• The Eau Claire Muse

Episode #1: James Schmidt – UW-Eau Claire Chancellor

Show Notes: Introduction Chancellor Jim’s Overall First Impression

  • Positive Impressions:

  • The Community and University Culture

  • Eau Claire lived their culture that has been here for decades

  • The business community and civic community really saw Eau Claire as being a game changer and saw that the University could help them achieve that

  • Less Positive Impressions

  • The facilities needed to make the transformations possible

  • By working together and sharing facilities, the community and University have created something beautiful with those connections

  • After hearing student and community members talk about how impactful the research from the university is, he was stunned at the conditions of the science/research building, Philips Hall

  • If given the choice between great faculty and staff and great facilities, its a no brainer then he would choose the faculty and staff. But it is important to note that they require better working conditions to let their passion for teaching and research to grow and to do the work well

  • He took his family here after taking the job as Chancellor and experienced th footbridge and the UWEC stairs to be christened to what our students encounter everyday. Both of these structures contribute to the active community

Things that stood out to Chancellor Jim about Eau Claire that relate to innovation, forward thinking progress, and the entrepreneurial ecosystem

  • He was impressed that a lot of young people in their thirties were giving away their resources to give back to the community

  • Impressed by the story of Jamf Software, which was started by a music major who recognized a problem

  • UWEC is sting in their science and business programs, but also have a surplus of creative people

  • One other thing that struck him was the story of the closing of the tire plant being turned into an incubation place for entrepreneurs by a Blugold

2026, What Does Chancellor Jim hope for Eau Claire from a university standpoint?

  • National Leader in Health and Wellbeing

  • Nationally Known Research

  • New Facility on Campus for Research

  • Known for being a leader in Equity, Diversion, and Inclusion

  • Anti-Racist Campus

In 2026, what would Chancellor Jim go back and tell the 2021 Eau Claire?

  • “If you can dream it you can do it” -Walt Disney

  • We are stronger together, we are smarter together, and we can accomplish a whole lot more together if we only have the courage to dream, and then know that we can accomplish it

  • We shouldn’t sell ourselves short

  • Dream big

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