MADISON, Wis. – Faculty leaders will work with educators across the University of Wisconsin System and the country to make student learning outcomes and proficiencies key measures of student success, leading to students who are better prepared for lives of work, civic engagement, and personal and social responsibility.

Six UW System faculty members have been selected to lead the UW System’s Faculty Collaboratives project.  In partnership with the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) and four other states, the UW System faculty will create a state-based, faculty-led “innovation hub” focused on advancing curricular reforms that lead to deeper student engagement, and higher retention and graduation rates. The project builds on cutting-edge research into effective, evidence-based educational practices resulting in increased student success, across all student populations.

Peggy James, Professor of Political Science at UW-Parkside, was selected to serve as the project’s Hub Director. Faculty from five UW institutions were selected to serve as LEAP Fellows, including: Timothy Dale, Assistant Professor of Political Science and Public Administration at UW-La Crosse; Heidi Fencl, Professor of Natural & Applied Sciences at UW-Green Bay; Caroline Geary, Associate Professor of Chemistry at UW-Fox Valley; Tracy Slagter, Associate Professor of Political Science at UW-Oshkosh; and Dale Splinter, Associate Professor of Geography at UW-Whitewater.

The project’s Innovation Hub, while virtual in its reach and scope, will be located at the UW-Parkside Teaching and Learning Center, directed by Professor James Robinson. Rebecca Karoff, Senior Special Assistant in the UW System Office of Academic & Student Affairs, is the state project lead.

Additionally, the Faculty Collaboratives project will contribute to an assessment taking place of the System’s LEAP Wisconsin initiative, designed to evaluate the impact of this student-centered change initiative over the past decade. UW System President Ray Cross has charged the Office of Academic & Student Affairs with conducting that assessment.  A Steering Committee pdf , chaired by Rebecca Karoff and Carleen Vande Zande, Associate Vice Chancellor at UW-Oshkosh, and comprised of administrators, faculty and staff from throughout the UW System, has been convened to conduct the assessment.  The committee’s report is expected in December 2015.

Supported by a grant from Lumina Foundation, Faculty Collaboratives is part of AAC&U’s Liberal Education and America’s Promise, or LEAP Campaign, a national public advocacy and campus action initiative promoting student learning outcomes that both educators and employers endorse, and Inclusive Excellence.  The UW System has partnered with AAC&U on the LEAP Campaign since 2005, and LEAP Wisconsin has become synonymous with the UW System’s quality agenda, providing a blueprint for the essential learning that UW students need as they prepare to take their places in the 21st-century knowledge-based, global society.

Project Contact

Dr. Rebecca Karoff
UW System