President Cross raises the bar on UW System’s remedial education (Aug 22, 2014)

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August 22, 2014

University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents
August Meeting
Day Two News Summary

August 2014 Day 2

President Cross raises the bar on UW System’s remedial education

OSHKOSH, Wis.University of Wisconsin System President Ray Cross today called for the University to raise the bar on its efforts to help college students who require remedial coursework to complete that work and succeed.

Addressing the Board of Regents at its Friday meeting in Oshkosh, Cross spelled out two ambitious goals for the University to address in the next five years. First, the University must help to reduce the number of incoming students who require remedial math coursework. Second, the University also must ensure that students who do require remedial education work in college actually complete it and in a timely fashion.

Four UW institutions – UW-La Crosse, UW-Parkside, UW-Milwaukee, and UW Colleges – shared insights at Friday’s meeting on the different needs on their respective campuses as well as different approaches being used to address the issue.

“This is a step in a positive direction,” said Regent Tim Higgins.

Access to success for Native Americans

Regent Ed Manydeeds, drawing on his own personal experience, called on the Board to become more involved in growing outreach efforts with Wisconsin’s tribal nations.  “We owe it to these people to have the chance to be educated,” Manydeeds said. “Their young people need our help.”

La Vonne Cornell-Swanson, a senior academic planner with UW System, put the need in context. She noted that only eight out of every 100 Native American high school graduates go on to earn a college degree from a UW System institution.  She added that while students of color make up 13.3% of undergraduate enrollment, Native American students account for just 0.4% overall. UW System has about half the Native American enrollment of the Wisconsin Technical College System.

“We need to build relationships with Wisconsin’s tribal nations,” Cornell Swanson said. She cited UW-Green Bay’s First Nation Fusion Program as a successful educational model.

“A partnership with Wisconsin’s tribal nations is about more than student success in higher education,” said President Cross. “It’s also about health and economic development in the state of Wisconsin – which are main focuses of the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council.”
Tribal leaders have been invited to present to the Board at its October meeting at UW-Stevens Point.


President of the Board's report

Regent President Mike Falbo updated the Board on recent visits he made to Washington, D.C., with President Cross and Associate Vice President Kris Andrews to meet with Wisconsin’s congressional delegation.

In addition to questions about access, affordability, and student debt, legislators asked about Title IX and how campuses prevent and respond to sexual misconduct on campus, Falbo said. They also asked about UW’s Flexible Option program, he added, noting that it received unanimous support from the delegation.

“Our delegation also had other issues on their minds – financial literacy, and addressing the skills gap, especially in our rural areas of Wisconsin and attending to the needs of urban Milwaukee,” Falbo said.


Christy Cazzola is joined by Interim Chancellor Petra Roter before Cazzola’s remarks to the full UW System Board of Regents at its meeting on Aug. 22 in the UW-Oshkosh Alumni Welcome and Conference Center.
(Click on photo for larger image.)

UW System President's report 

Among his report on news from around the UW System, Cross noted that UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank has joined the Council on Competitiveness, a nonpartisan, nongovernmental organization that seeks to generate public policy solutions to drive the United States’ economic growth.

President Cross also saluted Christy Cazzola, a recent UW-Oshkosh graduate, in his regular Student Spotlight. Cazzola, a non-traditional student with two children, earned a 3.40 GPA while earning her bachelor’s degree in secondary education – and while claiming multiple honors as a top-ranked track and cross-country athlete.

Addressing the Board, Cazzola expressed her gratitude for the many opportunities, both academic and athletic, she experienced during her years at UW-Oshkosh. “I’ve been able to make a self that I would never have imagined when I first stepped on campus,” she said.

See UW-Oshkosh article:

Track and cross country champ, academic star… mom: Cazzola in Regents’ spotlight


Tornado Update from UW-Platteville
UW-Platteville Chancellor Dennis Shields and Robert Cramer, vice chancellor for administrative services, provided Regents with an update on the campus’ recovery from tornado damage on June 16. “The disaster planning and preparation that started three years ago has paid off,” Cramer said.


from left: President Cross, Chancellor Wells, and Regent President Falbo
Chancellor Wells (center) receives a resolution of appreciation from the Board of Regents. Also pictured: President Cross (left) and Regent President Falbo.
(Click on photo for larger image.)

In other business, the Board of Regents:

  • Recognized the service and accomplishments of outgoing Chancellor Richard Wells of UW-Oshkosh, and presented him with a resolution of appreciation;
  • Approved a resolution of appreciation recognizing UW-Oshkosh for hosting the Board’s August meeting;
  • Approved UW-La Crosse’s request for authority to construct the Parking Ramp-Phase II project;
  • Approved UW-Platteville’s request for authority to increase the budget and construct the Residence Hall Renovation-Phase I project;
  • Approved UW System’s request for approval of three All Agency Maintenance and Repair projects with an estimated total cost of $3,185,000 at UW-Stevens Point and two UW Colleges campuses;
  • Approved UW-Madison’s M.S. in Biomedical Informatics;
  • Approved a revised proffer of $7,853,718 for UW-Madison from the Trustees of the William F. Vilas Trust Estate;
  • Approved UW-Stout’s request for an addendum to its mission, last revised in 2010;
  • Approved an amendment to UW-Madison’s existing contractual agreement with Crown Castle NG Central LLC for Distributed Antenna System for Cellular Services;
  • Approved a five-year services agreement wherein the UW-Madison Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences will perform certification and analysis services to INC Research, LLC;
  • Approved a 2½-year agreement services agreement wherein the UW-Madison Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences will provide web interface, technical support and other services to Chengdu Kanghong Biotechnology Co., Ltd.

Photo credit: UW-Oshkosh Photo Services

The UW System Board of Regents will next meet on Oct. 9-10, 2014, at UW-Stevens Point.

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Related: Watch webcast | Read August 21 (day 1) news summary