Getting to Know UW-Green Bay Conversations with Chancellor Shepard:
Office of Advancement
January 7, 2002

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Comment from participant:  What the University does well:

Alumni speak highly about contact with faculty ­ faculty probably not getting enough credit for that.

A high percentage of faculty/staff are engaged in the community ­ doubts other UW campuses are any better at it than we are.

Chancellor mentioned that before coming to campus, he had been told that some in the community thought we were focused inward (i.e. becoming a public/private institution) and was told that elitism in this blue collar area doesn’t bode well.  However, once he arrived here, he found out how engaged we actually area and that perhaps we don’t market what we do ­ we find it hard to brag about what we actually do.

Comment:  They had it right re. public/private university ­ that was the past administration.  That was going to be hard for us to sell.

The Chancellor agreed ­ we need to provide access/excellence across the board.

Comment:  I was reading about the Wisconsin Idea (i.e. border of universities are the borders of the state) and yes, we do need to do a better job of marketing what we’re about.

How can we support you ­ what is your vision?

The Chancellor said that his philosophy of leadership is to help the university community develop a vision ­ one that can be supported by the university community (otherwise they won’t buy in).  Leadership doesn’t have all the answers.  These get-to-know sessions are educating me.  The question is “What is our vision” not “What is my vision.” 

What feedback have you heard from the community?

The Chancellor mentioned that there is strong support for growth in enrollment.  If we can, say, reach 7,500 over a decade, being funded at average cost, that will create "economies of scale," freeing up funds to go to direct support of student learning.  Several campuses, last time around, followed that strategy very successfully.

There is a strong willingness to help us.

He has heard a few negatives ­ community doesn’t know much about us ­ again, gets to marketing.

The Chancellor is reaching out to African American, Native American, Hmong, Hispanic communities ­ they have all been positive contacts.  As we become more involved in diversification, it is important to note that we will see racial tensions increase rather than decrease.  We need to be prepared for that.

Are you seeing any themes as you go out into the community?

The Chancellor mentioned that communities support universities that support communities.

What he’s hearing:

Greater involvement


More programming like the Institute for Learning

Educate people where they are (go to the job site)

Educate teachers on-site

“We’re far away” but feels that’s a mind set

When he thinks of University environment, he thinks of coffee shops, book stores, etc. ­ like in Madison.

What has surprised you?

Chancellor responded with how warm and welcoming everyone has been, the community appears to get together to get the job done, the feeling seems to be that “my neighbors issues are my issues.”  Before coming here, he had heard that the university had separated itself from the community, but once he arrived, found that to be a misperception. <

With regard to alumni relationships, what is the role of alumni with regard to the capital campaign, marketing, etc.?

The Chancellor mentioned that alumni need to feel ownership.  He’s heard glowing remarks about their education here, but they’re feeling neglected and is glad to know that we’re working on that.  Part of it is the young age of our university, but after 30 years, we now need to attend to our alumni.

Historically, marketing has done a good job of selling what we are at the moment (i.e. interdisciplinarity).  500 employees should know what we are; 5,000 students should know what we are ­ many times the students don’t know what interdisciplinarity means until years later.  The learning experience, people don’t know what it is.

The Chancellor stated that the learning experience is what persuaded him to take a look at UW-Green Bay.  LE should have been part of general education ­ not an add-on to it.  What’s unique is that in the 60s¸we took a look at what would be needed ­ we need to carry forward that spirit ­ what can we provide today that people will need tomorrow?  We’re preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist.  How do we do that?  How do we market that?  Interdisciplinarity is an article of faith among the faculty and the Chancellor ­ we’ll never let it go.

Feedback:  We believe in it, but it’s hard to market interdisciplinarity when in the UWS and everywhere we go it’s “market/outcomes, market/outcomes.”  We can do a better job of selling our product if we know what it is.

The Chancellor mentioned focus, repetition ­ before long, everyone’s saying it.

Feedback:  The Green Bay Idea doesn’t communicate in 7 words or less.  Students come here for the 3 Ts ­ toilets, tunnels, trees.  We get students here, but once here, we don’t tell them what they’re getting here ­ we let them figure it out.  Many long-time employees are retiring and that sense of history isn’t being passed down.

The Chancellor mentioned that Green Bay is also changing.

Feedback:  If interdisciplinarity is the focus, perhaps there should be a student award for the best interdisciplinarity project of the year ­ this would keep it in front of the students (i.e. the same with problem-focused).

The Chancellor stated that interdisciplinarity is a means to an end; need to think about the package.

Feedback:  We need to communicate the need so you’re connected to us for a lifetime.

It was mentioned (with regard to Betty Brown’s book) we’re not trendy, we’re still following our roots.


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