Office of the President

Speeches

Speeches

Remarks for UW-Parkside's Convocation

Kevin P. Reilly, President, University of Wisconsin System

January 17, 2008

Thank you, Chancellor Keating.

Thank you to everyone at UW-Parkside for welcoming me to your spring convocation today. I’d like to take a moment to speak about what Chancellor Keating has done for this campus.

  • his efforts to solidify the university’s physical and financial foundations;
  • his leadership in strengthening the connections between UW-Parkside and local community; and
  • his focus on enhancing the university’s academic core, while burnishing its reputation as the most diverse campus in the UW System.

I’ll also spend a few moments addressing the questions that I’m sure have already begun to pop up in this room – about the process of recruiting and hiring a successor for Chancellor Keating.

Solid Foundation

Jack’s reputation as a “builder” is mirrored in the expansion UW-Parkside has experienced, both physically and academically, and in the corresponding increase of community support. His guidance and leadership have given the university substantial foundation for progress. That foundation will be especially important as we begin thinking about the next chapter of UW-Parkside’s history of service to the state.

One needs to just look at the expansion of the Communications Arts Building to appreciate Parkside’s growth. The generosity of alumni and other individuals in this community is confirmation of Chancellor Keating’s ambitious efforts to develop and improve UW-Parkside’s academic and student facilities.

It was under Chancellor Keating that the school’s first master plan was completed since the institution’s founding in 1968.

Chancellor Keating has overseen $100 million worth of structures that are currently being planned, including Dhaliwal Hall, which is slated to open in 2009.  

Community Engagement

Over the past decade, Chancellor Keating has ambitiously set out to position UW-Parkside as an engine of economic development in the state of Wisconsin, and especially in this region. He has successfully engaged a broad range of faculty, staff, student, and community voices to do just that.

The Wisconsin Campus Compact, an initiative to strengthen student civic engagement and service-learning partnerships between communities and Wisconsin colleges statewide, is evidence of Chancellor Keating’s far-reaching vision. Jack brought the Campus Compact to Wisconsin, and led the effort to make it available statewide across our UW campuses.

Chancellor Keating led by example in the 2005 creation of the Dean for Community Engagement and Civic Learning position. The position, now held by Dr. Thomas Schnaubelt, embodies Chancellor Keating’s goal of integrating teaching, learning, and community service to improve the quality of life for all Wisconsin residents.

It’s no accident that during Chancellor Keating’s tenure, UW-Parkside was one of only 64 campuses nationwide to be designated an “engaged university” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Parkside is the only institution in Wisconsin to receive this distinction.

Under Chancellor Keating, the university led the charge on a two-year study funded by the U.S. Department of Labor to examine the adjacent economies of Kenosha, Racine, and Walworth counties. The results spurred the creation of the Center for Advanced Technology, which is now recognized, along with UW-Parkside, by the International Economic Development Council for technology-based economic development.

Academics

UW-Parkside’s growing academic reputation can also be attributed to Chancellor Keating’s encouraging leadership.

The university has increased and diversified its majors, now offering programs in areas such as criminal justice and applied health science.

The First Year Experience program, also nurtured by Chancellor Keating, serves students as they embark on their educational career to increase the institution’s retention and graduation rates.

Jack was also an early champion for our Equity Scorecard project, which seeks to identify and eliminate barriers to academic success for our increasingly diverse undergraduate student population.

What’s next?

I know we will all miss Chancellor Keating very much. Jack is a person of forceful intellect, unquestioned integrity, and unwavering commitment to higher education opportunities for all. All of us who sit together at the system wide Chancellors’ table will feel the loss of his wise counsel and impish sense of humor

And speaking of a sense of humor, someone who had it in spades was the late Governor and Chancellor Lee Sherman Dryefus…

Governor Dreyfus liked to talk about distinctive leaders like Chancellor Keating…who have…gray hair

Governor Dreyfus once said: "If you’ve got gray hair, that gives you a look of distinction and very helpful in the political arena. If you can combine that with hemorrhoids for a look of concern, the combination is political dynamite." Jack, we all know you have been a very concerned Chancellor.

Jack is a Californian, and Governor Dreyfus had things to say about Golden States, too: "We told those visitors to the Capitol grounds to stay off the grass. But they were Californians. They didn’t know we meant the lawn."

Jack, thank you for trading California for a colder, Midwestern state that you have made warmer and better by your leadership of UW-Parkside for the last 10 years and thanks to Pam, too for letting you do that , and for being part of it.

And now a few words about the search to find Jack’s successor… [extemporaneous remarks]

  • The Search and Screen committee…
  • Its mission…
  • The process…

Now, I turn the hour over to the eminent Regent and Parkside alumnus, Mike Falbo.