Saturday, October 07, 2006

Wells still looking to flee

As announced yesterday, the Chancellor's desire to leave UWO has not waned. He has been nominated as a finalist for a job at the College of Charleston. Does he really expect us to believe that he is not actively pursuing other opportunities?

Just as it did last spring, it still makes sense. Why would he want to put up with all the legislative BS that dominates Wisconsin?

The Northwestern ran a front page story about it this morning
Here is the text of his announcement to the university community:

Dear Elected Officials and Colleagues,

The College of Charleston has just announced that I have agreed to be a finalist for the position of President. I was nominated for the position, and after careful consideration I agreed to be a candidate. Christie and I greatly appreciate and enjoy the support and success of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh community. We fully realize that if it were not for the support of the outstanding people that comprise UW Oshkosh, the UW System, and the state of Wisconsin, Christie and I would not be in the position to consider this excellent opportunity. For this, we are thankful. The College of Charleston Board of Trustees expects to conclude the search on or before November 1st. I regret any distraction this situation may cause for our academic community, and I will continue, with your help, to stay fully focused on moving forward the priorities of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

Richard H. Wells


Anonymous said...

Does this mean it is time for the rest of us to jump ship?

lammers said...

Administrators come and administrators go. It's their nature. If they're any good at all, they are never in one place long unless they WANT to be. Some other institution is ALWAYS looking to bring in someone from somewhere else.

This is why FACULTY participation in governance is so important -- WE have more continuity in an institution on average than either administrators or students. WE are the ones who are here long-term.

What should worry us is if our administrators WEREN'T targeted by other institutions. THAT would cause you to wonder about them. In a way, it is a compliment to US to have our administrators courted by other institutions. After all, "we" hired them.

A wise man once told me, "There's no better form of 'outside peer review' than a job offer."

Anonymous said...

Judging from Chraleston's web page, it looks like a liberal arts college with a focus on preparing students for the local area (the Carolina Low country). Sounds a lot like Well's vision for Oshkosh

Anonymous said...

personally, i'd be happy to see wells leave. i'd just feel bad for the poor people in charleston who get such a terrible admin.

anonoGeezer said...

Is Wells that good or is the pool that bad? While I think Wells would make a great technical college president, I don't think much of him as our leader.

Anonymous said...

The pool must be terrible. Or wells is just a nice guy, and it takes a bit to realize that he's a terrible leader.

S.B. said...

Look, I'm not totally enamored with Chancellor Wells. But could you anonymouses point out some specifics about why you don't like him?

Anonymous said...

Actually, his competition looks pretty strong, his best point is that his daughter went there, otherwise I wuld assume the others would have more of a chance

anonoGeezer said...


It should be noted that the "not liking him" refers to professional and personal reasons.

Look at the order of his building preferences: (1) Titan Stadium improvements; (2) wellness and fitness center; (3) parking lot; (4) academic building. Yes, the latter costs the most, but isn't the most important? Tom Keefe apparently sapped all the money he could out of local donors for the stadium, and now there is little or no left for the academic building.

He has supported dubious academic innovations coming out of administration areas. Examples are the fire management degree and applied science degree. The faculty are very suspicious of their academic merits. Another dubious innovation is a new freshman class that administration tried to slip by the faculty. How many freshman orientation classes are needed for credit?

Wells has also been grabbing more money from the deans, which means less money for the academic departments that actually work with students.

The bottom line is that Wells has done little for the academic side. He prefers more students rather than better students. One of his competitors for the job is the provost at a state university thousands of students smaller than UWO but much, much better. We will see if Charleston is more concerned about quality or quantity.

Lake Winneblogo said...

Thank you to the final anonymous for giving us a very cogent statement as to the problems with Chancellor Well's time here on campus.

The obsession with numbers is the most disheartening part of his adminstration. If he attacked quality issues with such enthusiasm, we would all be much better off!