Here’s wishing everyone the best in a new academic year

With another academic year arriving, I want to wish all of our students, faculty and staff the best year possible.

As a UW-Stout graduate, I know how special it is to start a new school year, either getting to know new people or getting reacquainted with old friends, along with getting into the rhythm of classes, lab set-ups, organizations, etc.

As a former UW-Stout faculty member, I also remember well the experience of getting ready to face a new wave of students.

I want everyone to know that I appreciate every student who has chosen UW-Stout for their education and for all the hard work and dedication I see every day from faculty and staff.  We have issues to address in the new year, including a decline in enrollment, but I know that our incredible campus community is equal to the challenge. Go Blue Devils!

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Thanks for another great Move-in Day

I also want to thank everyone who helped with our extraordinarily organized and executed Move-in Day at the residence halls on Sunday. I had a prior commitment and was unable to attend this year, but I have witnessed many in the past.

It takes a lot of planning and hard work to get our students moved in efficiently, and I know that parents and others were singing the praises of how well this year’s day went.

A video from this year’s Move-in Day can be found here.

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Two special events planned for September, October

This semester also will feature two exciting and important events.

On Friday, Sept. 14, we will hold a series of events to announce the public phase of our Pathways Forward comprehensive campaign. This campaign has a goal of raising at least $35 million for three important areas of focus: student experience, learning environments and program innovation.

As I noted in my address to faculty and staff last week, we have made incredible progress toward meeting this fundraising goal, but we will need everyone on campus to help push us over the finish line.

The kickoff includes tours and demonstrations across campus, a news conference and a late afternoon event in Harvey Hall Theatre, to be followed by music in the Clock Tower Plaza.

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On Oct. 29, we would like the campus to join us in a ceremony remembering the life and accomplishments of the late Chancellor Emeritus Charles W. Sorensen, who passed away Feb. 23 in Florida. This event will be in the newly renamed Sorensen Hall, the former Millennium Hall. The UW System Board of Regents approved the renaming on Aug. 23.

The event will begin at 10 a.m., and we are working on the details, which will be shared with the campus as soon as they are finalized. A news release on the renaming can be found here.

Details on these events and others coming up during the fall semester can be found here.

Please help foster a welcoming environment on campus

Over the weekend I learned of a sign that was posted on a rental property on Broadway Street that was demeaning toward men. Our dean of students asked the tenants to remove the sign, but they refused. The university obviously has no authority to force the tenants to remove the sign. I want to emphasize that it is the responsibility of every member of the UW-Stout community to be considerate of others and to do everything possible to foster a welcoming environment. I have been a strong advocate of free expression; however, I also strongly believe that every right comes with significant responsibilities. With a new academic year ahead, I hope you carefully weigh the effect your words and actions may have on others.