This is Associate Vice President Kathi Sell’s final Regents meeting. After 25 years of state budgeting — 20 of them with UWSA — she is stepping into a different role as a faculty member at UW-Madison’s ILS program. We will all miss her greatly! By my count, Kathi has helped our campuses move deftly through the development of 10 biennial budget requests, 20 annual budgets, and 4 midyear budget recessions. She has made countless campus visits, worked with numerous DOA budget analysts and team leaders, and generally been a wise observer of the budget process. Not once have I seen her take her eye off our core mission — to serve students. And not once have I seen her willing to cut corners on accuracy, integrity, or hard work. She is widely respected within the UW System, in state government, and in national higher education circles. She has earned the pleasure of working full time with students in the classroom and they are fortunate to have her there.

Kathi is an inveterate lover of books, so I want to share with her Winston Churchill’s advice:

“What shall I do with all my books? Read them . . . But if you cannot read them, at any rate handle them and, as it were, fondle them. Peer into them. Let them fall open where they will. Read on from the first sentence that arrests the eye. Then turn to another. Set them back on their shelves with your own hands. Arrange them on your own plan, so that if you do not know what is in them, you at least know where they are. If they cannot be your friends, let them at any rate be your acquaintances.”

–Winston Churchill, Painting as a Pastime, 1932

Good News

Kerrigan, President of Loras College. You will be interested to know that John Kerrigan, our former UW-Oshkosh chancellor, has just been named interim president of Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. Loras is John’s undergraduate alma mater — I know he will do a terrific job for them as they search for a permanent president this year.

International Business Grant. The UW-Madison Center for International Business Education and Research in the School of Business has just received a CIBER grant of $1.4 million over four years from the U.S. Dept. of Education to support international education in that school. Regent Axtell’s letter of support undoubtedly helped to increase the four-year grant from $220,000 in the last round to six times that amount this round. Good work!

SBDC Awards. As you may know, UW-Extension sponsors a network of twelve Small Business Development Centers on our campuses throughout Wisconsin that are renown for their effectiveness in helping entrepreneurs start up new business and revitalize existing firms. Last year, our SBDCs partnered with the state Department of Commerce to assist 8,600 Wisconsin business clients. This week, here in Milwaukee, the U.S. SBA will give its top award to Mary Jurmain, president and CEO of BTIO Educational Products in Eau Claire, as the SBA’s Small Business Person of the Year 2002. BTIO makes infant simulators used to train high school students in parenting skills.

Another SBDC client, Trish Zdroik, was named Wisconsin Emerging Small Business Person of the Year. She is proprietor of TAZ Family Farms, Rosholt, a rapidly-growing producer of organically fed, low-fat beef cattle. She is a client of the SBDC office at UW-Stevens Point.

Last year, Craig Culver, president of Culver Franchising System, Inc., was Wisconsin’s Small Business Person of the Year. Culver Franchising System, Inc. now has restaurants from Wisconsin to Texas and is a home-grown business that is thriving.

As you can see, the UW-based Small Business Development Centers are a key economic development asset for growing businesses across the state. We should be very proud of what they do every day!

UW-Oshkosh’s “social norming” approach to reducing drinking and smoking on campus was highlighted in a recent USA Today article (in your folders). This approach, which publicizes more moderate behavior of a majority of college students as the “norm,” is being adopted at more colleges nationwide. At UW-Oshkosh smoking among students dropped 29% last year. Helping students recognize that the vast majority of their peers do not smoke or drink in excess is a real education approach to this vexing problem. We hope it catches on soon “big time.”

UW-Milwaukee’s online Master’s degree program in Library and Information Sciences has been recognized as one of the best in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. The program, which is five years old, can be taken entirely online and currently serves 150 students throughout the UW System and as far away as California, Japan, Hong Kong, and Germany.

I commend UWM for this “academic program export” – the knowledge and learning go around the world – and the fees come into Wisconsin.

I think it’s also appropriate to mention here in Milwaukee that former Chancellor John Schroeder, now History Professor Schroeder, has received the John Lyman Award for his biography of Commodore Matthew Perry, published last year. The award recognizes the most outstanding contribution to maritime or naval history of North America.

John has another biography under way, is teaching two courses this summer, and is helping three master’s students finish their theses. A busy and productive summer!

Jazz I Ensemble Receives National Recognition. For the fourth time in six years, a national magazine has named UW-Eau Claire’s Jazz Ensemble I one of the best collegiate jazz ensembles in the country. Down Beat magazine – considered the premiere jazz publication in the U.S. – again gave one of its “Best Collegiate Big Band” awards to the group.

Robert Baca, director of jazz studies at UW-Eau Claire, said he doesn’t know of another group that has received the magazine’s top award as many times as UW-Eau Claire’s Jazz Ensemble I.

UW-Eau Claire American Indian Teaching Graduates to Teach at Lac du Flambeau Schools. Lac du Flambeau schools will have four new Native American teachers next year thanks to a partnership that helps American Indians earn education degrees from UW-Eau Claire. Ann Allen, Patricia Maulson, Mildred Schuman, and Michelle Young graduated from UW-Eau Claire in May and will begin teaching in the fall.

The four students – along with six other Wisconsin Native American Women – were able to earn their degrees thanks to a $742,000 federal grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Education to the College of Menominee Nation and four partners including UW-Eau Claire. The teacher-training grant was awarded in 2000 through the Title IX Indian Education Professional Development Program.