Thursday, September 3, 2015

Here's What One Member of the UW-Platteville Faculty Thinks About Dennis Shields

Well, I have to admit that I am not happy to hear that Shields is a finalist for any position. On the whole, I've been very happy with him as chancellor here at UW-Platteville, and I would be very sad to see him leave us.

However--that doesn't mean that he's perfect. He has tended to surround himself with 'yes-men', or in one case, with very young and very attractive 'yes-women.' That has pissed many people off a whole lot--including me. I've also heard that he holds grudges, but I have not heard of any cases in which his grudge-holding has hurt an academic program or faculty member. And I have not been aware of much, if any, cronyism on his part. I suppose I should add that the fact that he's a finalist at your university is evidence that he's not afraid to lie when convenient. During his second year at UW-Platteville, he announced at a university-wide convocation that he planned to remain chancellor at UW-Platteville until he retired (in what was then 10 years). So he looked us in the eyes and lied. But maybe that's just standard behavior for people in his position.

On the whole, I would say that Shields is an intelligent, hard-working guy with a friendly and open personality. He has been quite dedicated to increasing the number of students of color on campus and has been very supportive of African American students in particular. In his first few years at UWP, he cleaned out A LOT of dead wood among administrators and academic staff (some of whom were even African American) and brought in some very well-qualified people in their place. That has been wonderful, and I'm grateful to him for that. He has also been very good about hiring highly competent women (and not necessarily just attractive ones) to high-ranking positions on campus. And he's been very supportive of the LGBTQ community on campus and has funneled funds in their direction.

If Shields leaves UWP, in my opinion he will be leaving it in much better shape than it was when he first came. As I said, I will be quite sorry to see him go. It has been very nice not having a privileged white male at the top of our hierarchy. So please don't hire him.


  1. So, is this the one qualified, unconnected candidate who actually has some experience in order to make the search and eventual hiring of another unqualified, politically connected candidate seem legitimate? Who wants to bet the seemingly qualified guy won't get the job?

  2. Now that all three interviews are over, what does the faculty think, or what does the Faculty Voice think?