Report by President Ray Cross to the Board of Regents 

UW-Madison’s Badgerloop team is heading “back to the future” in an international competition featuring futuristic high-speed transportation. The team’s 200-mph pod levitates its passengers through an above-ground vacuum tube. A team from MIT and another from the Netherlands were the only ones to score higher than Badgerloop.

UW-Whitewater’s online MBA ranks 16th best in the United States according to U.S. News and World Report. In addition to being among the elite 5% of business schools worldwide, this online MBA offers greater flexibility as most students take courses while working full-time.

A UW-Superior choir made its first trip to Poland in January, introducing Wisconsin talent to an international audience and spreading the UW-Superior name overseas. The students shared the universal language of music, experienced a new culture, and built bridges in the choral community.

UW-Stout biology professor Jim Burritt and his students discovered a bacterium that may explain why honey bee hives are dying during the winters in the Upper Midwest. Honey bees and other pollinators are crucial to our ecosystem and our economy.

UW-Stevens Point is being recognized as a green power leader. The campus is on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Top 30 College and University list of the largest green power users in the nation. It was the first university in Wisconsin to have 100 percent of electricity from renewable sources.

UW-River Falls hosted its fifth annual undergraduate research gala in December for 244 students.  Shanna Burris is one of the students who participated, and she showcased her Independent Saddle Lift. This lift allows disabled horseback riders to saddle their horse without assistance.  This technology is being patented through WiSys.

UW-Platteville received a $300,000 USDA grant to support grazing research for dairy cattle at Pioneer Farm. As part of this grant, students will examine whether certain grasses increase milk yield and quality.

UW-Parkside business students Jack Nickeas and Nicole Thomsen won national sales awards at the 2016 National Sales Challenge.  More college graduates will find their first career in sales than all other careers.

UW-Oshkosh received two grants from the Aurora Health Care Better Together Fund to improve access to healthcare.  These grants will help fund initiatives at the university-run Living Healthy Community Clinic, as well as expand violence prevention education for students.

UW-Milwaukee created an app with the Medical College of Wisconsin to help doctors treat children in emergency situations. A doctor enters a child’s age and weight, and the app called First Five Minutes determines the correct medication dose.  Every second can make a difference during an emergency.

The UW-La Crosse Small Business Development Center is holding a series of classes for new entrepreneurs. One of the classes in the series is “The First Steps to Starting Your Business.” These innovative classes are promoting future generations of business leaders.

UW-Green Bay is teaming with a local business to help professional and college athletes transition to the business world – including former Green Bay Packers.  This partnership with InitiativeOne is a great example of how UW-Green Bay is supporting the community. Services are available for athletes across all sports. 

Wisconsin Public Television launched a free PBS Kids 24/7 channel and online streaming service statewide in January.  Wisconsin Public Television is supported by UW-Extension and other partners, and this new service will expand access to educational programming.

UW-Eau Claire continues to be a national leader in the number of students studying abroad. This experience helps students build critical competencies needed in the 21st century.  Students learn problem-solving skills and an ability to work with people from different backgrounds.  During our 2020FWD listening sessions, business and community leaders strongly emphasized that they want and need employees who can work as part of teams with people from different cultures, geographic areas, or even different political philosophies.

Students from UW-Sheboygan, UW-Marathon County and UW-Fox Valley are conducting an undergraduate research project studying scientific software systems. These UW Colleges’ students will present their performance, security and quality findings at national and international conferences.

Thank you to all our students, faculty and staff who are making a difference in Wisconsin.