By Alyssa Rupp —
University of Wisconsin–Stout’s seventh chancellor in the school’s 125-year history was sworn in just last week. Bob Meyer was inaugurated in front of students, faculty, former colleagues, alumni and family on April 2nd at the Memorial Student Center.
“The best days are still in front of us,” spoke Petre (Nelu) Ghenciu, master of ceremonies, professor in the mathematics department, and president of the Faculty Senate. This idea was echoed endlessly throughout the course of the ceremony as many speakers commented on Meyer’s abilities and inspiring ideas.
“Chancellor Meyer brings energy, vision, passion and innovation to the position and continues to confirm the wisdom of his decision,” says Vice President for the Board of Regents, Regina Millner. “It would be hard to find anyone better suited to lead UW–Stout than Bob Meyer.”
Meyer’s long and dedicated history with Stout also helped tremendously for his credibility and knowledge of the school. He graduated from Stout with both a bachelor’s degree in industrial technologies and a master’s degree in management technology, followed by a Ph.D from the University of Minnesota in industrial engineering. Before becoming chancellor, he held many other positions at Stout spanning 25 years. Not only has Meyer held university positions like the Dean of the College of Technology, Engineering, and Management, Associate Dean of Outreach and a professor in the engineering and technology department, but also participated in roles that the average student would today.
“I tried to take advantage of every opportunity I could to get involved in student life at UW–Stout. I joined the student government as a senator, I worked in the student center bowling alley and as an RA in Milnes Hall,” he said. Meyer also met his wife, Deb, during his time at Stout, and they now have two daughters, Erica, a Stout graduate and Melissa, a student at University of Wisconsin–Madison.
A large part of the ceremony also focused on the history of UW–Stout and how past and current students, staff, and chancellors have created one of the most unique universities in the country. Topics like this year’s enrollment record, tremendous employment numbers and the school’s polytechnic label were stressed, and excited the chancellor about creating the future. “I get up every morning and thank my lucky stars that I get to work with such a talented, devoted and good-hearted student body, faculty and staff,” he stated.
Meyer looks forward to continuing the improvements collectively made by university members. Focused on the future, the new chancellor will implement strategic planning and servant leadership. “Building a bridge to the future is a team process. Strategic planning allows all team members to embrace a common vision of the future. It is then incumbent upon the leaders to empower the team to implement the plan, as part of what I call servant leadership,” said Meyer.
Bob Meyer takes over a position held for 26 years by chancellor Charles Sorenson, and as evident in his inaugural speech, he is determined to continue to improve Stout’s legacy and feels privileged to pursue the role of leading such a fine institution.