After being in his new role for about three months, Gilles Bousquet continues to integrate himself into the community and campus life as interim chancellor at UW-Eau Claire.
So far, Bousquet has received positive accolades in his short tenure at the university.
Patrick Martin, the Student Senate vice president, met Bousquet after the start of the schoolyear in the first Student Senate meeting of the year.
“He took a lot of time to listen to all of our stories, all of our back story, all of the progress that we had made and to really understand where we were coming from,” Martin said. “That was very, very cool to see a man that had so much on his plate to be taking notes on what we as student senators have been working hard on. That was great to see.”
Brian Carlisle, dean of students, said that he sees Bousquet multiple times throughout the week, pending the number of events and meetings each may attend during the week. He said Bousquet is interacting with students to gauge the feelings of students about the university almost every time he sees him.
“He started a new program where every month he sits down and has lunch with five students. It’s really kind of cool,” Carlisle said. “Once a month, he makes a very intentional effort that he’s going to meet with a variety of different backgrounds and a variety of different constituencies on campus and have lunch with them.”
Carlisle said there are state and system leaders, students, staff and faculty that Bousquet has to keep track of, but he said Bousquet remains personable with everybody.
“He remembers everyone’s name. I remember faces, but there’s 11,000 of you. I can’t keep up with all your names,” Carlisle said. “It is really amazing at how skilled he is at that.”
As far as the search to get a new chancellor, Martin said that was interesting to hear what people think because the opinions on what should make up the new chancellor are diverse.
“I guess from my personal perspective, I would like somebody who understands the legal obligations the students have to be a part of governance, who respects that and who is willing to respect that role as we are crafting things like liberal education reform,” Martin said. “The Blugold Commitment is finally coming into play this year. There is well over $10 million being allocated there.”
The search is now on to find an individual that will permanently fill that position.
Applications for the permanent position as chancellor are currently being accepted, said Rama Yelkur, the chairperson for the chancellor search and screen committee. Both internal and external candidates are being looked at in the process.
Bousquet has not acknowledged publicly whether he will apply for the position or not.