The Cities | Dr. Jack Thomas, President WIU | WQPT

Uploaded by WQPTPBS on 10.02.2012

production funding for the city's is provided by a grant from the doors that
victor j foundation
the future of western
helping women get a leg up in the work field and the music gild looking for
more than just a few good voices in the cities
western illinois university is at a twenty first century crossroads
the school is continuing its quad cities expansion it's also facing budget
constraints from the state
and challenges to increase student enrollment
and it's two campuses
last month president jack thomas sat down with us to talk about the
accomplishments he's seen after almost a year as head
of western illinois university
you are now up
coming close to now actually you are concluding your first full year
as president at western illinois university
why don't you summarize what's been these last few months and years
it it's tough to get comfortable isn't it
it is i was name in january uh... eighteenth of
two thousand elleven actually started last night and it was actually
uh... july first
and durring that time from january eighteenth
to of the first of july
i was not transition period where i work
very closely with
president emeritus goldfarb and
and i have served a under his leadership as provost and academic vice president
and therefore i knew a lot about the institution and the community and
surrounding areas
you join the university running as president i mean you did know
all the notes and crannies but there is a bit of a learning curve what you get
into the office with a nice desk there still is a learning curve yes absolutely
um... it's been good i met with all of the data of the constituencies across
the governing bodies at the campus
and in the community alumni and the community as well and really when you on
the forefront
uh... there are a lot of major issues that you do have to address as president
and individuals are looking to you for
the vision for the institute
uh... doing this summer at the borde of trustees
on a uh... laid out the plan and
presented that to the verious governing bodies and now it's on the way of all
the direction that we want to take up well for the institution
does the vision thing is not
easy to come up with you know just go like that and you would have the vision
for the future of western absolutely have to be in there for a while as as
provost an academic vice president i knew some of the things
buddy my goal was to present some ideals
and then bring them before the governing bodies the faculty and staff the
students and uh... the governing bodies on campus
so that we could come up with a clear vision
for the institution is not just my vision
but inside universities vision and one of the things you have is to grow the
student population right we want to enhance and rolled the uh... enrollment
uh... the enrollment has been a challenge
was for the past five years are we brought in the consultant of firm of
called is always worked with uh... enrollment uh... an enrollment
and this past fall we brought in the largest freshman class
uh... in the past four years of the institution um... we through noa levens
they help took us to lay out a plan
a recruitment plan an aggressive recruitment plan
and we want to make sure that we implement that plan
and to enhance the of the enrollment
i've charge the enrollment management director as well as the vice president
for student services
to set some indicators and so that we would know uh... have some indicators o
some directions oh where we want to go in terms of the growth of the
institution and measurements for success that i assume as well we need to
enhance our retention and graduation rates are as well
so will putting things in place to address the
that increase in enrollment at all levels
one thing that we're doing now is that we we're gonna start we've started to do
what we call targeted enrollment
and that is where you go out and recruit the top student the best and brightest
uh... in this state and surrounding areas as well as that mid range
students and then sometimes old water level low range students high as well we want
to make sure that we are able to address the public agenda that has been set by
the illinois board of higher ed
as well as to uh... uh... uh... address of the of uh...
performance based funding which will come out in the near future
when things when you're talking about increasing the enrollment university
you're talking about uh...
uh... recruitment which is critically important
you know the thing it's very important of course
is tuition rates
and you know i mean with state funding the way it is
tuition rates are increasing are you afraid that at some point
it is just basically budgeting kids out of getting a secondary
education not just at a western
well not just that western of yes that's one thing that we do keep an eye on we
are public institution
and we pride ourselves on access
and affordability
uh... we wanna make sure that those two that we are able to provide a uh... of
public education that is affordable uh... of a product of a public education
and had a if they had not been for institutions
uh... public institutions like weston
i wouldn't be uh... sitting before you today uh... so we do keep that in mind
when we do have to increased uh... tuition
as we get into the new school year coming up right in this coming fall i
know i'm rushing you
or into the next two years
budgetary issues arise always the biggest problem but one other hurdles do you see
as far as i want to avoid future
well uh... would talk about enrollment at all we will looking at uh... although
were talking about resources as well in terms of tuition generatedrevenue
uh... for the institution if you don't have that
then that's going to be a challenge because we're facing very
challenging budgetary times now
we're not getting what
we would like to have to get in order to
more forward to address the uh...
uh... to address the uh... the needs of the university
do you have this feeling never are going to
i mean that the better as the state cuts
you've ever think that you're going to be getting the levels that you once did
wer are very hopeful
i would have to say i dont' think, i can remember
back int he nineties we had the risks of recession
in the state of maryland in
and it was very difficult um...
but you know times it get better um... even go in these difficult times now our
goal is to make sure that we meet payroll and that we have no
furloughs but at the same time we have to we have goals that we have in mind
for the institution
and then at some point we have to make those sacrifices that we do achieve some
of those goals
uh... my main concern right now is to be able to continue
to provide a quality and well-rounded education
and to recruit more students who helped
high ac_t_ scores and high grade point average is but at the same time we want
to make sure that we are able to provide an education for as many students as
possible without diminishing the quality of the education
and without diminishing the standards that we have for the institution quad
city campus of course a interval part now of the western illinois university
is important not to take away from mcomb
but also embrace the qualities one speakers
at the ribbon cutting the ground breaking out the ribbon-cutting was was
mentioning that
uh... quad cities gain is not mccombs loss absolutely uh... will one institution
with two campuses and we're not taking away from a calm while we have some
outstanding things that are going on there we want to start
uhthe governor came durring the spring semester
and we broke ground for a uh... new performing arts center
uh... want to create uh... while uh... grand entrance to the interest to the campus
create a one-stop shop www which was serve as a welcome center to thew
uh... after that we still want to move forward with the new science building
uh... on the mccollum campus and they're a lot of things that we want to do there
so absolutely not uh... this is uh... oh
uh... an opportunity for this institution to grow in the quad cities

this is the only public institution in the plot cities
and to uh... address the needs of the citizens here
so will quite
proud of the
uh... while western illinois university quad cities as well as we are
or western illinois university macomb so all
uh... it all really uh this camp was really helps of
the institution as a whole
when we last talked you said your son was transferring to western illinois is
enjoying his western experience and he is enjoying himself there are a he's a
junior there and is on the track team and uh...
he's having a great experience there good grades or is he bringing his
laundry home all the time
well he's making
decent grades, he actually lives with us
uh... my wife whether originally wanted to make him do his own laundry but i
think uh... i think she's doing it still yea that does work
untill in your thirties right right right back Dr Thomas thanks so much for joining us
thank you for having me
that's western illinois university president jack thomas
nationally acclaimed violenist benny can has a connection to our area is a native
of western illinois has played with the symphonies in saint louis and in chicago
in october he played at western illinois university and next month
he's featured on w iu presents which you can see here and wqpt
the wiu orchestra featuring benny kim
that's the western illinois university orchestrated as featuring violenist
to benny kim once again the concert will be featured
next month on wqpts latest addition of w iu presents
a worldwide effort to help women in the workplace has found its home in the
quad cities
it's all dress for success quad cities it helps disadvantaged women
get professional clothing it offers networking
and development tools so they can succeed in the world
joining us tonight is regina hataclu all who is the founder of dress for
success one cities
how are you
why did you see this as such a need for the
quad cities
well i 0:13:01.459,0:13:02.970 felt that
there's a lot of services for women out there to help them through a crisis or
life change but once they get to the place where they're ready to enter the
workforce there really wasn't anything to help them stay on the job stay
successfully and grow a job into a career there is so important was very
first steps starved for women getting into the workplace
dress for success is more than just clothing option
tell me how somebody who might be interested
in in seeing you actually get started through the process
well see women by referral
after they've completed some kind of job readiness training uh... once they are
ready to interview for a job and they have that in his schedule they to talk
to their
referring agency
and if they have a partnership with us they can refer her to us four- her
interview sutting
if she has just recently gott my job
and needs owb weeks worth of career
she can be referred to us for employment suiting so we take
referrals that either at the interview for the employment sitting and how many
of these partners do you have as far as referrals are concerned 'cause that's
where you really have to grow right
from the bottom up
right well part of ud demonstrating that we had the capacity int he quad cities to
have a dress for success affiliate was showing that there were partners in
committee who wanted to work with us uh... and our early numbers showed
thirty partners or so just for my initial phone calls right now we
have twenty six the confrontation
they have com completed an application and they know the process how do you
make the referral
fill out a form et-cetera et-cetera so we've got twenty six referral partners
right now over eighty staffer trained at those various partners
and uh...
here estimating that between those twenty six that will be seeing around
seventy five women per month
now last week you had the mayor there with that big scissors cutting out the
ribbon cutting for your grand opening how important was that event
well it's another step
along the way obviously people recognize the dress for success s name
they know that we're giving up employment clothing to women you need
but they don't often recognize that we do a whole lot more than that obviously
the professional group helps them get them
professional skills so they can retain that job and then the career development
so they can grow that job into career
those are great things for women but they are also great things for the
community and the great things for the business community to know about was gonna
say is that these partners are actually so much more benefitting themselves just
by getting involved with this organization
that they're helping these young ladies and older ladies but they're also helping
themselves right n
if you're concerned statistics for example
there aren't a lot that show
specifically how many women enter the job force but one
thing we could look at is
welfare to work it's been a fairly
uh... dramatic changed over the last
fifteen years
fifteen to twenty percent of the women who entered the workforce you know
kind of being thrust into it
was still have a job a year later
but if they go through the development with us that rate goes up
seventy five percent will still be employed a year later their credit rating
will have gone up
they have recieved raises or promotions
and many of them have gone back to school for additional training so again
that entry-level job often is not enough to support a woman and help her being fully
self sufficient
now we can help for think long-term can make this step
forward for her. and what a dramatic improvement in the statistics are pretty
impressive and it's also impressive that
the quad cities has dress for success now not every community has this
nowhere in about a hundred fifteen cities pounding and i think twelve or
thirteen countries now
but to even have one here we had to demonstrate like i said that we had
pass because we had to be at least a hundred thousand in our
population had to show some demographics you know poverty in
rate and unemployument rate and also you can't be closer than a hundred miles to
the nearest dress for success so
to be a really strong affiliate dress for success has a framework now that
they've you know expect you to adhere to and we'd fit all the criteria
i know your you're so thankful that people have helped you so far like
royal neighbors pitched in and made sure that you've got clothing and we have
some pictures of that donation as well
tell me you would like to see more donations of
really good quality goods that your women could use now that's true and we
are being fairly selective than what we take we do want to be clean contemporary
on hangers and ready to go
and we are having our first
community suit drive at our location of the united kingdom thing this saturday
from ten am to two pm
we can check our web site for the clothing guidelines and what we're
looking for
usually it's the larger women sizes that we tend to run lower on
and uh...
obviously lightly used shoes and handbags and belts and those kinds of
things that check our website you'll find the guidelines fair you knew i was
going to next is the website really does explain a whole lot for people who are
interested in
getting involved in the organization or benefiting from the organization or
donating to the organizational three are critically important components
are they not
yes they are and
we've been very successful interacting a wide range of interest of volunteers
on some women have worked hard in their careers especially if they're in a
perhaps a male dominated career
and then realy want to connect with that ongoing professional development for her
other women just love to be able to be in that position of helping to suit that
woman when she comes in
she'll go through training will help her
pick out a great outfit
one that looks really really good on her
and so there's a wide variety of ballenger wars that we have
and we have already with our online volunteer application have been able to attract
over a hundred and ninety
people to volunteer with just a successful regina your just getting started i know that
you'll join us a little later on hopefully this year and a
more sure footing but its a great start i would think that your
organization is may already we've really been very very increased by the warm
response coming from the volunteers
but also the funding community scott county regional authority granted us a thirty
thousand dollar grant our first really big re-entry foundation gives a start
up grant
and like you mentioned we are all neighbors and we're looking for more support in
the community and then as we get going
obviously have to move away from grants and then we're going to be looking for good
strong business partnerships women friendly partnerships that want to help
us grow this organization helping it last long
thanks a lot, there is a need
the winter blues may be setting in for some of you even though this season has
been pretty mild
lora adams has some ideas that will get you out and about
when the weather outside is cold and windy curl up with great programming on
or go out and about to winter fun at the wapsi river environmental education
center with everything from a cross-country ski clinic the fifth
annual chili cook off activities in classes begin at nine a_m_
or support performances by nineteen high school show choirs and six middleschool show choirs
suppliers from the midwest region taking place at the adler theater with over
fifteen hundred students participating it's time to hand head out on the town during
the fun filled weekend of discounts during the annual Be a tourist in your
own backyard weekend february seventeenth - twenty
over-fifty quad cities businesses and organizations have issued coupons
and continue through march plus our stages
are really busy with the district leader presenting scenery by ed dickson
beginning february nine scenery tells the story of richard and marion crane two
famous theater actors dealing with their irregular marriage backstage on the
opening night of their long-awaited broadway comeback rave on the night of
rock and roll runs for one night only at circa 21 where members of the
cast of grease as well as the second twenty one bootleggers at a live band
preform fifty-six like right around sue and barracuda
we have another dramatic written by devonport junior theater alumn eileen
bogus is a delightful coming of age tail that follows mia fortuen as she
spent a summer working at playhouse theater
for information on these and other events log on to wqpt dot org
thanks lora the quad cities music gilld is getting ready to hold summer
auditions for its twenty twelve season
you could be part of meet me in st louis dirty rotten scoundrels or hello dolly
music guild president bob williams joining us right now bob how you doing
you've got quite the line up coming up at prospect park
at tryouts what are the people you look at for com we are looking for a anybody
that's a disturbing on stage between the ages of about
fourteen and ninety
uh... this is a versatile season the men and women both uh... we've got a young

character roles we've got adult roles
we've got some grandparent at figures so there's a little bit of
somthing for everybody interested in trying out
fresh talent to new york see some new faces although you have some people have
in a number of productions and fantastic jobs
uh... we just about between under two hundred twenty people ever summer
there and there's no way we could do it with just the body's we've got their so
we'd like to see the people come through on they'll be cast anywhere from the
chorus to the lead depending on the talented and and they're up against so bob
tell me about the singing i mean some the roles are not
singing dependent if you do not a very good singer you could still play a role here
on the market will light auditioned for us because they like to saying that they
consider themselves
shower singers it
so that's what they have of course is a good experience for them
on some of require character voices in so it's not necessarily an operatic
on you don't have to have a strong base to get into some of these
if you get a character if you fit a need then your work in one of our shows well talk
to me about meet me in saint louis is on the first production so it should be
doing in the summer season
it's the classic it's based on the movie that starr judy garland
the rolly song, have yourself a merry little christmas
very family friendly it's got everywhere from tutti who's about eight
years old out through grandpa
who's supposed to be in the seventies and and how many people are in that cast
they're looking casting problems with thirty and thirty five years of this is
a big production this is no small thing
and so your also looking for people behind the scenes as well
we are in all volunteer based organization so everything that's done
whether it be performing on we build all of our own customs we build and paint all of our
own scenery you have to have a stage crew people to hang the lights people to sell hotdogs
and other concessions
you know there's people that they haven't been in production since high
school or college or junior high school
what a great opportunity just uh... step on stage one more time and that's right
and we see some of those
we had somebody come in last year, it was kind of on their bucket list
they wanted to be on stage one last time
dirty rotten scoundrels also the second of the productions
it's all a slightly smaller show it's a contemporary piece but it still has a
cast of about twenty five is that they're looking at
on the it is more
adult friendly so the youngest age they are looking for at auditions i belive
would be sixteen years old that seems to be a show that you can really get some hams
involved in it because the movie at least was over the top and the
stage version is as far over the top
um... with singing and dancing
what made you take this why do you like a dirty rotten scoundrels
uh... it was a successful show when it played on broadway about five six years ago
and we'd like to do contemporary shows not just for audiences
but those are the shows that appeal to a lot of our performers people who do
musicals year after year
they like to be exposed to something new as well its got more contemporary
um... it is more tongue-in-cheek a lot of farce
there's just something new to the community so what's new to the
committee's due to our performers as well so you go from so the contemporary
to something very traditional hello dolly also the last of the summer
uh... performances and then you're talking about the classic american
musical and there's a reason why it won more tony awards than any other musical
in history
on will be looking for about forty people involved in that
is one of the most hummable songs that's ever come out a broadway, isn't that the truth
every song you can sing along with
and so what are you looking for in this production unit the whole
yup the whole nine yards that's a fairly good sized dance show
youve got the
on the waiters gallup just before the big production number hello dolly
got a number that recall dancing
but you've also got a lot of those character parts that don't always then
to go where on the leading males not involved in a lot of the dance
he may be if we get a dancer come through we will certainly adapt
their talents or our vision to the talent that comes through for us is it tought 'cause i mean
you sit there and you think of barbra streisand you think of walter matthau
and you said carol channing which i forgot actually but
a lot of the time to think in a certain characters is a tough to find
uh... an original way of playing these roles that are so indelible in people's
uh... not necessarily i've heard hello dolly done with uh... soprano that
had an operatic voice would just for the opposite of carol channing base
so as long as you're going to have an open mind it's written with a certain
vocal range of benefit that range
but character and personality you wanna make the show your own you dont want to
do a carbon copy of the movie or somebody else's production
and what do you have coming up at the end of march early april you have got
the twenty-fifth annual putnam county spelling bee that's it
and and that's already cast right so you've got a
lot of work to get this on stage right now
and get it ready for the end of march
we have already started work on the set
we have already started work on costumes and props rehersals start on monday
and its going to be produced and on stage at the end of march tickets are available, yes they are
their on our website
or leave our phone number seven six two six six one zero and one of our
volunteers will return your call and sell you some tickets
bob thank you so much for joining us what are you going to have a number of
auditions not only this weekend but the weekend after while it's not this
weekend this weekend is our anual tea to produce the shows
last two weekends in february see got chance to think about it
the access to push your significant other into doing it
you got a chance to actually get involved with uh... music guild, bill i appreciated once
again you can see the twenty fifth
putnam county spelling bee it starting
march twenty ninth
at the prospect park auditorium tickets are fifteen dollars for adults
and ten dollars
for kidsso tis' going to be a great thing that you can take part in
speaking of kids
if your kid has a talent for writing we want to hear from them
the annual wqpt p_b_s_ kids' go writers contest is looking for
it's a great opportunity for kindergarteners through third graders to
show their creativity
we offer a free writers workshops as well
the first one is later this month at the molding public library
two others are set for march in davenport and bettendorf
check out all the details at our website wqpt dot org
also at our website past additions of the city should be checked them out
anytime or watch us here
every thursday and sunday night
as we talk about what's happening
in the cities
production funding for the city's is provided by a grant from the doors to
victor day foundation