Staff Opinion Then:
Don Harden said that staff and faculty opinions varied during his time at UWGB. Some were excited about athletics and gave their support for the change to division one that happened in 1981 and 1982, others did not.
The supporters of the switch from Division Two to Division One understood the benefits that it would bring to the university. Harden hoped that this change would increase visibility for the campus and eventually create a stronger identity for the university as a whole.
Don stated that the individuals who did not support athletics or the change from Division One to Division Two were concerned that to many resources were being allocated to athletics and not the university as a whole. These people did not understand that then athletics generated more publicity in a year than any other aspect of the university.
From this interview we are able to see the differentiating opinions that were circulating about athletics during the early years at the university.
Staff Opinion Today:
An interview with the current athletic director Mary Ellen Gillespie gave a lot of insight into the staff opinion towards athletics today. Gillespie stated that she believes staff and faculty at UWGB “are more supportive then some of the other institutions I have been at.” There are a few reasons for this. One is that our university is a lot smaller than most Division One institutions which allows an opportunity for student athletes to build better relationships with professors. The second reason why the faculty and staff are supportive of athletics today is because student athletes at UWGB outperform general students in the classroom. Gillespie stated that this combination fosters a large amount of support for athletics from the staff and faculty at UWGB.
Although it did not happen all at once, there has been a gradual change in the staff and faculty opinion towards athletics throughout the last 46 years. Today, in 2015, many more staff and faculty members understand the importance of having a Division One athletic program.