Monthly Archives: December 2017

Commencement time already? Holiday reception, military ball enjoyable, inspiring

Is it just me, or did that semester seem to fly by?  It is hard to believe that we will be holding our commencement ceremonies Saturday already. I want to take this opportunity to encourage as many of our faculty and staff as possible to attend the ceremonies to wish our graduates well as they begin the next phase of their lives. I also want to thank our students, faculty and staff for a tremendous semester; your hard work and dedication is unmatched in the UW System, and I am proud to call you my colleagues.  Next week’s blog will have a full report on commencement, including a text of my address.  This year’s address also will include something that has never been tried before.  I’m not going to say anything more because I don’t want to spoil the surprise.  You can read more on our commencement exercises here.

Spring Commencement

Holiday reception a time to catch up 

Speaking of the holidays, I sure enjoyed spending last Tuesday afternoon with many friends, old and new, at the annual holiday reception my office sponsors in the Great Hall of the Memorial Student Center.  My wife Debbie and I enjoyed fantastic food, catered by Dining Services, along with music, under the direction of Aaron M. Durst, and the annual holiday giving tree.  A photo album of the event is available here.

Chancellor's Holiday Reception

 Military Ball an inspiring event 

Then at the end of the week Debbie and I had the privilege of attending the annual Reserve Officers Training Corp Military Ball in the Great Hall, sponsored by the Northwoods Army ROTC Battalion.  The ball recognizes the cadets who will be graduating this year, as well as their achievements.  The battalion consists of cadets from UW-Stout, UW-River Falls, UW-Eau Claire and UW-Stevens Point.  The speaker was retired Lt. Col. Scott Bolstad, who was in charge of the UW-Stout ROTC program before leaving to join the staff of U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson.  I’ve always enjoyed my interactions with Scott and he gave an inspirational address to the cadets and the audience.  Scott did an outstanding job establishing our ROTC program during the years I served as dean of the former College of Technology, Engineering and Management.  He established an excellent program that now enjoys solid leadership under Lt. Col. Jessen Johnson.

Regents act after SSA resolution on performance metrics 

Finally, I would like to commend the Stout Student Association, under the leadership of President Alex Vernon, for their initiative in asking the UW System Board of Regents last week to amend a set of metrics the UW System will use to allocate $26.25 million in performance-based funding approved by the Legislature in the 2017-19 state budget.  The SSA asked the Regents to include a metric for post-graduation employment in the allocation proposal. The board then amended its original resolution and asked UW System administrators “to develop means to appropriately measure the job placement rate for each University of Wisconsin institution, gather that data on job placement rates for each institution and then evaluate the quality of the data.”  The resolution further states that a decision should be made by 2020 on “the utility of such data in outcomes-based funding models.”   The SSA should be very proud of its efforts on this and other system-wide issues this semester.  Officials in Madison are listening!

 

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Holiday season means seasonal events on campus 

The calendar has flipped to December, and we officially are in the holiday season. This means several events will be happening on campus to get us in the holiday spirit.

Through my attendance at these events in the past, I know they are great performances that immerse you in the spirit of the season. I hope you have the chance to participate.

  • The Symphonic Singers and Chamber Choir will sing at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 910 9th St. E. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased in advance at the Memorial Student Center, online and at the door before the concert. Jerry Hui, UW-Stout choral director and an associate professor, said the concert will capture in music the struggles of establishing a home, the longing for a home past or future and the celebration of a new home. More information is available here.

Winter Band Concert

  • Then on Sunday, Dec. 3, the Symphonic Band, under the direction of Associate Professor Aaron M. Durst, will perform its annual winter concert at 2 p.m. in the Great Hall of the Memorial Student Center. Tickets are $5 and are available online, at the Service Center in the Memorial Student Center, 715-232-1122, and at the door. Aaron said the band will perform works that the students have been working on this fall and feature some unique sounds. To help celebrate the approaching holidays, the band will also perform “Russian Christmas Music” by Alfred Reed, based on an ancient Russian Christmas carol; “Christmas Travelogue” featuring Christmas themes from many countries arranged by James Curnow; and closing with “Sleigh Ride” by Leroy Anderson. More information is available here.

    Winter Band Concert

  • For an ethnic view of the holidays, I would recommend the 11th annual Hmong New Year celebration from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, in the Multipurpose Room in Johnson Fieldhouse/Sports and Fitness Center. While general admission is $5, UW-Stout students, faculty, staff and children 5 and under are free. Student artwork will be presented, and there will be performances in the afternoon and evening as well. The event is hosted by the Hmong Stout Student Organization. More information is available here.

Hmong New Year

I also want to make sure students, faculty and staff are aware of the annual Chancellor’s Holiday Reception from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5, in the Great Hall. This is a great time to spend time with friends and colleagues, while enjoying some refreshments. Unwrapped gifts can be dropped off for the annual Holiday Giving Tree that supports Dunn County’s Christmas for Kids program. Individuals may choose to provide a gift to a specific child by registering at the reception or at Holiday Giving Tree/Christmas for Kids 2017.

Chancellor's Holiday Reception

Please take the time to attend one or all of these events. You won’t be disappointed!