Chancellor search: Quo vadimus, UW?

In the first post on this blog, GWP rightly focused on the central issue of selecting a new chancellor to run this great university. He raised three questions:

  • What are the most important qualifications to look for in our next Chancellor and why?
  • Do you believe that the next Chancellor should be recruited from inside or outside the UW system? Why?
  • In which ways do you believe that Dr. Wiley’s chancellorship was especially effective and therefore worth emulating by our future Chancellor? In which ways do you believe his leadership could be significantly improved upon?

I’m not particularly insistent on the person being from inside or outside, and the Cap Times editorial (along with other sources) has outlined the major accomplishments and shortcomings of Wiley’s tenure pretty well. But since I first saw it, that first question has stuck in my mind like a splinter you can’t quite get out, and I’ve been asking people what they think about it.

Last night, I had the privilege of talking to one of Madison’s most distinguished senior faculty and asked him. Among other points, he stressed that we need somebody who possesses a real understanding of the value of the contributions of the whole University. Nicely put, especially from someone who works in a part of campus that hasn’t suffered as many devastating losses as many of us, especially in Letters & Science.

Another theme that’s come up consistently is that the next chancellor has to rebuild our ties not only to “the other end of State Street” but to the people of the state as well. What’s striking about these and other answers is that these faculty, staff and students are asking for something extremely doable. In fact, a lot of what I’m hearing from people is not about big results, but just getting us moving in the right direction. A number of folks have stressed how much that would boost morale.

I guess this is just a way of asking again for “thoughtful and informed responses to the above questions”, as GWP put it.

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2 Responses to Chancellor search: Quo vadimus, UW?

  1. TP says:

    Giving up a few minutes for reflection about the leaders of various institutions of higher ed I have been associated with as a student or faculty member, I quite frankly have no idea the chancellor’s job requirements really are. Like others, this might be why there is the dearth of discussion (or it could be that we’ve been trying to get our grading done before the stroke of midnight). Outside of UW-Madison, the leaders of the other institutions strike me as big picture, hand shaking, check accepting, wheel greasing figure heads. No doubt this is a poorly formed mis-impression from the quick flip-through of glossy alumni magazines. They must do much more than that.

    This must also be true of a research institution, particularly one that has a proven track record of developing outside funding sources. The tasks of the leader have to be intense. Is there a document somewhere that outlines the current ‘rights and responsibilities’ of the chancellor?

  2. DP says:

    I think several members of the Academic Staff of UW-Madison should apply. We all believe Shared Governance is a good thing, so why not prove this point.

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