions include addressing compensation gaps, improving job engagement and advancing research.

I hope you’ll join me to learn more about the quality initiative and the HLC visit at the next open forum. It will be held from 10:10 to 11:05 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 3, in Ballroom A of the Memorial Student Center. More on the university accreditation process is available here.

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