LA CROSSE, Wis. – A key part of the University of Wisconsin System budget request for 2019-21 is focused on capacity-building proposals. These initiatives are designed to increase student success and output, with an emphasis on addressing the state’s workforce needs.
To grow capacity will require additional investments in faculty, support staff, or facilities, to be able to enroll more students and produce more graduates in high-demand fields.
“Targeted investments in our institutions will lead to more graduates in key fields like math, science and health care and economic growth in our communities,” said Regent President John Robert Behling, an Eau Claire resident and UW-River Falls graduate. “These western Wisconsin universities, and the Capacity-Building Initiatives they presented, offer great promise to how they can move our state forward.”
At Friday’s Board of Regents meeting, four Chancellors – UW-Eau Claire Chancellor Jim Schmidt , UW-La Crosse Chancellor Joe Gow, UW-River Falls Chancellor Dean Van Galen, and UW-Superior Chancellor Renée Wachter – provided a closer look at the initiatives being proposed by their campuses.
- See UW System Dec. 7 news release
The Board previously heard from UW-Milwaukee, UW-Oshkosh, UW-Parkside, and UW-Stout about their capacity-building proposals at the October meeting. The final round of presentations will take place in February.
Rob Cramer, Vice President for Administration, and Carleen Vande Zande, Associate Vice President, provided an update on UW System’s Restructuring initiative.
About 100 students, faculty, administrators and UW System officials met with members of the Higher Learning Commission in Madison earlier this month. The HLC heard updates on enrollments, budgets, program transition, personnel, course offerings and other aspects of the restructuring. Officials also discussed the challenges of providing student support services at the branch campuses.
“We feel confident the focused visit was successful due to the high level of engagement by our receiving institutions who are well on their way to completing the activities associated with Phase 1 of the restructuring project,” Vande Zande said.
She also said some of the receiving institutions will move programs to the branch campuses “to serve the needs of the region and the communities where the branch campuses are located.”
President Ray Cross applauded Vande Zande, Cramer and other System employees working on the restructuring project and said the HLC reviewers were “blown away” by the detailed and comprehensive reports. Regent Regina Millner added that reviewers were impressed by the team’s “honesty” about the challenges, as well as the opportunities.
In response to a question from Regent Janice Mueller about the risks involved in restructuring, Vande Zande said the reviewers didn’t identify risks but said student support services will need ongoing attention. UW System President Ray Cross also identified the budget as it relates to improving student support services at the two-year campuses and the continuity of programs.
As part of his regular report to the Regents, President Cross introduced Britney Trybula, a senior at UW-La Crosse studying Biomedical Sciences with a minor in Psychology, for his Student Spotlight. Along with being a full-time student and a teaching assistant for the anatomy and physiology class that works with cadavers, Trybula works at Gundersen Tri-State Ambulance in the region where she practices a variety of the skills she’s learned at UWL.
She is also looking to improve the safety of the community with a new initiative she’s spearheading at UWL and other community partners, Stop the Bleed, which trains non-medical personnel on how to prevent bleeding during emergency situations prior to the arrival of first responders. She has worked with emergency room nurses, doctors and emergency-response personnel.
News from Around the UW System
President Cross’s News from Around the UW System video included UW-La Crosse’s It Make$ Cents! financial literacy program which contributes to UWL students being near the top nationally for paying back their student loans. UWL’s excellent job placement rates contribute to high five-year repayment rates for Pell Grant recipients. Eighty-two percent of students paid toward their loan principal five years later.
- See the full December 2018 News Around the UW System
In other business, the Board of Regents:
- Approved a resolution of appreciation for UW-La Crosse’s hosting of the December 2018 Board of Regents meeting;
- Approved an agreement with EAB (Educational Assistance Board) to provide predictive analytics and student support tools for UW System institutions;
- Approved UW-Madison’s five-year Master Sponsored Research Agreement with Johnson Controls, Inc.;
- Approved changes to the bylaws of the UW System Board of Regents related to the administration of UW Trust Funds. The changes seek to clarify the role of the Business and Finance Committee and UW System Trust Officers now that the State of WI Investment Board (SWIB) manages investment activity for those funds;
- Approved the rescission of five Regent Policy Documents related to the management of UW Trust Funds;
- Approved rescission and replacement of the Regent policy on the public records management;
- Approved rescission and replacement of the Regent policy on the granting of emeritus status;
- Approved rescission of the Regent policy which addresses the University Insurance Association because the policy has been deemed to not meet the standards and protocols for a Regent Policy Document;
- Rescinded a Regent policy relating to the collection and administration of a mandatory refundable fee for certain inter-institutional UW System student organizations. In 2013, State law was changed to disallow collection of such a mandatory fee by the Board of Regents which renders the Regent policy obsolete;
- Approved tuition changes for non-resident, graduate and professional programs at UW-Madison. The requested changes will keep these tuition rates below or in line with rates at peer institutions ensuring that the institution continues to provide an excellent value in higher education. Note: no changes are being sought for resident undergraduate tuition rates through these requests;
- Approved changes to senior executive salary ranges 1-8 to bring them up to date with the currently available market data. The ranges were last updated in October 2013;
- Approved UW-Stevens Point’s request to the fifth UW Institution with campus level procedures related to Financial Emergency or Program Discontinuance Requiring Faculty Layoff and Termination;
- Approved the Physical Therapy Doctorate at UW-Stevens Point through the College of Professional Studies, School of Healthcare Professions;
- Approved the UW-Green Bay proposal to establish a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in Writing and Applied Arts;
- Approved UW-Milwaukee’s request for an M.A. in African and African Diaspora Studies;
- Approved UW-Milwaukee’s request for a Clinical Doctorate in Occupational Therapy;
- Approved granting UW-Milwaukee authority to construct the $7.7 million Northwest Quadrant Student Health Services Remodel Project and approval to waive Regent Policy 19-8 to allow the use of segregated fees for the funding of improved student health services facilities;
- Approved UW-Milwaukee’s request for approval to demolish Northwest Quadrant Building A as part of the Northwest Quadrant Renovation project;
- Approved UW-Platteville’s request for authority to construct the Boebel Hall Addition and Renovation – Phase II project;
- Approved UW-Stout’s request for authority to increase the budget of the Price Commons First Floor Renovation project;
- Approved UW System’s request for authority to increase the budget of the UW-River Falls Dairy Plant Remodel project;
- Approved UW System’s request for authority to construct three maintenance and repair projects, including facility maintenance and utility repair at UW-Madison and programmatic renovation at UW-River Falls;
- Approved UW System’s request for authority to execute the remainder of the design contract and construct the UW-Madison Biochemistry Building Loading Dock Renovation project;
- Approved UW System’s request for authority to execute the remainder of the design contract and construct the UW-Madison Engineering Hall Plaza Entrance project;
- Approved UW System’s request for authority to execute the remainder of the design contract and construct the UW-Madison Primate Center Backup Generator Project;
- Approved UW-Madison’s request for authority to construct the UW-Extension Lowell Hall Floors 2-4 Renovation Project;
- Approved UW System’s request for authority to execute the remainder of the design contract and construct the UW-Extension Upham Woods Administration Building Replacement Project; and
- Approved UW System’s request for authority to renew leases for University of Wisconsin System Administration; this provides for the renewal of two leases of office space in Madison, Wisconsin at 780 Regent Street and 660 West Washington Avenue.
Photos by Michael Lieurance/UW-La Crosse
The UW System Board of Regents’ next meeting will be February 7-8, 2019, at UW-Madison.