Dr. Art Munin
Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Dean of Students
When my kids were born, the overwhelming nature of waking up and being a parent is amazing. But, then to have two of these things! I was at DePaul University, then, and my boss was great. I support every family making the decisions they need to make, but I overtly challenge dads to take FMLA. I took my full 12 weeks of FMLA to be home with my kids…because I wanted to be; I wanted that. You so rarely are going to have the opportunity to in your life and my boss was supportive. I’ll be honest, there were colleagues that were not and told me that they thought that I was putting an imposition on them. Because when you leave your job, other people have to cover you. And, I remember having a conversation with them and saying, “Would you say that to a mom taking time off? Why is it somehow less than that I am taking time off? This means a lot to me; I want this time home with my kids.” And so, I felt very supported and when I interviewed here [UW Oshkosh], I can tell you that was something I directly dug in on…for example, if my kids need me, I am leaving. Right? I want to work in a place that supports me in being a person and not just a job.
At my core, I am a humanist. I love people; that is why I got into counseling. I love stories and there is just an incredible beauty in exposing yourself to stories and cultures. When I started playing guitar, I learned how to play guitar by learning the blues and that exposed me to cultures and stories. That is one thing I challenge my kids on and other people. It bothers me when people say they hate a brand of music. Music is twelve notes, there are only twelve notes, and we’re all using those notes in different ways to tell stories. It is just another lens of diversity. So, to say that you hate country, or you hate rap, or R&B, or whatever it is, rock, it’s just an expression of culture using those notes differently.
UWO is far from perfect, but I am energized to work here because I genuinely feel like people are trying. We live in a society that is rampant with discrimination, bias, hate; you name it and that bleeds onto campus, carried onto campus. But there are efforts made here, that by no means are a magic wand, but are meaningful to people’s lives and that energizes me. There is still more that needs to be done, but that keeps me energized to come back.