MADISON, Wis. – The largest student success initiative of the Universities of Wisconsin is the EAB Navigate student success management system, and the Board of Regents today heard an overview of the system’s progress.

The use of Navigate, which supports student retention and completion, is closely aligned with the 2023-2028 Strategic Plan adopted by the Board in December 2022.

The Navigate system was launched in 2019 with a multi-year contract. UW-Eau Claire, UW-Milwaukee, UW Oshkosh, and UW-Platteville were already using the system, and several other UW universities had expressed interest adopting this technology as well. UW Administration was able to negotiate a favorable contract to lower the cost for the four universities already using Navigate and to provide an affordable entry for an additional eight UW universities to adopt Navigate. UW-Madison opted to continue using different student success management tools.

Over the first several years, the UWs have expanded implementation and strategic use of Navigate to help faculty and staff provide timely, evidence-based interventions; to equip students with vital tools and resources; and to help UW universities support overall student success and close equity gaps.

Based on successes to date, the Board in June 2023 approved the renewal and extension of the EAB Navigate contract for another five years through 2028.

Julie Amon, Associate Vice President for Enrollment & Student Success, provided an overview of the EAB Navigate student success management system and its three components: a faculty and staff platform, a student app, and analytics.

She noted that the Navigate system allows faculty and staff to make data-driven decisions. “For students, it puts a lot of information at their fingertips,” Amon said. “It also empowers students to take charge of their own success.”

Ben Passmore, Associate Vice President for Policy Analysis & Research, led a discussion of how Navigate is a data-driven and actionable tool to help advance proactive, coordinated student support to address challenges such as stagnant retention and graduation rates and persistent achievement gaps.

Passmore also pointed to impressive outcomes. “Overall, those who were engaged or touched by use of the Navigate system were retained at substantially higher rates than those who were not (95% vs. 62%),” he said. The data on Navigate also clearly shows that the system has even greater impact on the success rates for first-generation students. “Why? Because they’re receiving attention specific to them,” Passmore said.

Student success professionals from three UW universities – UW-Parkside, UW-Stevens Point, and UW-Whitewater – discussed how they have implemented effective intervention plans, differentiated advising, strategic communications, and a coordinated care network.

Two students also shared what Navigate looks like from their perspectives and how it is helping them on their educational journey.

Commitment to Sustainability

Following up on a comprehensive presentation to the Board in April 2022, Regents heard an update on where the UWs currently are on sustainability collaboration, actions, and goals – and where they’re going.

Two Sustainability Coordinators in the Office of Capital Planning & Budget – both new positions – provided an overview of their work as well as the work being done across the universities to make campuses more sustainable.

Efforts include sustainable building standards development, renewable energy projects, long-term energy planning, data collection, and experiential education opportunities.

Sustainability Coordinator Hayden Hendersen told Regents that students are the major driver of the UWs wide-ranging sustainability initiatives.

A nine-member student panel – with representatives from seven universities – addressed the leadership of students on campus in advancing efforts of sustainability, touching everything from food security to water stewardship.

Students also expressed to Regents how a strong campus commitment to sustainability contributes to student mental health and enrollment decisions.

The Regents expressed their appreciation for the students’ presentation.

“It does my heart good to see students take strong stands,” said Regent Jim Kreuser. “It takes a lot of time and effort to do what you’re doing.”

“The earth is dying, and it’s up to us to save it,” said Regent Edmund Manydeeds III. “I have children and grandchildren, and I think and worry about it every day.”

Regent Mike Jones added: “The passion you exude is really palpable. You have to realize the impact that has on us and how important it is for us to hear you.”

The focus on strong commitment to sustainability aligns with Strategy 5 of the UWs Strategic Plan, namely to ensure universities are financially and environmentally sustainable so that they are positioned to fulfill their strategic missions.

In other business, the Regents:

  • Approved five agreements for international recruitment agent aggregator services. UWs Eau Claire, Green Bay, Platteville, and Superior will work with Shorelight LLC, while UW-Stout will engage Kings Education in efforts to increase international student enrollment;
  • Approved a recommendation related to the University Insurance Association, a separate corporation established in the 1930s to provide life insurance benefits;
  • Approved the Investment Policy Statement for the Intermediate Term Cash Management Fund, which was established to increase revenue-generating opportunities for cash balances through intermediate term investments;
  • Approved UW-Green Bay’s request for an Education Doctorate in Applied Leadership;
  • Approved UW-La Crosse’s request for a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science;
  • Approved UW-Milwaukee’s request for a Bachelor of Arts in General Letters;
  • Approved UW-Parkside’s request for a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology;
  • Approved the Wisconsin Partnership Program’s 2024-2029 Five-Year Plan;
  • Approved the appointment of Anjon Audhya, PhD, as one of four UW School of Medicine and Public Health representatives on the SMPH Oversight and Advisory Committee of the Wisconsin Partnership Program;
  • Approved UW-Madison’s request for authority to increase the amount of leased laboratory space located at Element Labs, 5510 Element Way, Madison;
  • Approved UW System’s request for authority to construct an instructional space and technology program project. At UW-Parkside, the Health Science Laboratory renovation project creates a new laboratory suite and program home for the new Physician’s Assistant Master’s Degree program;
  • Approved UW System’s request for authority to construct various all agency maintenance and repair projects:
    • UW-Eau Claire requested a project budget increase to the Chancellor’s Hall HVAC System Renovation;
    • At UW-Stevens Point, the Multi-Residence Hall Roof Replacements project replaces roofing systems on two student residence halls (Knutzen Hall and Thomas Hall);
    • At UW-Stevens Point, the Trainer Natural Resources Chiller Plant Cooling Tower Replacement project installs approximately 540 LF of new underground chilled water supply and return piping as well as repairs to Cooling Tower No. 4 located on the roof of the Trainer Natural Resources Building;
    • At UW-Milwaukee, 2 projects were requested:
      • The Central Heating Plant Chiller Replacement project designs, specifies, and procures a 3,000-ton electric-start chiller unit to replace Chiller No. 2 which is a 1966 vintage steam-turbine-driven centrifugal unit;
      • The Service Drive/Parking Lot/Curb & Gutter Repairs project at UW-Milwaukee will rehabilitate sections of parking lots that are in poor condition on campus.
    • At UW-Madison, the Microbial to Radio Hall 15kV Cable Replacement project provides the campus greater electrical reliability, service, and interconnectivity for the Walnut, Radio Hall, and Microbial Substations;
  • Approved UW System’s request for authority to construct various minor facilities renewal projects:
    • At UW-Madison, the Memorial Library Fire Protection Retrofit & Renovation will replace the fire protection system in the Special Collections area and provide sprinkler system retrofits in the original Memorial Library building;
    • The Central Chilled Water Plant Expansion at UW-Platteville replaces a district chilled water plant that serves the Art Building, Pioneer Student Center, Ullsvik Hall, and Williams Fieldhouse;
    • Also at UW-Platteville, the Williams Fieldhouse HVAC and Electrical Systems Replacement project renovates, in select areas, the heating and ventilation system, installs new air conditioning, and renovates the electrical distribution system;
    • UW-Superior’s Sports & Activity Fields Redevelopment recently bid over budget. This request increases the project budget by $3,495,000 for a revised budget of $7,100,000 to match recent re-bid results for the project scope previously approved;
  • Approved UW-Stevens Point’s request for authority to construct the Champions Hall Addition and Renovation project;
  • Approved UW-Stout’s request for authority to construct the Heritage Hall Addition and Renovation project;
  • Approved UW-Eau Claire’s request for authority to construct the Science/Health Science Building Phases I and II and the Lower Campus Chiller and Cooling Tower Replacement projects;
  • Approved UW-Madison’s request for authority for the University Hospital to construct the D2 Module Expansion project, part of a long-term growth strategy to accommodate and modernize the University Hospital Clinical Science Center (CSC); and
  • Approved UW-Madison’s request for authority to increase the budget of the Near East Play Fields Renovation project.

The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents will next meet on February 8-9, 2024, at UW-Madison.