Report by President Ray Cross to the Board of Regents

WisPolitics partnered with UW-Extension to offer economic roundtables in Hudson, Richland Center, and Sheboygan. Experts from the Department of Revenue, Division for Business & Entrepreneurship, and Cooperative Extension shared data with community leaders to help drive future economic growth.

UW-Marshfield/Wood County celebrated the opening of its Everett Roehl STEM Center. This UW Colleges facility houses chemistry, microbiology, and Certified Nursing Assistant programs. The state-of-the-art center features simulation labs, flexible classrooms, and study spaces designed to enhance student-teacher interactions.

UW-Whitewater celebrated the grand opening of the Mary Poppe Chrisman Success Center. The facility helps students succeed with supplemental instruction from qualified tutors.  The Center was made possible thanks to a generous donation from alumnus Byron “Chris” Chrisman, in honor of his late wife, Mary.

UW-Superior’s Lake Superior Research Institute celebrated its 50th anniversary. The event reflected on LSRI’s accomplishments in environmental research and set the stage for the next 50 years. Alexandra Cousteau, granddaughter of Jacques Cousteau, spoke about the importance of water conservation at the event.

UW-Stout celebrated the naming of the new Robert F. Cervenka School of Engineering. The late founder of Phillips Plastics, and his wife, Debbie, donated $2.5 million to the engineering school. UW-Stout has more than 1,000 students enrolled in engineering majors.

Music student Zach Finnegan has found inspiration and mentors at UW-Stevens Point. Zach spent the summer in intense music study, thanks to music professors Brent Turney and Matt Buchman, who helped find scholarships and wrote letters of recommendation.  He hopes to teach after graduate school.

UW-River Falls celebrated the opening of a new facility for WinField United. This subsidiary of Land O’Lakes provides products and services to help farmers optimize yields. It moved its operations from Minnesota to River Falls because of a long-standing relationship with the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences.

UW-Platteville broke ground on the Williams Fieldhouse expansion. This project will increase fitness and training space for the Pioneer community and 16 varsity athletic teams. It will include basketball and volleyball courts, a running track, and a modern training room.

UW-Parkside’s library was named the 2017 Library of the Year by the Wisconsin Library Association. The Association cited the library’s successful Big Read program, among other events, and praised UW-Parkside for having a diverse academic library.

UW-Oshkosh held grand opening celebrations in October for two student-focused buildings. The Reeve Memorial Union and Fletcher Residence Hall underwent transformations to make the spaces more accessible, up-to-date, and responsive to student needs.

UW-Milwaukee physicists are at the cutting edge of astrophysical discoveries and opening new avenues of research. UWM played a key role in discovering gravitational waves, and that work contributed to the 2017 Nobel Prize in physics.  The research also confirmed a prediction Einstein made 100 years ago.

To support ongoing mosquito-control efforts in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, two UW-Madison students have flown to Texas to help trap and identify mosquitoes. Melissa Farquhar and Erin McGlynn will monitor for disease-spreading species of mosquitoes and determine the effectiveness of control efforts.

The U.S. Department of Education awarded the UW-La Crosse McNair Scholar program $1.1 million. At least 50 percent of the McNair scholarship students major in STEM fields. Since the program began in 2010,  78% of alumni have enrolled in graduate studies.

UW-Green Bay’s Gateways to Phoenix Success program helps students be successful.  GPS is a free, high-impact experience for first-year college students which provides tools and support to help eliminate gaps in academic achievement.  GPS students are significantly more likely to graduate on time compared to other underrepresented students.

UW-Eau Claire’s Towers residence hall is now called Karlgaard Towers in honor of alumni David and Marilyn Karlgaard. The couple’s history of giving to the UW-Eau Claire Foundation exceeds $6 million and includes the largest donation in support of student scholarships in university history.