Welcome to a new semester and the first blog of 2018. I hope everyone had a great holiday season and had time to spend with family and friends.
I had the privilege of opening the new academic year with an address this morning that highlighted some of the accomplishments of 2017 and looked ahead a bit to the new year. As I mentioned, the major event for 2018 will be the announcement of the public phase of our $35 million comprehensive fundraising campaign, which is about 60 percent complete. We anticipate that the announcement will be held in September or October, and we certainly will make sure the campus is kept informed.
I also elaborated on our recent efforts to increase the salaries we pay to faculty and staff and the fact that our past efforts have exceeded those of most other comprehensive campuses. I am pleased that within the next year eligible employees will see three salary increases: a supplemental increase on Feb. 1, a 2 percent increase on July 1 and another 2 percent increase on Jan. 1, 2019.
While these increases will help address our salary disparities with our peers, I am committed to doing whatever I can to increase salaries even more in the future.
Another topic I discussed was the total redesign of the UW-Stout website, which should greatly enhance our marketing efforts. I will not go into a lot of details about the redesign, other than to say that I am pleased with the results. I want to thank everyone who worked so hard on the project. You can find the details here.
Finally, I want to reiterate a thank you I expressed during my address for everyone whose efforts ensured that our Memorial Student Center reopened as soon as possible after a pipe burst in December, sending water flowing from the ceiling above the Terrace dining area through to the first floor, in an area primarily occupied by student organizations and Stoutfitters bookstore. Because of these efforts, the Terrace is expected to be open by the time students come back Monday, Jan. 22.
Again, I hope you have an enjoyable and fulfilling semester. I truly enjoy working alongside every one of you!
Portraits of university leaders finally get a permanent home
Last week I had the opportunity to visit University Archives on the fifth floor of the Robert S. Swanson Library and Learning Center to view the new and permanent home of the portraits that have been painted over the years of the seven previous leaders of UW-Stout: James Huff Stout, Lorenzo Dow Harvey, Burton E. Nelson, Verne C. Fryklund, William J. Micheels, Robert S. Swanson and Charles W. Sorensen.
These portraits never have been in one place at the same time, and it was incumbent on us to settle the question of where they should reside.
Most of the portraits have hung in the Louis Smith Tainter House, but we felt there was a need to find a more suitable public space. I became convinced that the remodeled space in University Archives, open to the public during normal business hours, was that suitable public space.
I would encourage you to visit the Archives and check out the portraits.