The situation at our university is something I wouldn’t want to deal with, let alone inherit. Our old chancellor resigned in a scandal, feelings had been hurt and we had a tumultuous budget epidemic that was beginning to unfold. The state of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater was not great, but it’s getting better because of the new person in charge.
Chancellor Watson inherited a mess and is doing everything to clean it up the best he can. Not only is he managing to keep the ship from sinking, he’s doing it with a smile on his face. Every time I’ve seen Chancellor Watson walking around campus, he’s always in a good mood. He warmly greets students, makes them feel like they belong to the campus and even interacts with the community. In his short time as chancellor, I’ve seen Watson interacting with students, faculty and the community more than the times I saw Kopper, who was my chancellor for two and half years.
For the budget situation we’re dealing with, I wouldn’t blame Chancellor Watson for not wanting to deal with the public. Instead, he’s been truthful about the deficit, open about what his plans are and he’s listened to other people’s ideas. He sends out emails about the budget, he’s been open to the media and has even dedicated a section to the Whitewater home webpage to be about the budget. Open, honest and transparent is what Watson has been during this tough time.
Seeing Chancellor Watson take this challenge with a positive approach has been encouraging to watch. He inherited a mess, but has done his best to make the most out of the situation. This is a difficult time for UW-Whitewater. However, Chancellor Watson has my support as he continues to try to help our campus and community succeed. Keep up the good work, chancellor.