The first employee

The state set plans for the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay in motion in 1965 with legislative approval, but the school wouldn’t have its first employee until Oct. 6, 1966. That’s when the UW Board of Regents ratified President Fred Harvey Harrington’s decision and announced the appointment of Dr. Edward W. Weidner, 45, as chancellor. Weidner was a rising star at the University of Kentucky with significant international experience as both a political scientist and leader in developing new models for higher education. Weidner was also highly accomplished for one so young, by the standards of academia. He had achieved the rank of full professor and chair of political science at Michigan State at the age of 31. By early 1967 Weidner was on the ground at the Shorewood site, the future home of his new University, and staking out plans for new hires, an innovative academic plan and rapid-fire construction of new academic buildings. Weidner would serve 20 years as UWGB chancellor, stepping down on the last day of June 1986. He remained an active presence at the University he founded for most of the remaining two decades of his life.