Commencement: Lessons learned as chancellor

By University Communications
May 9, 2015
Lessons learned as chancellor

Photo: UW-Stout Spotlight Photo

 Even after spending 25 years at University of Wisconsin-Stout, the last nine months have been a learning experience, Chancellor Bob Meyer said during commencement exercises Saturday, May 9, at Johnson Fieldhouse.

"You would think that after getting two degrees from UW-Stout and then working here for 25 years, there wasn't much I didn't know about my alma mater," Meyer said."How wrong I was."

Chancellor Bob Meyer congratulates a graduate.Meyer returned to UW-Stout as chancellor in August, after serving six years as president of Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College. He succeeded Chancellor Emeritus Charles W. Sorensen, who served for 26 years.

First and foremost, Meyer said, "we have amazing students. Not a day goes by that I don't hear about some marvelous achievement, some selfless action, some obstacle overcome, which reinforces that we have the best students around."

Meyer cited involved employers who attended the two career fairs, serve on program advisory committees, donate equipment to keep programs on the cutting edge, provide co-op and internship opportunities for students and advocate for the institution's financial health.

Graduates applaud during the 9:30 a.m. ceremony."Without our employers, obviously, we wouldn't be able to maintain the 97 percent job placement rate enjoyed by our graduates," Meyer said, referring to the fact that 97.1 percent of UW-Stout's most recent graduates either were working or continuing their education within six months of leaving campus.

UW-Stout alumni are all over the world, Meyer said, adding, "I would challenge any university in the UW System to find more dedicated, appreciative and satisfied alumni than those who hold diplomas from UW-Stout."

Finally, Meyer said, "The backbone of our institution, the secret to our success, is the hard-working, dedicated and talented faculty and staff who work together to provide our students with the quality educational experience they have come to expect and appreciate. It breaks my heart that this current fiscal situation doesn't allow us to compensate our faculty and staff at the level they truly deserve."

A graduate's attire includes special glasses.For example, he said, 90 percent of full professors at similar institutions make more than a full professor at UW-Stout.

"It is a true measure of just how much they care for our students that our faculty and staff choose to remain with UW-Stout through thick and thin," Meyer said. "I thank my lucky stars each and every day that I have the privilege of working alongside these employees."

A total of 1,147 undergraduates received degrees in two ceremonies while 164 Graduate School students received degrees in an evening ceremony.

Jackie Weissenburger, interim provost and vice chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, presided over the ceremonies.

Deans of the colleges presented the diplomas, and Meyer conferred the degrees.

Mark Parsons, vice chancellor for University Advancement and Marketing, welcomed the graduates into the Stout Alumni Association.

More information on commencement is available online or learn about previous commencement exercises.