Outlook Magazine - Fall 2020
It is with great pride that I present my first welcome for the Outlook alumni magazine. While I have had the chance to meet a few of you in person, speak with several of you on the phone and interact with some of you virtually, I am looking forward to the time when we can gather together and share stories about UW- Stout. Such conversations provide great insight into our institution and important context to better understand our present moment and plan for the future. Mine has been an unusual introduction to the university and local community. I had been in my role for exactly seven days when it became necessary to mobilize our Emergency Operations Committee and make some difficult decisions. Within a matter of days, we shifted to alternative methods of instructional delivery, moved more than 2,500 students out of residence halls and became a mostly locked campus. This was a stressful time for our entire university community; however, instead of bringing out the worst in people, it brought out the best. The journey through the last month and a half of the spring semester confirmed that it is the people who make UW-Stout great. Faculty worked diligently to convert courses to virtual delivery and continue to put student learning first. Faculty and staff reached out to students to check in, connect them with resources and respond to their questions. Students persevered and worked hard despite the unexpected circumstances. Front-line staff continued to sustain university operations and accelerate health and safety efforts while employee density was low on campus. In short, our UW-Stout community came together to confront challenges, support our students and protect our institution. They showed me what it means to be Stout Proud! We are welcoming back students Sept. 9 for classes, about half of which will be in person and half online. The health and safety of our employees and students are our top priority, and planning is extensive and complex. With HELLO FROM CHANCELLOR KATHERINE FRANK
safety protocols in place, UW-Stout will not look or feel as it has in the past. However, at our core, we will remain the same: a community of learners dedicated to the success of our students. I thought I would conclude with a portion of a campus communication I wrote about a month into my tenure as chancellor: One day recently I wrapped up a call in the chancellor’s conference room. I was alone, of course, and the room was quiet. I looked up from the conference table and across the room at the portrait of James Huff Stout hanging on the opposite wall. I heard myself saying out loud, “I bet you never saw this coming.” It was an oddly comforting moment, as it reminded me of the other challenges that James Huff Stout did not see coming and navigated his way through, including the fire that destroyed Stout Manual Training School (as well as the adjoining high school and elementary school) on Feb. 2, 1897. School was suspended and did not resume for a month until temporary space was located. The new buildings were completed almost a year later at considerable expense to both James Huff Stout and the Menomonie community. This was a critical moment in our institution’s trajectory. Instead of an ending, it signaled a new beginning; Stout emerged stronger and better equipped, both literally and figuratively, to face the future. As is evident in the many stories in this edition of Outlook, UW-Stout faculty, staff, students, alumni and partners continue to do amazing work. You are innovators, change-agents, problem-solvers, benefactors, supporters and leaders. You represent the past, present and future of our institution. You are what make our institution truly special.
Thank you all for your dedication to UW-Stout.
Stay safe and well,
U W - S T O U T O U T L O O K
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