June 7, 2002 Agenda Item I.1.f.

UW System Strategic Plan for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention Initiatives

Executive Summary

According to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, alcohol consumption is the greatest single problem that American universities must address. While the level of concern with alcohol abuse at the national level is high, recent data suggest that this problem is more acute in Wisconsin than in other states.

The UW System has long-standing concerns about alcohol and other drug abuse. In October 1984, President Robert O’Neil created a UW System Advisory Committee on Alcohol Education. More recently, in September 1998, the first UW System AODA Symposium was held with an emphasis on the development of broad institutional coalitions to develop plans for the reduction of heavy episodic drinking. A direct outcome was the creation of a UW System AODA Committee to consider how UW System institutions can best work together to address AODA issues.

In May 2001, the AODA Committee reported on its activities to the Board of Regents and recommended replacing current AODA policy with a new policy, titled Principles for Developing Alcohol Policies and Programs at UW System Institutions. For its subsequent work, the AODA Committee set the development of a UW System AODA strategic plan as a priority. The plan, which is contained in this document, is based on the principles contained in the newly adopted policy document. It also proposes steps for the implementation of the uniform reporting process requested by the regents.

Requested Action
Approval of Resolution I.1.f., accepting and endorsing the UW System Strategic Plan For Alcohol And Other Drug Abuse Prevention Initiatives.

Summary and Highlights

Strategic Goals
The plan sets goals at the campus, UW System, and state levels; specific objectives for each goal are included. For example, at the campus level, Goal 1 is to “Engage the greater university community in addressing AODA issues,” and an accompanying objective indicates that the Office of the Chancellor will assume leadership of a campus AODA coalition that includes representation from all campus governance groups and constituencies. At the UW System level, Goal 4 is to “Coordinate systemwide AODA initiatives,” and an accompanying objective is for UW System to develop mechanisms for the dissemination of best practices, research, and other AODA program information. At the state level, Goal 8 is to “Provide leadership for collaboration with other state and community agencies, organizations and institutions,” with an accompanying objective to ensure reciprocal representation between the UW System AODA Committee and other AODA entities.

Recognizing the importance of a common assessment plan, the UW Board of Regents passed a resolution calling for a uniform assessment strategy for AODA programs across the UW System. The UW System AODA Committee is developing a common survey instrument and administration plan that will be ready for pilot testing in Fall 2002. This process will establish a baseline level of student alcohol and drug use throughout the UW System, the degree to which students’ lives are affected by this abuse, and the factors that contribute to substance abuse. This baseline information will then be later used to determine if the level of overall use and abuse has decreased and whether certain prevention efforts have made any significant difference.

This uniform assessment plan is intended to supplement and not replace existing campus assessment initiatives. Each institution has a different population of students that requires different approaches to AODA prevention. Existing campus assessment plans are tailored to measure the specific populations and prevention efforts developed by the institution. However, there is still much to be gained by looking at data measuring usage levels and prevention efforts on a uniform systemwide basis.

In an effort to implement the recommendations called for in this strategic plan, the UW System AODA Committee endorses initiatives to add AODA FTE support. UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee, and the UW Colleges should be brought to 2.0 FTE, and all other UW institutions should be brought to 1.0 FTE. Additional resources at the System level would include a 1.0 FTE for coordination, sufficient supplies and expenses for systemwide AODA programming efforts, and the development and implementation of a uniform assessment process.

In order to address the enormity of AODA related issues, it is critical that new prevention strategies be developed and tested to determine their potential impact on reducing alcohol and drug abuse. The AODA Committee recommends that external sources of funding be sought to provide the necessary resources to conduct AODA-related research activities at UW System institutions.