Report by President Ray Cross to the Board of Regents
- UW-Parkside reports that Milwaukee Bucks President Peter Feigin will serve as Executive in Residence later this month. Mr. Feigin was closely involved in the debate and negotiations that resulted in funding to build a new multi-purpose sports arena in downtown Milwaukee. Mr. Feigin will take part in Q&A presentations that are open to campus and community members, and will also meet with business honor students and members of UW-Parkside’s college advisory boards.
- According to a new study by NorthStar Consulting, the economic impact of UW-Stevens Point on its region and the state is huge and growing. UW-Stevens Point contributes $420.2 million annually to Wisconsin’s economy – up from about $408 million in a 2011 study. Furthermore, it is estimated that every $1 of state tax investment in UW-Stevens Point generates $11 in economic activity in the state. Students (seen here on the recent move-in day) contribute about one-quarter of direct spending.
- UW-Madison once again has earned very high spots in two separate rankings of the world’s top universities. The Academic Ranking of World Universities conducted by Shanghai Jiao Tong University ranked UW-Madison 24th for the second straight year – just behind University of Michigan, which came in 22nd. Another prestigious list, the Center for World University Rankings, has UW-Madison ranked 25th This news doesn’t come as a surprise, certainly, but it does serve as a powerful reminder of what a jewel we have in our flagship institution, and we need to protect and promote that longstanding tradition of excellence. Kudos to you, Chancellor Blank, and the UW-Madison community.
Following up on the Green Ribbon presentations earlier… UW-Oshkosh has again earned the highest ranking in the state and is ranked third overall in the country on the prestigious Sierra Club “Coolest Schools” list – a ranking that recognizes colleges and universities for their commitment to and practice of sustainability. This is the first time Oshkosh has made it into the top 10, and it’s a well-deserved honor. Congratulations, Chancellor Leavitt and UW-Oshkosh.
- The U.S. Department of Education has granted more than a half-million dollars to UW-Rock County to support the work of its TRIO program. TRIO provides advising and tutoring for low-income students, first-generation students and students with disabilities– and has, in the last few years, benefitted more than 400 students who have gone on to earn bachelor’s degrees at UW-Rock County. According to the local TRIO director, the grant enables the campus to (QUOTE) “continue to serve the motivated but often underprepared students who may need additional guidance to help them succeed in college.” The grant will be funded through 2022.
- Starting this month, UW-River Falls will be offering its graduate Montessori teacher education program in Appleton. Students can take the courses for professional development, earn teaching credentials for Montessori early childhood and elementary classrooms, and have the option to earn a master of science in education degree. UW-River Falls is the only university in the UW System offering a graduate pathway to earn Montessori credentials and one of only two public universities across the country to do so.
- Big news for UW-Milwaukee over the summer … Philanthropists Sheldon and Marianne Lubar donated $10 million to UWM to establish the Lubar Center for Entrepreneurship, which will expand the university’s already strong array of entrepreneurial programs. It should benefit students and companies throughout the region for years to come. This is the Lubars’ second $10 million gift to UWM. They donated $10 million in 2006 to endow professorships and student scholarships at what is now the Lubar School of Business, and they also have been strong supporters of the Peck School of the Arts and the Golda Meir Library.
- Students from UW-Superior’s symphonic band and jazz band traveled to Panama for 10 days this summer to tour in three different locations – Panama City, David, and Santiago – performing and teaching master classes at schools. Trips like these are part of UW-Superior’s emphasis on offering students the opportunity to expand their perspectives and gain an understanding of other cultures. On a related note, UW-Superior is reporting a record number of international students this fall, with 190 students from over 40 countries.
- Over the summer, UW-Stout senior Michael Guzman did something that a lot of UW-Stout students do, and that is hands-on work in a Cooperative Education It might be hard to top the scenery Michael enjoyed, however. The manufacturing engineering major spent the summer working and doing research at Fischer AG, a company that provides high-speed precision spindle products – and happens to be located in Switzerland. Stout’s Cooperative Education program is designed to integrate college studies with work experience in industry, business, government, or public service. Since 2011, 940 students a year on average have participated in the program. [photo]
- UW-La Crosse is 1 in awarding physics degrees among bachelor’s degree granting programs in the country. UW-L had an average of 31 physics degrees granted annually between 2011-13, making it tops in the nation among bachelor’s degree granting institutions on the American Physical Society list. The achievement comes at a time when the nation is experiencing a growing demand for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) graduates. In the photo, you see Nobel Prize winning physicist Adam Reiss at a campus engagement last fall. [photo]
UW-Platteville has been awarded four separate Applied Research-WiSys Technology Advancement Grants totaling $200,000. Three of these grants, which are distributed by the UW System, were awarded to the chemistry faculty and the fourth to an engineering physics professor. Chemist Dr. Brian Barry says these grants are important for developing competitive technologies and companies that positively impact Wisconsin’s economy. Just as important, he says, these grants will provide students with an opportunity to tackle real-world problems through the creative use of chemistry, something that he calls “an invaluable experience.”
- With mapping businesses booming thanks to GPS and other technological advances, UW-Eau Claire reports that its Geospatial Education Initiative is helping students land jobs and internships in a very competitive field. In 2014, the initiative received a three-year, $419,000 grant from the Growth Agenda for Wisconsin Grants Program. Employers like Continental Mapping Consultants in Sun Prairie praise UW-Eau Claire for reaching out to understand current industry needs so they can shape curriculum and create experiences that better prepare students to succeed.
- The UW Leadership Program, developed and led through UW-Extension, has grown from a system-wide program to a national program open to public and private higher education leaders from around the country. The program aims to teach administrators how to better plan for the future by creating new leadership and management strategies, allocate resources wisely and develop a positive working environment for staff. The first course starts later this month, with additional programs throughout the year. More information can be found on the UW-Extension website.
- Finally, we have a story from UW-Green Bay of how some quick thinking saved the day – and possibly someone’s life. Student worker Samantha Braaten was out doing storm cleanup on a remote area of the campus arboretum recently with her grounds-crew partner, a regular staff member. They were removing a tree that had fallen along a path during a storm, when suddenly the tree shifted, and pinned the staff member by the neck and upper chest, making it hard for him to breathe. Samantha lifted the weight just enough to offer relief, and then used branches as levers to stabilize the situation. She dialed for help… and two other grounds crew members arrived, and eventually were able to they were release the trapped man. The emergency responders said he could have been killed and owed a lot to the young student. Chancellor Miller recognized the three heroes at the recent convocation. Bravo, and well done.
That concludes my report for today.