MADISON – The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents on Friday honored this year’s recipients of the Academic Staff Awards for Excellence, the highest recognition bestowed on members of the UW System’s academic staff.

The 2009 recipients are:

  • Amy Lloyd, Leadership Training Coordinator for Student Life at UW-River Falls;
  • Lezli Redmond, Director of Statewide Intervention Programs at the Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention at UW-Madison; and
  • The Education Talent Search (ETS) Program at UW-Fox Valley.

Regent Eileen Connolly-Keesler, who chaired the selection committee, said the winners “embody the hard work, dedication, and ‘out of the box’ thinking of all our talented UW System academic staff.”  She added that the Board is pleased to honor a group that helps to not only strengthen and invigorate the UW institutions but also the communities in which they serve.

See UW System’s June 4 news release announcing the winners.

The first to receive an award was Amy Lloyd, who has worked with colleagues to create and develop the iRock program, which recently won the UW-River Falls Chancellor’s Award for Program Excellence. Lloyd also leads a Social Justice Series, designed to heighten students’ awareness and teach them skills to address inequality and injustice on campus and beyond.

“She is the embodiment of a true leader, providing support, creativity, and enthusiasm to those around her,” said Regent Brent Smith, in introducing Lloyd.

“I pursued this career because I believe in contributing to the personal development of students. But it is the students at UWRF who have taught me so much,” Lloyd said. “They come to UWRF looking to be challenged. They want to have the opportunities to see their visions carried out and ultimately they want to leave UWRF a better place than when they arrived.”

Regent John Drew introduced Lezli Redmond, saying that “by establishing and managing a (tobacco) quit line that is arguable the most effective in the nation, Ms. Redmond has demonstrated the best of the Wisconsin Idea – take the knowledge generated on the campus and translate it into actions that positively impact the lives of residents across the state.”

“An institution that values innovation, lifelong learning, service, and collaborative work – all this is changing the world for the better,” Redmond said. “Through the UW, I have been able to provide vital services to the residents of Wisconsin, I’ve been able to contribute to scientific knowledge that has really had an immediate effect and impact on practice and on people’s lives, and most of all, I feel so fortunate to have work that I love and that contributes to reducing health care costs and human suffering.”

Director Terri Holzman accepted the program Academic Staff Excellence Award on behalf of the Educational Talent Search Program at UW-Fox Valley.

In presenting the award, Regent José Vásquez said the ETS program addressed two of the primary concerns and priorities of the Board: increasing the number of baccalaureate degree holders in the state and increasing the diversity of the UW System student body and graduates. “It will only be when we have truly diverse and successful graduates from our university system that we will be able to call ourselves institutions of excellence,” Vásquez said.

“There could be no better sponsor for this program than the UW System with its ability to take a vision and grow it into a relevant, vital community asset,” Holzman said.

“To be able to instill hope, determination, possibility and the opportunity of pursuing college within our students has been extremely rewarding,” said ETS program coordinator Dawn Grenzer.

Board approves UWS Chapters 17/18 revisions

After debate before the full Board, the revised UWS Chapters 17/18 governing student conduct and conduct on university property, was approved by a 15-2 vote.  Regents Tom Loftus and Elizabeth Burmaster voted against the motion.

Prior to the final vote, there was lengthy discussion largely focused on whether the amended rules giving more latitude to a hearing examiner to define the appropriate process could potentially violate due process.

To address that concern, Regent David Walsh submitted amended language specifically stating that students can question witnesses.

“Despite a few protests to the contrary, this two-and-a-half year process has been open and transparent, and has had enormous integrity. I commend those who worked so hard to preserve that,” said Education Committee chair Regent Danae Davis.

The rules are now forwarded to the Legislature for review.

Two Regents recognized for service

The Board recognized two departing members:

  • Regent Elizabeth Burmaster, for eight years’ service on the Board of Regents; and
  • Student Regent Colleene Thomas, for two years’ service on the Board of Regents.

Burmaster is stepping down as State Superintendent of the Department of Public Instruction to become the new president of Nicolet Area Technical College.

“I’ve witnessed first-hand the tremendous commitment that the people of our great state and all who work for the UW System have to access and equity in quality, public higher education,” she said.

Echoing a long family tradition of cherishing the importance of education, Burmaster closed her remarks by saying, “Everything is — and will be — better in the state of Wisconsin because of the education system.”

Thomas closed her two-year tenure as a Student Regent by reflecting on some of her experiences.

“Many of the dangerous situations our students face are related to alcohol and drug use, and usually abuse. And there are other serious impediments to success on our campuses: racism, classism, and gender bias. These varied obstacles are costly to personal growth, to the flow of ideas so essential to a productive learning environment, and to lost potential – all costs that are borne despite investments already made by the state and by students and their families,” Thomas said.

“But … I am convinced that real change for the better will only come about through a cultural shift in behavior and peer expectations that is born by students themselves…These students could be empowered to create change if they were offered resources, mentorship, and support in their own efforts to improve campus life. But the change must be in their own hands.”

Thomas is a graduate student at UW-Madison.

New Board leadership

Regent Charles Pruitt of Milwaukee assumed the presidency of the Board of Regents after a vote by the Board Friday.  Pruitt, who had served as Board Vice President for the last two years, was elected with a unanimous vote.

Regent Brent Smith of La Crosse, who nominated Pruitt for the position, said Pruitt has “a passion for both students and the higher education system that gives them the opportunity to fulfill their dreams and hopes.”

Pruitt has been on the Board of Regents since 2003, and works in Milwaukee as a partner and co-managing director of A.B. Data, Ltd., a direct-response marketing firm.

Accepting the nomination, Pruitt acknowledged outgoing Board President Mark Bradley, saying, “It is an extraordinary privilege to follow in your footsteps. Your commitment and wise leadership have been nothing short of extraordinary.”

Regents also elected Michael Spector of Milwaukee as Board Vice President by a unanimous vote.

“He brings to us many skills, abilities and attributes which will serve us well,” said Regent Judy Crain of Green Bay, in nominating Spector. “His experience is in all levels of public education in this state.”

Spector has been on the Board of Regents since 2005.  He worked for 36 years with Quarles & Brady, where he served as chair and managing partner before his retirement in 2002.  Spector previously served as an Associate Deputy Attorney General of the United States, and as chair of Governor Jim Doyle’s Task Force on Educational Excellence.

While looking forward to working with the new Board leadership, UW System President Kevin Reilly took a moment to recognize the dedicated service of Mark Bradley.

“You will not find a harder working, more rational, more balanced, more committed, or goal-oriented Board president than Mark Bradley has been,” Reilly said. “What you see with Mark is what you get. It’s all about unselfish service.”

In other business, the Board:

  • Approved a UW-Milwaukee Charter School Contract Extension for Tenor High School, operated by Seeds of Health, Inc.;
  • Heard a presentation by UW-Stout on its revised mission statement;
  • Heard a presentation by UW-La Crosse on its revised mission statement;
  • Approved the B.A./B.S. in Women’s Studies at UW-La Crosse;
  • Approved the B.S. in Game Design at UW-Stout;
  • Approved the B.S. in Property Management at UW-Stout;
  • Approved two additional UW System appointments to the Natural Areas Preservation Council;
  • Accepted the 2009 proffer from the Trustees of the William F. Vilas Estate;
  • Approved a seven-year contract with Follett Higher Education Group to provide bookstore and textbook rental services at UW-La Crosse;
  • Approved a 10-year contract with the University of Wisconsin Credit Union to provide financial services opportunities including ATM, campus space lease and ID-debit card services;
  • Approved UW-La Crosse’s request for authority to construct a new residence hall that is being enumerated in the 2009-11 Capital Budget;
  • Approved UW-Madison’s request for authority to seek a waiver to allow the selection of a construction manager-at-risk for two projects: the Athletics Hockey/Swim Facility and the Wisconsin Energy Institute;
  • Approved UW-Madison’s request for authority to grant easements to the city of Madison for access to West Madison Agricultural Research Station land for the installation of public sanitary sewer facilities and improvements for ongoing residential development around the research station property;
  • Approved UW-Platteville’s request for authority to construct a Forensic Laboratory House and to seek a waiver to allow the project to be constructed by UW-Platteville Building Construction Management students and selected subcontractors;
  • Approved UW-Stevens Point’s request for authority to construct the Waste Management Center Project as enumerated in the 2009-2011 Capital Budget;
  • Approved UW System’s request for authority to construct two All Agency Maintenance and Repair Projects; and
  • Postponed a decision on approving a seven-year contract with A’viands LLC to provide dining services at UW-Green Bay.


The UW System Board of Regents will hold its next meeting July 9, 2009, in Madison.


Related: Read June 4 (day 1) news summary