Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Opening Day

Welcome back everyone! We had our grand opening day convocation yesterday morning.

My impressions:

It looks like a hopeful year financially. Little doom and gloom, though there is still a chance Steve Nass will get his way in Madison.

It looks like a year of acronyms. LEAP was the main topic of the day. The chancellor and provost made the Liberal Education reform the center of their agenda, which may result in general education reform. I think that this could really be a boon for the university. The chancellor also mentioned some other acronym that has to do with a new sort of on-line college rating system that he will be proposing this fall.

Petra Roter and Art Rathjen decided to go with the comedy routines. Although they were amusing, I was left with the feeling that they didn't want to talk about real issues. Was Art hiding his own feeling that little money was raised behind his Wisconsin jokes? Someone suggested that Petra's own text message/abreviation schtick was both old (isn't this the 3rd time she has done this) and displayed her own belief that she knows the students better than the rest of us because she is hip to the code.

John Koker's comedy routine was more sedate and to the point, but he pushed the liberal education reform agenda too. He also tossed in his desire to do something about class size. We may be talking more about that as the year progresses.

The university continues to grow. Now we have over 12,500 FTE and we are getting a chance to rebuild some of our faculty numbers.

Just a few general comments this morning--if you have any of your own, I look forward to seeing them!


Douglas McCloud said...

I skipped yesterday as I’ve done for the last several years. Pomp and circumstance is for students not for faculty and staff; that is why I like graduation ceremonies.

Unfortunately, I’m not sure there is much comedy coming from the foundation. I understand that they are seriously behind on fundraising goals not only for the new academic building-for the right donation it could be called Lake Winneblogo Hall-but for the athletic complex (whatever it is called)as well.

I think Petra might be better served by working on a new act as the current act of student affairs is wearing thing on some of us who still believe in shared governance between the administration, faculty and students. It seems that faculty and students are only supposed to speak when spoken to by student affairs.

Jim Droste said...

Douglas McCloud,

I am intrigued by the last paragraph of your response, especially the last sentence: "It seems that faculty and students are only supposed to speak when spoken to by student affairs."

To which situation or situations are you speaking of?