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Thompson and Henderson bid farewell to Warhawks

As of Monday, April 4, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater witnessed an interim chancellor quit, who weeks earlier was noted by outgoing University of Wisconsin President Tommy Thompson as an asset to education.

Thompson visited UW Whitewater on March 7 for his farewell address in the University Center Hamilton Room with Interim Chancellor Jim Henderson.

“I had the opportunity to appoint Jim Henderson and name him chancellor,” Thompson said during his farewell speech. “He turned me down the first time I asked him to do something, and I was a little peeved.”

Thompson, despite being peeved, thanked Henderson for his work during the pandemic and his role, while chuckling about his Warhawk shuffle.

Henderson followed Thompson out the door roughly one month later. Henderson, standing abreast before his computer, chose the action of resigning and leaving Warhawks in the 11th hour scrambling to replace him.

Henderson’s email addressed his stance regarding his three goals stating:

  • One of my three goals for my time as interim chancellor has been to help this campus hire the best chancellor possible who will be here for the long term. 
  • Over the past few days, it has become clear to me that I cannot make progress on that goal. 
  • Given that, I feel that it is in both the best interest of UW-Whitewater and me personally that I resign my position as interim chancellor, and I have submitted my resignation effective at the end of the day today. 

Henderson’s resignation left the entire Warhawk nation scratching their heads stepping back in a perplexed manner after witnessing the D.B. Cooper approach through a bizarre email. Henderson’s email came at a time when the campus was under Thompson’s impression everything was solid.

The eerie and awkward silence amongst campus classrooms, in the wake of fear and loathing during the interim, contemplates the chain of events amongst Warhawk nation during pre-class discussion.

Prior to Henderson closing out his last order of business as chancellor, he presented Thompson with an honorary Warhawk jersey followed by a meet and greet. Henderson’s last words in the form of email solidify an ongoing dilemma regarding the curse of the Warhawk chancellor with shock and awe followed by faculty wondering how to lead students into the next interim phase.

“I have greatly enjoyed my time with you. I so admire all of you and what you are accomplishing for the students at both the Whitewater and Rock County campuses,” Henderson’s email to Warhawks shared.  “I wish you the best going forward and thank you all for the incredible support that you’ve given me over the past 9 months.”

Despite Thompson’s appraisal, Henderson’s farewell did not provide laughter and a meet and greet like Thompson’s did.

Bradley J. Burt serves the Dane County community as an American Legion Dane County Service Officer. Burt assists those in crisis with his multimedia reporter service as a blogger to distribute virtual information at his Social Media Writing final project called "Outpost 422." Burt returned as a Wisconsin State Certified Journey worker after finding out he could receive 39 credits for his journey worker certificate. The Technical Studies Journey Worker Associate's Degree helped him transfer to the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where he received a waiver. The waiver allowed him to pursue the field of journalism bypassing general education requirements. In 2014, Burt uncovered information about the Wisconsin G.I. Bill as a Veterans Committee Chairperson. Burt joined the American Legion to investigate benefits further. After being elected to Service Officer in 2015, Burt began noticing college benefit opportunities in Wisconsin. In 2017, Burt left his job due to physical limitations from his military service-connected injuries. ​ The Wisconsin G.I. Bill became his life preserver. Burt returned to school to survive unemployability while waiting in appeal for VA benefit denial. Being a Service Officer taught him how to find resources to survive appeal. After interviewing Sgt. Gary Brynjulfson from "The Reflections of Vietnam" and reading Tim O'Brien's "The Things They Carried," Burt decided to develop a therapeutic writing style to help him cope with anxiety. Outpost 422 developed and journalism became his pursuit. ​ Burt works as an American Legion Service Officer who is surviving by going back to school and writing about his college experience. Burt's portfolio is his passion to pay forward to the next struggling veteran to offer avenues of hope to encourage veterans to try going back to school no matter where they are in life.

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