MILWAUKEE – The UW System Board of Regents selected new leaders on Friday (June 6), electing Toby E. Marcovich of Superior as president and David G. Walsh of Madison as vice president.

Newly elected Regent President Toby E. Marcovich (right) and Vice President David G. Walsh

Newly elected Regent President Toby E. Marcovich (right) and Vice President David G. Walsh will lead the Board of Regents over the next year, following their unanimous elections at the board’s June meeting.

Marcovich, vice chair of the Regents’ Executive Committee, succeeds Guy A. Gottschalk of Wisconsin Rapids as Regent president. “Thank you for all of your support and confidence,” Marcovich told the regents after its vote during the board’s meeting at UW-Milwaukee. “I hope that I’m worthy of it in the coming year.”

Walsh was appointed to the Board of Regents in January. He serves as vice chair of the Business and Finance Committee and also is a member of the Personnel Matters Review Committee.

Read the news release

UW announces plans for Economic Summit IV

The UW System on Friday unveiled plans to host a fourth statewide economic development meeting to advance the state’s economy. Wisconsin Economic Summit IV will be held Oct. 27-28, 2003, at the Midwest Airlines Center in Milwaukee.

UW System President Katharine C. Lyall told members of the Board of Regents that one of the primary goals of this year’s summit is to dramatically increase participation by the private sector. She added that Robert W. Baird & Co. will serve as a co-sponsor of this year’s summit. The Bradley Foundation will be a key supporter as well, she said.

“We consider these affiliations a strong endorsement of the economic summits and their value for our state,” Lyall said. “We are asking government, business and education leaders to follow their lead and pledge to take an active role in Economic Summit IV.”

Read the news release

UW System awards more than 29,000 degrees this year

UW System President Katharine C. Lyall announced Friday that 29,000 students have earned their degrees this academic year.

“This infusion of highly educated graduates into the workforce is a reminder of how important public higher education is to Wisconsin and its economy,” Lyall told the Board of Regents.

Lyall added that, contrary to public opinion, more than 80 percent of UW graduates will stay in Wisconsin to work, raise families and become productive and taxpaying citizens.

“This is a brain gain for Wisconsin,” she said.

The majority of UW graduates earned their degrees this spring, while others graduated last December or will graduate this summer. Three-quarters of UW graduates earned bachelor’s degrees this year; the rest have completed master’s, Ph.D. or professional degrees, such as a law or medical degree.

Lyall provides update on enrollment

Fall enrollment in the UW System will be almost identical to last year, despite a projected $100 million reduction in the university’s budget and the loss of 650 positions over the next two years, UW System President Katharine C. Lyall said Friday.

Lyall said she expects that Fall 2003 enrollment will be close to last year’s figure of 135,470 full-time equivalency students, even though the UW System will likely make the largest biennial reduction in its history.

Managing enrollment during a time of decreasing resources “will be a significant stretch for all of our campuses,” Lyall told the Board of Regents.

She added that retention rates for freshmen and sophomores have increased as well, adding to the enrollment pressures. She also said that applications for admission from new students as of June 1 have exceeded last year’s rate by 10 percent.

Lyall encouraged the board to review enrollment targets as part of its upcoming study on the future of the UW System.

Members of the Board of Regents smile

Members of the Board of Regents smile along with Regent Emeritus JoAnne Brandes as she accepts a resolution of appreciation for her service to the board.

Regents honor departing member

The Board of Regents on Friday honored JoAnne Brandes, whose term as a regent expired last month, by approving a resolution of appreciation.

Brandes thanked the board for their friendship and collegiality during her seven years as a regent.

“What a privilege this has really been,” Brandes said. “I couldn’t be more proud of the System than I am now.”

Brandes also thanked and praised the UW chancellors, UW System staff and UW System President Katharine C. Lyall for their leadership and dedication.

Read the resolution pdf

UWM updates board on Milwaukee Idea

The need for UWM to continue serving students and the state is as strong as it has ever been, UWM Chancellor Nancy Zimpher told the Board of Regents Friday.

UWM Chancellor Nancy Zimpher

UWM Chancellor Nancy Zimpher shares with the Board of Regents details about recent progress made through the Milwaukee Idea.

Zimpher and members of her staff provided the board an update on The Milwaukee Idea, the name for UWM’s broad-reaching plan to fulfill and strengthen its mission as a premier urban university.

Modeled after the Wisconsin Idea, the Milwaukee Idea emphasizes the 3 E’s: education and the arts; economic development; and environment and health.

Zimpher said her plan for the next five years of the Milwaukee Idea includes propelling UWM into the top tier of urban research universities, on par with the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Illinois-Chicago, the University of Cincinnati and Virginia Commonwealth University.

In particular, Zimpher said she plans to increase enrollment; construct additional campus housing; improve the quality of graduate education; support new businesses through university research and expertise; focus research on solving urban issues; and develop community-based health care to reduce health care costs and make it more accessible.

Regents defeat motion to save IRR

The Board of Regents on Friday defeated a motion that would have prevented UW-Madison from closing the Industrial Relations Research Institute.

Regent Jesus Salas of Milwaukee introduced the motion, saying the IRRI is an important institute with a storied history and should not be closed. UW-Madison has designated the IRRI for elimination in the latest round of budget cuts because of dwindling enrollment and lack of faculty support.

The IRRI provides graduate education in labor relations, employment relations, management and other related disciplines. UW-Madison Provost Peter Spear told the regents that searches for a new director of IRRI have failed twice and several departments have withdrawn their support for the institute.

Several regents said their vote was not against the IRRI but in support of the chancellors, who have the authority to make campus-based budget decisions within the UW System governance structure. They added that they appreciated the opportunity to discuss the issue.

“This is a degree of micromanagement that I would not be comfortable with at this time,” said Regent Elizabeth Burmaster of Madison.

Other business

In other business, the board approved:

  • Differential tuition plans at UW-La Crosse and UW-Superior;
  • A new charter school at UWM;
  • An increase in the budget for the new child care center at UW-River Falls.

Next meeting

The Board of Regents will hold its next meeting July 10-11 on the UW-Madison campus.


Deb Generotzky and Pete Amland from UWM Information & Media Technologies contributed to this report.