At this time, I want to take a brief moment to share some of the good work that students, faculty, and staff are doing around the UW System:

  • UW-La Crosse has once again been named in the top 100 Best Value colleges by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. The ranking doesn’t just recognize low cost, but also signifies quality education at an affordable price. UW-L has earned this distinction for over a decade. UW-Madison was another public institution in Wisconsin to be in this year’s ranking.
  • With the help of a $400,000 DPI grant, UW-Parkside is launching the Enhancing Teaching of Middle School Mathematics project, which seeks to increase teachers’ depth of mathematical knowledge and enhance teaching techniques to improve student achievement. This project could have a significant impact on UW System’s goal to reduce the need for remedial math.
  • A new National Endowment for the Arts grant will help UW-Stevens Point continue to expand young minds through its Young Composers Project. The five-year-old program brings 4th and 5th graders to campus, pairs them with music students and faculty, and gives them a chance to be their own maestros, composing their own music. The Young Composers Project was the only arts education NEA awardee in Wisconsin this year.
  • The UW-Whitewater Warhawks football team capped an undefeated regular season by winning its sixth national title in eight years by beating Mount Union 43-34. UW-Whitewater football has now won 32 games in a row, the longest winning streak in college football in any division. What a fitting way to send off departing head coach Lance Leipold, who ends his time at Whitewater with an astounding record of 109 wins and just 6 losses. Congratulations!
  • UW-River Falls is the first UW System campus to join the national “I’m First!” initiative, which is aimed at making the college path a little easier for first-generation students. “I’m First” provides an online community for aspiring college students to find advice on accessing higher education, as well as a place for campus advisors to share best practices on helping students.
  • UW-Superior has been named among the best in the country in online education, according to US News and World Report. UW-Superior has been a leader in distance education for 37 years, and launched its online program in 1999, so it’s no surprise they were ranked 27th in the entire country in online education.
  • I would also like to take this opportunity to thank James Steinbach for his dedication and service with Wisconsin Public Television. James, who has served as Director of Television since 2006, recently announced that he is retiring in July. As noted by Malcolm Brett, Director of Broadcasting and Media Innovations with the University of Wisconsin-Extension, James led WPT through the important digital TV transition, taking what was a difficult and confusing process for many of the state’s television viewers and leveraging the power of public broadcasting to expand program offerings and to make them accessible through hands-on service and education. James understands the value of educational public television and the vital role it plays in Wisconsin. He has been involved in public television for more than 40 years, and he has left his mark. Again, thank you, and best wishes for the future.
  • UW-Stout is launching a new effort at improving early education in its hometown of Menomonie and beyond. The Arts Integration Menomonie – or AIM program – will provide training and a support network for young and aspiring teachers to integrate the arts into their curriculum and increase student engagement.
  • A new UW-Platteville scholarship will open doors to underrepresented students seeking a career in the STEM fields. The Lois Cooper scholarship program, named for the first African-American woman in California to pass the Professional Engineers License exam, provides scholarship funding as well as faculty, staff, and peer mentoring in the STEM fields.
  • Here at UW-Madison, the College of Letters & Science has launched a new initiative to prepare liberal arts students for careers in today’s rapidly changing economy. The Letters & Science Career Initiative is funded with seed money and guidance from L&S alumni, and will add a career development course and connect students to alumni to help them build successful careers.
  • UW-Milwaukee students will be the beneficiaries of a $300,000 gift from State Representative Fred Kessler and his wife, Judge Joan Kessler. The Kesslers’ Student Leadership Scholarship Fund will support incoming UWM freshmen from Milwaukee Public Schools who demonstrated significant leadership during high school.
  • UW-Green Bay has added its second endowed faculty chair position, with Professor David Radosevich being installed as the inaugural Austin E. Cofrin Chair of Business. The Cofrin family has been a long-time supporter of the university, and we are grateful for their continued generosity in making this possible.
  • The UW Colleges Online program continues to see growth, with a 20% increase in this spring’s enrollment over last year. This clearly demonstrates the high demand for flexible, online degree programs from both traditional students and place-bound working adults.

That concludes my report on news from around the System.

See the previous “News from Around the UW System