MADISON, Wis. – University of Wisconsin System President Ray Cross continues his around-the-state listening initiative with plans to spend the full day at UW-Green Bay on Friday, May 9.

While in Green Bay, Cross expects to hold separate listening sessions with a variety of diverse groups, including student representatives, veterans, business and community leaders, the Council of Trustees and Foundation Board of Directors, as well as UW-Green Bay’s Faculty Senate and University Committee.

“In order for the University of Wisconsin to be most effective, we need to better understand the needs of people throughout the state. Only then can we truly be engaged in helping to find solutions to their problems and, as our mission suggests, improve the human condition,” Cross said.

After taking office in mid-February, Cross stressed that one of his top priorities would be to engage in dialogue with the people of Wisconsin about their needs, dreams, and concerns, and how the University of Wisconsin could play a more significant role in building a stronger Wisconsin.

“No matter where I go in the state, I find that citizens are unwavering in their pride for their UW System institutions. That encourages me, because it’s essential to recognize the value our 26 campuses offer, especially as we work to build stronger trust with the Legislature,” Cross said.

To date, Cross’ listening initiative has included a variety of engagements with students, from a systemwide meeting of student representatives in La Crosse, to an undergraduate research symposium at UW-Waukesha, a session with United Council leadership, and casual conversations at a 4-H breakfast at the Capitol.

He also has met with a broad spectrum of business and community leaders, both formally and informally. Those meetings include faith-based and African-American leaders in Milwaukee, the Board of Visitors at UW-Madison’s Law School, and representatives of key Wisconsin industry interests such as the Wisconsin Hospital Association, the Greater Milwaukee Committee, Wisconsin Realtors Association, AT&T, Alta Resources in Oshkosh, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), among others.

Cross has been engaging with campus community members as well. He met with UW System’s Letters & Sciences deans in a recent event at UW-Parkside, faculty and staff attending the annual spring conference of the UW System’s Office of Professional and Instructional Development, and the faculty and staff at UW-Milwaukee at the announcement of their interim chancellor. This past week, he got together in Madison with representatives of faculty and academic staff from all UW System institutions at one of their joint meetings.

“It is gratifying to hear the deep feelings that most people have for the university and its mission, and for the Wisconsin Idea. I look forward to continuing this conversation, and would welcome feedback and suggestions for how we can continue to build a stronger university,” Cross said.

In upcoming weeks, Cross is scheduled to be in Superior and Eau Claire as his listening initiative continues.


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Heather LaRoi UW System 608-265-3195