Daily Bread for 5.23.22: UW-Whitewater’s Chancellor Search Brings Opportunity

Good morning.

Monday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of 62. Sunrise is 5:23 AM and sunset 8:19 PM for 14h 55m 28s of daytime.  The moon is a waning crescent with 40.5% of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Urban Forestry Commission meets at 4:30 PM.

On this day in 1854,  the first railroad reaches Madison:

On this date the Milwaukee and Mississippi railroad reached Madison, connecting the city with Milwaukee. When the cars pulled into the depot, thousands of people gathered to witness the ceremonial arrival of the first train, and an enormous picnic was held on the Capitol grounds for all the passengers who’d made the seven-hour trip from Milwaukee to inaugurate the line.

Rich Kremer reports UW-Whitewater chancellor search to begin amid increased political scrutiny of higher education. Of course, there are challenges, but a search is an opportunity for UW-Whitewater and this community. Kramer begins with where the university now stands:

A search will soon begin for a new chancellor at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater who can provide “stable leadership” at the campus, which has had four chancellors since 2018.

The announcement comes just days after Republican state lawmakers and candidates attacked the most recent UW chancellor pick.

A UW System press release May 18 announced the creation of a 12-member search and screen committee that will gather potential candidates to find a long-term chancellor to lead the UW-Whitewater campus. The committee, named by UW Board of Regents President Edmund Manydeeds, includes regents, students and campus instructors.

“This is a critically important search,” Manydeeds said. “The students, faculty and staff of UW-Whitewater have been resilient and dedicated, and they deserve stable leadership.”

The search committee announcement comes more than a month after former UW-Whitewater Interim Chancellor Jim Henderson abruptly resigned, citing a lack of support from UW System administration amid plans to survey students at every state university about whether they feel campuses support freedom of speech and freedom of expression.

Kremer spoke with UW-Whitewater professor and faculty senate president Tracy Hawkins for the story, and Hawkins’s remarks are sound — there’s a good position at a good school waiting to be filled:

But despite the turnover in UW-Whitewater’s chancellor’s office and the GOP criticism of the latest UW chancellor pick, Tracy Hawkins, a UW-Whitewater professor and faculty senate chair, said she and others on campus are optimistic about the upcoming search.

“I hope that the candidates who are interested in this position do their research so that they know what they’re coming into,” Hawkins said. “But I think that the situation here is really ripe for a great leader who can really advocate for the students of UW-Whitewater and the citizens of Wisconsin in general as deserving of access to high quality education that includes a variety of viewpoints.”

I’ve been a critic of UW-Whitewater and UW System’s leadership, yet I am optimistic about what can be accomplished if the search committee looks carefully and informs candidates fully.

It’s a mistake to think that a leadership search is necessarily a dismal prospect for Whitewater. There are good educators to be found from across this county who would be happy to work in this small, beautiful city.

Whitewater should accept no less.

The Sun seen by the Solar Orbiter at closest approach:

From within the orbit of planet Mercury, the Solar Orbiter returned imagery during its first close encounter (perihelion) with the Sun. In close-up, the south pole of the Sun.

Credit: ESA & NASA/Solar Orbiter/EUI team
The Sun observed by the Solar Orbiter at perihelion

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