Getting to Know UW-Green Bay Conversations with Chancellor Shepard:
Assistant Dean for Campus Life, Student Life,
Residence Life, American Intercultural Center,
Dean of Students
January 28, 2002

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We’re very open to working collaboratively with faculty to enhance what they’re doing in the classroom, but it’s not easy for us (i.e. governance structure).  However, a few committees are integrated with faculty, staff, students.  We try to make individual contacts, but that’s not working too well.  Some faculty are game to try anything.  Some faculty view us as doing fun peripheral things, not much that really matters.  But there’s a place for all of us and we need to collaborate and work together. 

The Chancellor replied that he’s aware that some faculty may not fully understand the importance of the complete learning environment, how student learning is facilitated inside and outside the classroom.  A faculty member of the Chancellor Search and Screen Committee mentioned to him that before serving on the committee, they had no idea how important student life is to our campus.  Prior to coming to campus, he had been told that integration (student affairs and academic affairs both in the Provost’s office) was working here.  It’s important for the new Provost to keep interaction in tact.

You’ve been meeting with members of local ethnic communities.  What are their views on how we’re working with them?

The Chancellor replied that we have the benefit of being somewhat unknown.  Overall, people are positive about our reaching out to all communities in NE Wisconsin.  We do need to do a better job of diversifying our student body, as well as faculty and staff.  While both recruitment and retention are important to our success, retention comes first; makes no sense to keep bringing students into a “leaking bucket.”  H realizes that we have a strong commitment to diversification, but we don’t know how to.  Therefore, he’s bringing in a community group to assist with diversification efforts.  With regard to the student population in Green Bay in K-12, 27% are students of color.

With the American Intercultural Center relocating to the Union, that will be a natural integration for those students.

The Chancellor stated that the AIC and International Center are wonderful places for students, but that he sees few faculty and staff in the centers. 

He will be meeting with the Student Government Association Executive Committee at 9 p.m. Tuesday evening to talk about the Union and Sports Center.  His concern with regard tot he Union is that we’re remodeling to meet current needs, we’re not looking ahead to the future, but understands that that’s because of cost.

I’m concerned that program people and users of the Union haven’t been included in the Union remodel process.

The Chancellor replied that we’re not at that point yet ­ we’re not yet at the design phase.   Currently, we’re looking at square footage and the cost per square foot.  Once architects are selected, they will lead involvement of “customers” in planning the remodel.

It will be critical who leads the project ­ all students should be Number One, followed by others.

I was on campus for the last remodel of the Union.  I would like to see students have more of a say (i.e. interior design, furniture, space usage, etc.).  Their input needs to be taken seriously.  A couple of lounge-type spaces recently received new furniture ­ it’s beautiful but not comfortable.  Timber Lounge is a great space ­ but it’s only used as a quite space, a study space ­ we’re not able to use it for programs.  The Union does temper student needs and dollars, but perhaps looking more at the dollars. 

Access is a problem.  During holidays and summer, the Union is locked at 5 p.m. so  we need to leave our offices by 5 p.m. and are unable to gain access after the building is locked.  If we’re running a program after hours or on the weekend and need to retrieve something from our office, forget it ­ we can’t get in.  Public Safety is not allowed to let us in.  We receive a tenant agreement every year.

The Chancellor asked Provost Pollis to work with Dean Sue Keihn on access.

With regard to the remodel/addition, I would like to see us address the purpose of the building.  Is the purpose to generate revenue or is it a programming facility for students to use?

The Chancellor reiterated that we need to look at the revenue and needs ­ revenue generated to operate the building in order to have the programming at acceptable costs to our students.

Now, the American Intercultural Center is open Monday through Friday until 7 p.m. ­ until midnight during finals.  I’m concerned about when we relocate to the Union and the access policy. 

I’ve heard you mention student concerns with regard to weekend programming.  Do you have any other information you can share? 

The Chancellor responded: (1) commuter campus (2) physically isolated from the community (3) fairly small (4) Thursday night is becoming Friday night due to lack of course offerings on Fridays.  Fortunately, we are attracting students because we are perceived as NOT being a party school.  A few students have suggested a need for us to loosen up on our alcohol policies; we should not do this.  

With regard to your comment about Friday classes, it’s hard to find students who can work for me on Tuesdays and Thursdays because of class schedules on those two days, but it’s not a problem to find those who can work on Fridays.

It appears as though we are front-loading exams at the beginning of the week because we’re closing up shop on Thursdays and Fridays.

With regard to weekend programming, there’s a lot more going on that one might think, but the students need a way to find out about what’s being offered.  A central area for that information would help.  Before allocating dollars for programs, SUFAC wants to know how many students will attend.  An issue we deal with is, “Who should our target audience be ­ on-campus students or off-campus students?” 

Students who live off campus would like information on what’s going on in Green Bay ­ information on where movie theaters and coffee houses are located.  They don’t necessarily want to come back to campus for events.  We should be able to assist with that information, as well.

The Chancellor said that 70% of our students are residential in the usual sense ­ i.e. not living with parents or in their own homes, but living either on campus or off campus.

I think the weekend/suitcase campus is a myth.  Just drive around the housing parking lots on the weekend and they’re filled with cars.  Yes, freshmen go home more often than sophomores or juniors. 

The Chancellor asked if we should grow ­ talked about how we gave dollars back in the last go-round and that we need to change how higher education is funded in Wisconsin etc.  Should we take a public stance with regard to growth surrounding campus?  He realizes that it’s hard to talk about growth given the budget situation in Wisconsin.  This didn’t elicit much comment.

Given the State budget situation, can you give us information on the financial health of UW-Green Bay and the cost for students to attend our campus?

The Chancellor replied that there’s a strong correlation between segregated fees and the size of the campus.  With regard to tuition, it will increase to 8.8% next year (or $25 more a semester).  We’re under funded by about $1.2 million in student support and approximately $1.5 million in GPR. 

Our budget was cut a quarter million this year and $250,000 the next biennium.  However, we received $500,000 for the learning experience so it was a wash.  We faired very well compared to others.  Local governments are really hurting.

IT expenses in residence halls across the UW System are skyrocketing.  Is there any hope of working together to bring costs down?   

The Chancellor stated that this is the first he’s heard of this problem.  He will need to learn the details.

What are your thoughts with regard to community services/service learning?  From a student perspective, there’s not one place to go for information.

The Chancellor stated that this is an emerging theme.  Service learning is a nationwide concern.  It is a commitment of ours to provide good citizens and that providing service learning is an educational component (i.e. part of the Learning Experience).

Will the Learning Experience happen?

The Chancellor replied that that’s what intrigued him about UW-Green Bay.  We will have some funds for the Learning Experience.  We will need to be more creative.  We will need to take more students.  We need to figure out how to put the pieces together ­ it will take several biennia. 

Have you heard anything about the classified contract?

The Chancellor said that when he was in Madison on Friday, he was told that they were close to settling the contract.

What’s our reputation on sister campuses?

The Chancellor stated that he doesn’t have a clear view at this time.  He has talked to other Chancellors and has heard about how for a time we wanted to become a smaller liberal arts campus ­ they then roll their eyes because they know it won’t work.  Where our student affairs colleagues see us, he doesn’t know. 

Do you see Madison divorcing itself from the UW System?

The Chancellor replied, “Politically, no.”  The Chancellor at UW-Madison is a team player. 

With regard to the Sports Center facility, our students are being cheated.  There are no outdoor lights for outdoor activities.  The prior focus was on a 7,000 seat facility which was the wrong focus ­ the community wasn’t happy with us for that focus.

The Chancellor stated that it’s amazing what’s accomplished at the Sports Center given what’s available there.  The strategy is to remodel the wellness area and add space.  He went into the funding breakdown and timeline.

With regard to outdoor lighting, he stated to be sure to inform the Athletic Director.

We’re now focusing on a facility that can meet our needs.  We’re working with others (i.e. PMI) about meeting needs of the community, needs that aren’t being met elsewhere. 

I want to thank you for the personal note you’re sending to students.  They’re very much appreciated.

I want to thank you for popping into the American Intercultural Center ­ the students really appreciate you doing that.


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Revised 1/8/03