Report by President Ray Cross to the Board of Regents (at UW-Milwaukee)

  • I’m going to start with something truly remarkable. Just last week, the UW-Whitewater baseball team defeated Emery College to win the NCAA Division III College World Series. That’s good news on its own – but it also completed an almost unprecedented “triple crown” in college sports. This past year, UW-Whitewater made NCAA history by claiming national championships in football, men’s basketball, and baseball. No surprise, this is attracting major attention. As noted in the Wisconsin State Journal this past Sunday, the Warhawks were No. 1 on ESPN SportsCenter’s top 10 plays of the day … and also have been featured in the New York Times. But wait, there’s more. In the past year, UW-Whitewater also claimed national titles in gymnastics as well as men’s and women’s wheelchair basketball! No wonder Chancellor Telfer has a serious case of purple pride!
  • In other news, a California non-profit has ranked UW-Stevens Point and UW-Eau Claire among the top 50 schools in the nation in its outcome-based college rankings index. The Educate To Career Index analyzes data for more than 1,200 colleges, representing 94% of all students enrolled in 4-year colleges. The index empirically determines the economic value added by each college, analyzing the quality of students when they enter a given college, the total costs related to attending the college, and the outcomes of the students when they enter the labor market. As the founder of ETC explains, young people are entitled to reliable facts when they’re making decisions about which college to attend. For the record, UW-Stevens Point ranked No. 34 and UW-Eau Claire ranked No. 47.  Well done, and congratulations!
  • UW-Superior is the first school in Wisconsin to join the national “You Can Play” campaign to fight homophobia in sports. UW-S celebrated and unveiled a video April 11 pledging to provide a safe, respectful experience to all student athletes, regardless of their sexual orientation. The video features nearly 80 athletes and coaches from campus sports teams stating their support.
  • There’s a new way to experience Devil’s Lake State Park, thanks to a UW-Extension grant that funded the development of a new app. This technology provides maps, photos and explanations of the geology at Devil’s Lake.
  • Quick thinking at UW-La Crosse resulted in the saving of two lives. Five persons, including two students, will be honored for successful resuscitations in two separate campus incidents. One of the stricken persons was a faculty member and the other a former student. Nice to know caring people are on our campuses looking out for each other.
  • UW-Eau Claire faculty and students have stepped up to make sure grade school kids don’t go hungry this summer. Students in the civic engagement class helped identify summer locations to distribute the food and a way to get young people to those locations so they could pick up the meals. One student volunteer said, and I quote:  “I’ve been in homes with families in this community that are in need so I connected to this project on a very personal level. I saw this as a way to use the skills I’m learning in my classes to really help these kids and families.”
  • A 2014 graduate of the UW-Stevens Point, Sam Knapp, has won a Fulbright Scholarship. Knapp will travel to Sweden to spend 10 months working on a project to eradicate Legionnaires’ disease from water supplies in hospitals worldwide.
  • A UW-Stout student has earned a week-long educational trip to Italy, thanks to his award-winning research paper. James Engel, a packaging major from Merrill, will take an all-expenses-paid trip to northern Italy on June 28th. A paper he wrote was chosen as one of four winners in a student contest sponsored by the Italian Trade Commission and an industry association in Italy.
  • At UW-Washington County, Mary Kurer, who is Director of Continuing Education, won the Community Leadership Award from the West Bend Chamber of Commerce. Mary was honored for her outstanding commitment to the community.
  • A national teaching award goes to a faculty member at UW-Manitowoc. Congratulations to Rebecca Abler, associate professor of biological sciences who was honored for Engaged Teaching by the National Association of Biology Teachers. The award is given to a faculty member who has developed an innovative, hands-on approach in biology instruction.
  • A major gift for UWM is going to make a huge difference for dozens of graduate students. After receiving a $400,000 scholarship gift, UWM’s Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health will award up to 16 doctoral and 28 master’s scholarships.
  • UW-River Falls celebrated the completion of renovated office space, which will house the newly created UW-River Falls Center for Innovation and Business Development and the Small Business Development Center.
  • Electrical, mechanical and environmental engineering technology programs have gotten a boost, now the Higher Learning Commission has officially approved these degrees. Students will be able to begin their academic studies at any one of 13 institutions and colleges and then finish their degrees at either UW-Green Bay or UW Oshkosh. It’s a high-quality education guided by employer-adviser panels that produces knowledgeable graduates ready for the workforce.
  • This next story from UW-Platteville is a variation on living your dream. “Living learning communities,” or LLCs, are steadily growing on campus. UW-Platteville currently sponsors three LLCs and two interest communities in its fleet of residence halls, including the Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, or WiSTEM. They enhance learning and foster collaborations because the students are surrounded by those who understand the challenges of STEM fields, including upper classmen who become role models.
  • These updates say it all, showcasing creative thinking, community service and inspiring scholarship. Just the fact that there are many more stories like these that we haven’t time to mention now, shows the vitality of our UW campuses.

See April’s “News from Around the UW System