News briefs from around the UW System
Regents Lift Suspension on Undergraduate Admissions
The Executive Committee of the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents voted Friday (March 22) to lift the suspension on undergraduate admissions.
Citing assurances of additional funding by Gov. Scott McCallum and the Senate majority, the Executive Committee authorized UW campuses to resume "their admissions processes and enroll up to, but not beyond, their instructional capacity for Fall 2002," according to the resolution it approved.
"The suspension of any further undergraduate admissions was the right thing to do given the uncertainty of the state budget process," said Regent President Jay L. Smith. "But with the funding assurances we have received this week, we can get back to the business of admitting and educating students and maintaining the quality of the UW System."
UW System President Katharine Lyall told Executive Committee members that the university could enroll 5,500 more full-time students if the final budget cut is no more than the $51 million recommended by McCallum in his budget reduction package.
"I urge us to maintain our focus on serving all students we admit well and recalibrate enrollment targets for fall 2003 and beyond, once our final budget is determined," Lyall told the Executive Committee.
In lifting the admissions freeze, the Executive Committee directed Lyall to monitor systemwide enrollments and report their status to the board. The committee said enrollment targets for Fall 2003 "will be reviewed and recalibrated as necessary based on the final UW budget cuts adopted by the Legislature and signed by the Governor," according to the committee's resolution.
Smith said he hoped funding beyond the governor's proposal could be found for the UW budget so that even more students could be admitted.
"Every additional student we can enroll is a plus for the state's economic future," Smith said. "To really help the state out of this economic slump, we should be enrolling more, not fewer, students."
Lyall noted in her remarks to the committee that the admissions freeze was not uniform across the UW System, because some campuses were farther along in the admissions process than others.
A hiring freeze enacted last week is still in effect, Smith said, "to make sure that we do not commit more resources for next year than we are given by the state."
"There was a perception among some that this was a political move by the university. It was not," Smith added. "The real cost of educating these students comes in the personnel costs - the faculty and staff that teach these courses and (other) personnel costs represent roughly 85 percent of our operating budget."
The Board of Regents voted March 8 to suspend any further undergraduate admissions, saying it could not admit more students if it would not have the resources to educate them. The regents' vote followed the Joint Finance Committee's decision to reduce funding by an additional $21.8 million from the university budget. Assembly Republicans then added another $44.6 in cuts, bringing the total proposed reduction in the university budget to about $108 million.
With its vote on March 8, the Board of Regents authorized the Regents Executive Committee to make future decisions on the admissions suspension on behalf of the full board.
The UW System Board of Regents reaffirms its policy of balancing enrollments with available resources to ensure quality and timely education for the students it serves. Based on recent funding assurances by the Governor and Senate majority, and on the recommendation of the UW System President, the Board of Regents authorizes University of Wisconsin institutions to resume their admissions processes and enroll up to, but not beyond, their instructional capacity for fall 2002.
The UW System President is directed to monitor systemwide enrollments and report to the Board of Regents on their status. Enrollment targets for fall 2003 and beyond will be reviewed and recalibrated as necessary based on the final UW System funding adopted by the legislature and signed by the Governor.
Motion: Jay Smith.
Second: Patrick Boyle and Guy Gottschalk.
Lyall outlines budget impacts, possible cuts
Proposed budget cuts for the UW System will enable the university to implement only half of the planned Economic Stimulus Package, according to President Katharine Lyall.
A $51 million reduction in the UW budget proposed by Gov. Scott McCallum would mean the university could admit only 1,200 new students in high-demand fields, down from the original target of 2,600 additional students.
As part of the $41 million Economic Stimulus Package, included in the 2001-03 state budget to help further strengthen Wisconsin's economy, the UW System was planning on admitting these extra students in computer science, biotechnology, bioinformatics, genetics, microbiology and other areas to meet the growing demand by employers in these high-tech fields.
"The Governor's proposal is very challenging, but it lets us continue to contribute more than just budget cuts to Wisconsin's economic future," Lyall says.
The president says the UW System and the Board of Regents would seek to implement the rest of the Economic Stimulus Package in the 2003-05 state budget.
Lyall says other cost-cutting measures could include: slowing new program approvals and focusing on those that advance the economic development, international, and security needs of the state and nation; adjusting the academic calendar to create a longer winter break to save energy costs; seeking additional flexibilities to manage purchasing and telecommunications contracts.
The university has already taken a number of steps to reduce expenses, including: delaying the replacement of a number of non-instructional vacancies that will slow service in administrative areas at UW-Milwaukee and System Administration; freezing the current replacement cycle for desktop computers at UW-Madison, UW-Green Bay and UW- Oshkosh; eliminating funding reserved for smaller spring class sizes for freshmen and sophomores at UW-Madison; reducing professional development funding that helps faculty and staff remain current in their fields at UW- Madison and UW-Eau Claire.
McCallum' s budget proposal would allow the university to increase tuition by 10 percent each year without seeking approval from the Legislature.
NCAA grant funds WIAC sportsmanship study
The Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference is conducting a comprehensive study on sportsmanship and character in sports, funded by a $39,000 grant from the NCAA.
The NCAA study seeks to define appropriate behaviors in a competitive sports setting and shared responsibilities for modeling positive character in sport. All nine UW System institutions that compete in the WIAC are participating by completing surveys to determine current attitudes about sports behavior, and by hosting campus "conversations on character" that will include administrators, coaches, student-athletes, faculty, boosters and sports officials.
It is anticipated that the campus conversations will result in the development of strategies for encouraging positive sports behavior in the WIAC and competitive sports at all levels.
WIAC Commissioner Gary Karner says the conference is pleased that the NCAA agreed to fund this innovative study.
"What we have learned already is that no single seminar, coach, player, brochure, editorial, news story or television documentary alone can make a difference in improving sportsmanship," Karner says. "It takes a concerted effort on the part of individuals, sports organizations, and institutions sending the same message and demonstrating appropriate behaviors that will ultimately have the biggest impact."
Karner says the outcomes of the project will be shared with a variety of sports organizations representing youth, interscholastic, intercollegiate and professional sports across the nation. He expects the study to be completed by June.
The WIAC competes
at the NCAA Division III level and includes UW-Eau Claire, UW- La Crosse,
UW-Oshkosh, UW- Platteville, UW-River Falls, UW- Stevens Point, UW-Stout,
UW- Superior and UW-Whitewater.
Online enrollments up sharply
More and more students are taking advantage of technology to advance their educations, according to UW System officials.
Online enrollments were nearly doubled for the Fall 2001 semester compared to last year, says UW Learning Innovations, the UW System's online support organization.
The increase of more than 400 students last fall will likely bring the total 2001-02 online enrollments close to 3,300, as compared to 2,215 enrollments for all of last year. This is the third consecutive year that UWLI has shown a substantial growth rate in enrollments.
"The increase in online enrollments is really admirable," says UW System President Katharine Lyall. "UWLI and its UW partners are seeing to it that a valuable UW education is now truly available to anybody, anywhere in the world."
In collaboration with its many UW partners, UWLI also has increased the number of course sections being offered every semester, with 67 this past fall as compared to 48 in Fall 2000.
More students apply electronically
Nearly 46,000 prospective students submitted electronic applications for undergraduate admission to the UW System for Fall 2001, an increase of more than 40 percent compared to last year.
Currently, 40 percent of UW System applications are submitted online.
"The huge increase in numbers of online applications validates our commitment to making admission to public higher education in Wisconsin accessible to anyone, anywhere," says Cora Marrett, UW System senior vice president for academic affairs.
The UW System Electronic Application for Undergraduate Admission became available four years ago at apply.wisconsin.edu. It can also be accessed through the Higher Education Location Program (HELP) online at uwhelp.wisconsin.edu.
Foundation grant supports UWM's age-related studies
The largest gift ever received by a UW-Milwaukee school or college will strengthen the university's teaching and research on aging.
The $5 million grant from the Helen Bader Foundation to UWM's School of Social Welfare establishes an endowed chair in gerontology and a Helen Bader Scholarship Fund to assist UWM students in preparing for careers in gerontology and age-related studies. The grant also funds age-related studies and initiatives.
In recognition of the gift and the foundation's support of UWM over the past 10 years, the school has been renamed the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare.
"As a graduate of UWM's School of Social Welfare and a practicing social worker within the Milwaukee community for nearly a decade, Helen Bader worked tirelessly to make Milwaukee a better place to live," says UWM Chancellor Nancy Zimpher.
claims Bomar's name
"This is my Andy Warhol '15 minutes of fame,'" says a modest Charles Bomar, of UW-Stout's biology department. His claim to fame is the "brand spanking new bug species," as he describes it, which has been named after him.
While still working on his Ph.D. at the University of Wyoming, Bomar collected most of the currently available specimens of Boreus bomari while cross-country skiing in the Medicine Bow National Forest with his wife, Julie Keown-Bomar, of Stout's social studies department.
"I knew immediately when I saw the bug that it was nothing I had seen before. I was very familiar with this family of insects, so I collected and identified a number of them," explains Bomar, whose research involves using grasshoppers and other insects to compare remnant and restored/reconstructed prairies.
New specimens are not commonly named after the people who discover them. Generally, taxonomists name them for a specific characteristic or for the area in which they were found.
"I had proposed several other names for the specimen, including lincolni-because I found it at the base of the Lincoln Monument," says Bomar.
According to Bomar, B. bomari is unusual because it is a winter insect that scampers across the snow. The female insect measures approximately one-quarter inch. The male is half that length. This particular insect is not found in Wisconsin, but two other closely related winter species dwell in the state, Boreus brumalis and Boreus nivoriundis.
A newly created $1 million endowment will boost geography education in Wisconsin through UW-Eau Claire's Wisconsin Geographic Alliance.
The endowment is funded by the National Geographic Society and the State of Wisconsin. NGS is matching the state's one-time $500,000 contribution from the 2001-03 biennial budget. Wisconsin is one of only 20 states to qualify for endowment funds by matching the National Geographic monies to support geography education in primary and secondary schools.
All endowment income will funnel through the WIGA, says Richard Palm, associate professor of geography at UW-Eau Claire and WIGA coordinator. Housed at UW-Eau Claire, WIGA is a 12-year-old non-profit educational partnership of the state's K-12 teachers, college geographers and educators, school administrators and other concerned citizens.
UW-Parkside and UW-Whitewater are partnering to meet the educational language needs of minority children in Racine and Kenosha.
The UW System campuses are part of the Southeastern Wisconsin Excellence in Education Through Community Training Project II. The project has received a five-year, $1 million training grant from the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Language Affairs.
The grant is intended to help the Racine and Kenosha unified school districts address the needs of Limited English proficient students by developing additional English as a Second Language teachers. According to census data, the Latino/Hispanic population in Racine and Kenosha is one of the fastest growing in the state, says Esther Letven, UW- Parkside associate vice chancellor for extended services.
"The school districts in the area are struggling to stay ahead of the need for ESL teachers," Letven says. "We don't have an ESL certification program here at Parkside, so it made perfect sense for us to partner with UW-Whitewater, which does have one."
The majority of the grant funding will be used to provide stipends to assist non-certified Bilingual/ESL educators in earning college credit that could lead to ESL certification, says Richard Lee, dean of graduate studies, continuing education and summer session at UW-Whitewater. Courses will be offered at UW- Parkside or via distance learning technology on both campuses.
Other partners include Gateway Technical College, Racine Unified Schools, Kenosha Unified Schools, CESA II, the United Migrant Opportunity Services, Inc. and the Statewide Literacy Council. The grant is the second in a series of three for UW-Whitewater, totaling more than $3 million, to address the needs of minority language students.
The UW System Board of Regents in November deferred implementing use of a state high school graduation test for admissions purposes.
The board's action defers a previous decision to implement the test for admissions, pending the development and evaluation of the test as a useful tool aiding admissions decisions and predicting college success. The decision also allows time for the resolution of questions relating to equitable treatment of all applicants to the UW System.
Questions had been raised about treatment of students from other states, returning adult students, students whose parents opt out of the testing program, students with learning disabilities, and schools that develop their own tests.
Since the board's decision, Gov. Scott McCallum has proposed cutting funding for test development, placing the test's future in doubt.
UW System General Counsel Elizabeth Rindskopf Parker has been named dean of the McGeorge School of Law at the University of the Pacific.
"Elizabeth Rindskopf Parker is a nationally recognized attorney with experience at the highest levels of government, university and private practice," says Donald V. DeRosa, president of the University of the Pacific, located in northern California.
Rindskopf Parker joined the UW System in 1999 and has been responsible for legal issues in administering the 26-campus institution. She serves on the American Bar Association's national task force on laws against terrorism, and has also served on the Wisconsin Technology Council.
Before coming to Wisconsin, Rindskopf Parker was of counsel with the firm of Bryan Cave LLP in Washington, D.C., and she also served as general counsel for the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency.
UW System President Katharine Lyall congratulated Rindskopf Parker on her new position and praised her work with the UW System, specifically her role in the area of technology transfer.
Rindskopf Parker was instrumental in establishing WiSys, a subsidiary of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation to patent and license inventions created at UW institutions except for UW-Madison.
"Elizabeth has taken the Office of General Counsel to a new level, and the UW System will benefit from her legal insight and experience for years to come," Lyall says.
Rindskopf Parker was expected to leave the UW System at the end of February and begin her new position in late April.
David W. Olien
Those who work with David W. Olien know he is a tireless champion of higher education. Now he has been formally recognized as one of the top university advancement professionals in the nation.
Olien, senior vice president for administration for the UW System, has been named the 2001 recipient of the Marvin D. "Swede" Johnson Achievement Award. The Johnson Award is the only national award recognizing higher education state relations officers for their dedication to advancing the needs of colleges and universities.
Olien received the award in November from the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), and the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC).
Olien joined the UW System in 1993 as vice president for university relations, with responsibility for government relations and public affairs. In 1997 he was promoted to senior vice president for administration. Before coming to Wisconsin, Olien spent 14 years with the University of Illinois, including four years in legislative relations, three years in development, and seven years as executive assistant to the president.
In addition to his contributions in Wisconsin and Illinois, Olien helped establish the annual State Relations Conference (co-hosted by CASE, NASULGC, AASCU and AACC) to bring together state relations professionals from around the country. According to CASE, Olien's "awareness early on of the professional needs of state relations officers has shown him to be one of the most forward- thinking and enterprising executives in higher education."
Bjarne Ullsvik, the man who led UW-Platteville for 17 years and was considered an institution at the school, died in December.
Ullsvik became president of Wisconsin State College-Platteville in 1958 and managed the merger with the Wisconsin Institute of Technology. The school later was named Wisconsin State University-Platteville. When it became UW-Platteville in 1971, with the UW System merger, Ullsvik was named chancellor.
He retired in 1975 after overseeing an enrollment increase to 4,000 students from 1,300. Ullsvik also supervised the construction of 20 major university buildings, and the student center on campus is named after him. Upon retirement as chancellor, Ullsvik taught math part-time at UW-Platteville, worked with the UW-Platteville Foundation and was appointed by Gov. Lee Sherman Dreyfus to the Wisconsin Judicial Commission.
Current UW-Platteville Chancellor David Markee says the university family will miss him.
"Dr. Ullsvik loved this university and was a keen observer of the growth and development, leading it through its most significant growth," Markee says. "He was known as a very committed, involved and warm individual with his students. Upon his retirement, he has stayed actively involved in university activities."
Ullsvik was preceded in death by his wife, Lucille, and is survived by three children.
Regent President Jay L. Smith (left) presents Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen with a resolution at the December Board of Regents meeting. The resolution, adopted last fall, thanks the state Legislature and Gov. Scott McCallum for their assistance with the 2001-03 biennial budget. Assisting with the presentation are UW System President Katharine Lyall and Regent Fred Mohs (far right). Jay Salvo.
Three UW System campuses have been recognized for their diversity achievements by the State Council on Affirmative Action and the Wisconsin Department of Employment Relations.
UW-Parkside has received the special achievement award for its efforts to employ more minorities and women in faculty, academic staff and classified staff positions. Of 17 faculty hires last year, five were minorities and four were women, according to UW-Parkside. And five of seven minorities hired last year for visiting professor or instructor-level positions have been promoted to tenure-track jobs, according to campus officials.
This is the second time that UW-Parkside has received a diversity award from DER and the Council on Affirmative Action.
UW-Madison and UW-Eau Claire received awards for specific program merit, a new and expanded category. UW-Madison won for its Division Level Representatives Program, which educates employees on disability services and managing employee disability issues. UW-Eau Claire won for its recruiting and outreach in the Hmong community.
Seventeen women of color in the UW System have been recognized for their extensive contributions to their campuses and communities.
The Women of Color Award, established in 1994, is coordinated by the UW System Women's Studies Consortium and the Offices of Multicultural Affairs and Women's Issues. The award acknowledges the ties and shared concerns among administrators, faculty, staff, and students within women's studies and ethnic studies. The award also upholds a continuing commitment to the UW System's 10-year diversity initiative, known as Plan 2008: Educational Quality through Racial and Ethnic Diversity.
The 2001 Conference Women of Color honorees are Cheryl Ajirotutu, UW-Milwaukee; Rosa Canales, UW-Extension (Milwaukee County); Michele Gee, UW-Parkside; Renee Gralewicz, UW Colleges; Freda Harris, UW System; Tsu-gein Lin, UW System; Li-Chin (Crystal) Huang, UW- Stout; Jane Lynch, UW-Green Bay; Maiknue Moua, UW-Eau Claire; Esther Ofulue, UW- Platteville; Nelia Olivencia, UW-Whitewater; Erlinda Reyes, UW-Stevens Point; Barbara Stewart, UW-La Crosse; Saroj Thekkanath, UW-Oshkosh; Yvonne (Ivy) Vaino, UW-Superior; Lisa White, UW-River Falls; Ada Deer, UW-Madison.
The awards ceremony was part of the 26th Annual Women's Studies Conference at UW- Waukesha in November. Biographies of the honorees and photographs of the Women of Color Event 2001 are available at www.uwsa.edu/acadaff/womens/events/woc/woc.htm.
Several UW System faculty and doctoral students have received grants to support and encourage teaching and research initiatives in international business education from the Center for International Business Education and Research. Housed at UW-Madison, CIBER has awarded nearly $200,000 through its semi-annual grants competition.
The Fall 2001 grant winners are Hollis Ashbaugh and Ryan LaFond, Department of Accounting and Information Systems, UW-Madison; Jinsook Cho-Che, Department of Marketing, UW-Madison; Peter Hoff, Department of Languages and Literature, UW-Whitewater; Sung S. Kim, Department of Operations and Information Management, UW-Madison; Thomas Lacksonen, Department of Industrial Management, UW- Stout; Junko Mori, Department of East Asian Languages and Literature, UW-Madison; Louis Nzegwu, Executive Director, International Business Resource Center, UW-Platteville; Manuel Ossers, Department of Languages and Literature, UW-Whitewater; Kevin Rottet, Department of Languages and Literature, UW- Whitewater; Balakuntalam S. Sridhar, Department of Management and Human Resources, UW-Oshkosh; Alex Stajkovic, Department of Management and Human Resources, UW-Madison.
The next CIBER grant competition will take place in this spring. Deadline is April 1. Visit www. wisc.edu/ciber under the "faculty development" menu for more information.
System energy initiatives save money, attract attention
According to a report published by the U.S. Department of Energy, UW-Whitewater is among the nation's best when it comes to campus energy conservation. The 2000 report collected data from 180 universities on key energy performance indices, such as energy costs per square foot of campus and costs per student. The report ranked UW-Whitewater's "energy use index" as the fourth lightest overall, based on 1997-98 figures.
And in a recently released report by the National Wildlife Federation, UW-River Falls is ranked as one of 14 colleges and universities nationwide especially committed to energy conservation and a national leader in reducing energy consumption. The report was based on results of the first national survey on environmental initiatives at U.S. institutions of higher learning.
UW-Sheboygan, meanwhile, is installing a package of energy-conserving improvements as part of the Wisconsin Energy Initiative, a state-sponsored performance-contracting program. The project is expected to save about $25,000 each year through new direct digital controls on air handling equipment, an automated building management system for heating and cooling, and upgrades to energy-efficient lighting.
At UW-Whitewater, the university has cut its energy costs by purchasing steam exhaust from the Cogentrix power plant for its heating and cooling systems. The campus also has recently invested nearly $1 million in energy-saving upgrades. Building systems are monitored for lighting, heating and cooling conditions, and all newer buildings have lighting schedules, gauges for lighting levels and a fiber optic network regulating heating and cooling systems.
At UW-River Falls, the university has instituted a number of methods for conserving resources. The campus heats and cools spaces only when needed, uses higher-efficiency lights that consume less energy, and installed variable frequency drives that allow air circulation handlers to run more efficiently. UW-River Falls also uses electronic controls in many buildings to regulate temperatures and has insulated pipes, steam lines and other equipment to reduce energy loss.
UW-Stout leads the UW System in lowest energy consumption per gross square footage of buildings. Overall, the UW System is saving nearly $3.7 million annually in energy costs through the investments and projects that are part of the Wisconsin Energy Initiative.