Getting to Know UW-Green Bay Conversations with Chancellor Shepard:
Communication and the Arts
January 29, 2002

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Re. General Education.  Iím concerned with the latest reorganization and fine arts.  We would like all options available to students ≠ theatre, music, and art history.  Itís very difficult to create one program that fits all ≠ we donít want to embrace a model of one size fits all.

The Chancellor replied that it is important to annually reconfigure ≠ to improve.  The Faculty decides what gen ed is ≠ not the Chancellor, not the Provost, not the Deans.

Budget is always an issue ≠ there is a fair disparity between units re. support.  Our dollars get plowed into instruction.  There are no dollars for faculty development; there are no dollars for sabbaticals.  Actually, sabbaticals are a financial hardship ≠ they donít come with enough money so costs are taken from our own pockets.  Other areas of the university get money for those types of things. 

The Chancellor replied that faculty development and sabbaticals are important and that we should try to enable those benefits for every faculty member.  Went into the education/career of an engineer story.  We give life commitments to people.  We need to continually re-invest in our own future in order to provide students with what they need to be successful.

18 years ago, when I was asked to describe interdisciplinarity, I really didnít know how.  Now I know.  Communication and the Arts is now comprised of 4 distinct areas with different and unique needs, but weíre still one unit when it comes to funding.

The Chancellor stated that he truly believes in the interdisciplinary approach.   Weíre preparing students for the future ≠ for jobs that donít yet exist.  We are giving them the tools they need ≠ multiple perspectives.  Our job is to sell that to 18 year olds and their parents.

One of the exciting things with regard to the arts on campus is that itís taught from interdisciplinary perspectives, which is different than how itís taught elsewhere.

The Chancellor talked about how we have too high teaching loads at the lower levels ≠ the students are dissatisfied.  Is that a price weíll have to pay?  I havenít seen the data, but are we repeating the pattern in gen ed with regard to the Learning Experience.

Are the differences between us and other programs due to economies of scale?

The Chancellor replied, ďpartly.Ē  Weíre short about $1 million ≠ Iím looking at numbers.  Itís a question Iíve been asking people to think about.  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.  We chose a different route.  One thing is clear, we will not receive more funding to do what we are already doing.  We wonít grow without the resources to do it.  We lost out the last time around.  What are the sacrifices if we grow?

Weíve talked about growing for a number of years.  Do we have programs that will bring the students here?  We did have a remarkably good program, but few wanted it.  The idea of growing at a profit is fine.  We need to give students a level of competence and professionalism to be employed into the future.  We donít have an abundance of upper level courses on our part of the campus. 

Re. student scholarships.  We feel a strong need, but there are no resources.  More and more of our students are working full time.  That interferes with studying and practicing. 

Re. the public face of the university.  Individual units enjoy the public eye, which is event oriented (i.e. attending a performance, a concert, a gallery opening).  The community doesnít view us as a theatre.  I feel as though St. Norbert College has a stronger bond there ≠ itís located in the center of the community. 

The Chancellor explained that we will be launching a capital campaign and that we will try to get dollars to build endowments.  Went into what he had heard about us when he was in Oregon vs what he found out once here ≠ we need to market ourselves.  Do we need to take the step of raising the level of engagement?

Weíre heavily involved and we consider it our identity.  We do struggle with it ≠ being recognized and drawing people in.  We feel there is a lack of support ≠ thereís tension with athletics.  We continually submit information to the Press-Gazette (i.e. Lawton Gallery), but that information is not listed in the Press-Gazette.  Thereís great potential with the Weidner Center, but that connection isnít really happening. 

The Chancellor stated that when heís in the community, he refers to the Weidner Center as UW-Green Bayís Weidner Center.

We have a good working relationship with the WC.  Thereís a dichotomy in how the university raised money for the WC ≠ community dollars were raised.  We need to maximize the universityís potential as a center for the performing arts rather than we have the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts. 

When I was on the Board of the WC, the Board talked about named professorships in the arts.  Then the Meyer Theatre came about, Board membership changed, and named professorships were dropped.  When the WC was planned, we needed to design two fronts ≠ one facing Theatre Hall and one the community could see when they arrived on campus. 

We could put resources into enriching whatís happening on campus.  We have the WC ≠ could be a masters class offered with touring companies, for example.  We need general resources to bring speakers to campus (i.e. The Killian Series at St. Norbert College which is viewed positively by the community).  Harvey Kaye does bring in some guest lecturers, but our group doesnít have the funds to do it.  I would like to see dollars in an endowment put into a named speaker series.

The Chancellor stated that that is being planned.  However, he doesnít know if anyone will ďbuy into itĒ (i.e. fund it).

Provost Pollis said that we need an abundance of ideas to sell and asked those in attendance to send along any ideas they have to either her or Dean Grosso. 

Re. the Learning Experience.  Early contact doesnít happen, but we do interact significantly thereafter.  Weíre hard pressed to make early contact happen. 

The Chancellor mentioned that we can grow through retention and that we need to change the way higher education is funded in Wisconsin.  Retention of faculty ≠ new faculty; retention of female faculty ≠ any thoughts?

Again, the feedback was about faculty development funds ≠ funds to attend conferences, funds to purchase periodicals.  My S&E goes to maintaining my studio.  Lack of funding is the key problem.  I spend my own money to do what I need to do ≠ i.e. attend conferences, purchase periodicals, etc.

There are no graduate assistants here.

I have to pay to have some trash hauled away (due to the nature of the trash).  Iím charged $50 an hour. 

With regard to women leaving, thereís no effective exit interview process why theyíre leaving.  An administrator told me that women leave to have babies.  That could be, but itís likely there are other reasons.  We need to find out why they leave. 

The faculty workload has increased greatly over my 15 years here.  I kept a log for a year and itís terrifying to see where I spend my time.  

Thereís no maintenance help.  Thereís no maintenance budget.

Thereís lack of faculty support.  Thereís lack of community support.

Weíve made some great female hires, but we canít retain them. 

Weíre only one deep in everything.  We canít go anywhere because when we leave, thereís no one there ≠ weíre the only ones who can do it ≠ weíre drained.

The Chancellor said that we need to diversify ≠ any thoughts?

Itís difficult to attract minorities to a largely white community.  Green Bay is not particularly welcoming.  Suggest we work on those who are already here ≠ i.e. Hmongs and Hispanics.

As an example, on Feb. 17 The Kenwood Academy Choir will be on campus ≠ several of those students will get scholarships.  By comparison, we will only earn enough money for one scholarship through ticket sales to our events.

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