The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents honored UW-Stout Chancellor Bob Meyer on Friday, July 12, for his 32 years of service to the university, including the last five as the seventh leader of the institution.
The Regents approved a resolution of appreciation at their meeting in Madison.
Meyer has announced he is retiring as of Aug. 18, so this was his final Board of Regents meeting. Provost Patrick Guilfoile will serve as interim chancellor until a permanent chancellor assumes office in 2020.
The resolution lists some of Meyer’s accomplishments in the last five years, including initiating the first comprehensive fundraising campaign in the institution’s history. The Pathways Forward campaign runs through June 30, 2020, and already has exceeded its original goal of $35 million. An aspirational goal of $40 million has been set.
The resolution also says Meyer “has promoted at every possible occasion the overwhelming success of UW-Stout students in the job market, taking pride in the fact that the employment rate has risen during each year of his administration, to 98.7 percent this year.”
Meyer also has championed higher salaries for UW-Stout’s faculty and staff, the resolution said. The last two state budgets contained salary increases for eligible employees.
The resolution concludes: “…the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System offers sincere gratitude to Chancellor Bob Meyer for his service and dedication to UW-Stout, Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University, and wishes him and his wife, Debbie, a long and happy retirement.”
Regent Jason Plante of Eau Claire, in presenting the resolution, called Meyer a “voice of reason” and said the UW System “will miss his innovation, collegiality and good humor …”
He added: “Anytime I have a question about how a certain policy or proposal might affect Stout or the system, Bob is always willing to take time explain its implications.”
In his remarks to the Regents, Meyer said he appreciated all the talented UW System Regents, leaders and staff he has worked with over this three-plus decades at UW-Stout. Of the Regents, he said, “I have come to see firsthand what a demanding job – and it is a job, albeit with no pay – serving on this board is. I really want to thank you for your service to the UW System and the state of Wisconsin.”
He added: “The most daunting observation I have is that our fiscal trajectory is not sustainable. We cannot maintain our quality of education with diminished enrollments, frozen tuition and lackluster state aid increases. While we thankfully have improved the salary situation of our faculty and staff, we still remain below our peers.”
UW-Stout employees, Meyer said, “deserve to be paid above, not below, the median salary of their peers at other institutions.”
Concerning the 98.7 percent employment rate for UW-Stout recent graduates, he said, “The real credit for that achievement should not go to the chancellor but rather to Stout’s terrific staff that works day in and day out to prepare graduates to succeed in meeting our employers’ many needs.”
It will be important, Meyer added, to “continue to work with our elected officials, so that they all understand the value of a diploma from anywhere in the UW System and believe that investing in the UW System is a wise use of tax dollars.”
The board also granted Meyer chancellor emeritus status upon his retirement.
A 10-member search and screen committee has been established to recruit and review candidates for the eighth chancellor of UW-Stout. The timeline calls for the Regents to vote on the new chancellor selection in December.
Chancellor Bob Meyer