October 13, 2011
Statement on UW-Green Bay and its administration
Speaking on behalf of the UW-Green Bay Council of Trustees and Foundation Board, I am deeply disappointed in both the tone and substance of accusations made today against administrators at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
Personal attacks and reckless innuendo have no place in an intelligent debate on public policy. If you’re going to make an issue of current policies regarding the rehiring of retired state employees, make an issue of those policies. Let’s debate, but without the distortion and name-calling which characterized the initial conversation about this important topic.
As a citizen, taxpayer and recently retired CEO of a local manufacturing business who has given freely of my time as a community adviser and advocate for UWGB, I can speak forcefully and knowledgably regarding the integrity of chief business officer Tom Maki and special assistant Dan Spielmann. I have known them for decades. I have known Chancellor Tom Harden for only two years, since his arrival in our community, but I have worked closely with him on a number of issues. It is my informed opinion that these are individuals of great character and ability.
As stated earlier, on this matter I speak not only for myself but also for UW-Green Bay’s Council of Trustees and its Foundation board. We are 30 civic leaders, business people and campus advocates who represent a range of political views (although on fiscal matters we tend to be fairly conservative). We have discussed this issue thoroughly as a board.
We are confident that any objective assessment of the sequence of the events in this case will confirm that the University and these individuals sought to follow ETF guidelines, and that Chancellor Harden executed no re-employment contract with Mr. Maki before the allowable date.
In closing, let’s return to the issue at hand. Selective re-hiring of retirees is a perfectly legal, ethical and cost-effective staffing solution that has been used historically across the UW System, Wisconsin state government and, as a matter of fact, is routinely used in corporate America and in state and national government institutions outside of Wisconsin. It’s a way to retain talent and expertise. Critical decisions regarding UW-Green Bay and its future have consistently been, and are being made today, in the best interests of this University, our students and Wisconsin taxpayers.
Louis (Lou) LeCalsey
Chairman of the Board of Directors,
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Foundation, Inc.
and Chancellor’s Council of Trustees