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Daily Bread for 1.20.23: Regents Select a New Chancellor for UW-Whitewater

Good morning.

Friday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of 30. Sunrise is 7:19 AM and sunset 4:52 PM for 9h 33m 49s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 2.9% of its visible disk illuminated.

 On this day in 1942, at the Wannsee Conference held in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee, senior Nazi German officials discuss the implementation of the “Final Solution to the Jewish question.”


Kelly Meyerhofer reports Next UW-Whitewater chancellor brings extensive background in enrollment management, student affairs:

The University of Wisconsin System hired a new chancellor for UW-Whitewater in what many hope will end a years-long trend of unstable leadership at the southern Wisconsin institution.

The UW Board of Regents unanimously approved Corey King as the next UW-Whitewater chancellor in a closed-door meeting Thursday. He will start March 1 and earn $265,000 annually.

King has served as the vice chancellor for inclusivity and student affairs at UW-Green Bay since 2020. His background also includes leadership positions at at Bethune-Cookman University, Florida Atlantic University, East Carolina University, Wheeling Jesuit University, and the University of Florida, according to King’s resume.

….

King’s appointment comes after a string of leadership shake-ups at the 10,500-student university dating back to 2018. In that year, Chancellor Beverly Kopper resigned after a UW System investigation found her husband had sexually harassed students and university employees. Kopper’s husband denied the allegations.

Kopper’s successor, Dwight Watson, started in 2019 and resigned about two years later because of a cancer diagnosis.

The UW System then named a former UW System administrator, Jim Henderson, to serve as interim chancellor until a permanent hire was made. Henderson resigned last spring before a search had even started. He cited several issues with how the UW System managed campuses, with his breaking point being a free speech survey launched despite his and other chancellors’ objections.

Note 1: UW-Whitewater’s problems go further back than 2018. Before this, UW-Whitewater was under federal investigation over its handling of sexual violence and harassment complaints. (Richard Telfer was chancellor during the period under investigation.) 

Years ago, on Telfer’s departure, local landlord Larry Kachel said of Telfer that 

“I have known six chancellors, going back to Chancellor Carter,” Kachel said. “They were all good people and all did good work, but, Dick, you are at least half a head above the rest in terms of the town-and-gown issues that have gone on. We are in a tough time with budget issues right now, but we appreciate everything you have done, and will continue to do in any way you can. You always had an open door policy and were always accessible to community members. We are going to miss you.”

See https://www.dailyunion.com/news/article_68cb8454-1c18-11e5-8e44-a3bfa315d78f.html.

I’ve thought, now and again, of those remarks and those of others at the same event. They haunt. In light of all that happened at UW-Whitewater in the several years before Telfer’s retirement, those words of undeserved praise reveal an unbridgeable divide in perspective. Nothing justifies that boosterism. 

One wishes Dr. King the best, knowing that he enters a troubled institution in need of sound and stable leadership. See also UW-Whitewater’s Chancellor Search Brings Opportunity, The Diligence Required for the UW-Whitewater Chancellor Search, and For UW-Whitewater, a Legislative Predictor.

Note 2: A publication in Whitewater yesterday speculated on the chancellor search that “[a]pparently no announcement will be made on Thursday, as the agenda does not indicate that the board will return to open session after the discussion of that item.” (The page where this appeared has now been pulled down.)

In any event, that speculation was a misreading of Wisconsin law. Wisconsin’s Open Meetings Law, Wis. Stat. §§ 19.81 to 19.98, does not prevent an announcement via press release following a meeting like yesterday’s Regents’ meeting. 


Pets Receive Blessings on St. Anthony Day:

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Attendee
18 days ago

We will have to see how “in need of sound and stable leadership” turns out. Great catch from the past because there were problems long before Kopper. That DU link is like bad science fiction to anyone who is honest about what UWW went through back then.

Faculty
18 days ago

NO one is sure how this will turn out for us. It’s a guessing game about what happens. “If this, then that” about 500 things. There is a nice summary of the turmoil in the article. That’s a good addition of what was problematic before in the mid-teens. Town-gown “relations” only mean a few from both sides. Most residents don’t come on campus. Most faculty don’t live in Whitewater.