GREEN BAY – University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Chancellor Bruce Shepard today unveiled “Northeastern Wisconsin’s Growth Agenda,” a plan that would enable UW-Green Bay to meet the demands and needs of a rapidly growing and changing region.
The proposal, announced during the April meeting of the UW System Board of Regents’ Business, Finance and Audit Committee, would increase UW-Green Bay’s state-supported enrollment by 50 percent.
“This is not an agenda for UW-Green Bay,” Shepard said. “It is UW-Green Bay’s best effort to strategically support the region’s agenda.”
The plan is consistent with UW System President Kevin Reilly’s vision for growth throughout the UW System.
“Just as we have been challenged by our community, you will be challenged here today,” Shepard told the committee.
Shepard reminded Regents that when the current UW System was created in the 1970s, resources and missions were similar at campuses across the state. But that approach is outdated, he said. Differentiation in the future, following the shared mission of the “Wisconsin Idea,” will help UW campuses succeed and better serve Wisconsin, Shepard said.
“Today, 35 years later, though, there are new challenges, and the old approach is an impediment,” Shepard said. “Any large enterprise, if it is to succeed, must effectively institutionalize the capacity to differentially adapt and relentlessly change.”
Shepard said the plan to grow the UW-Green Bay campus would increase the number of students supported with state dollars by 50 percent, resulting in a headcount enrollment of approximately 7,500 students. This would require an additional $8.2 million in state support over the next six years, Shepard said. The campus currently serves approximately 5,400 students through the support of state funding.
In addition to covering the costs of educating additional students, this funding would allow the campus to finish constructing facilities currently under development, as well as another classroom and office building.
Shepard noted that the growth agenda is being driven by three factors: growing diversity in the student body and the area’s population, the economic transition of Northeastern Wisconsin; and increased demand for access to the university.
Shepard said the UW-Green Bay campus has a five-year “window of opportunity” in which to respond to the needs of the region and to help it successfully transition to the knowledge economy.
He noted that increased collaboration, instead of competition, with neighboring communities, such as Appleton and Oshkosh, is leading to promising regional initiatives.
“[UW-Green Bay and UW-Oshkosh] were pioneers in leading the way in this kind of regional consciousness,” Shepard said.
Shepard noted that graduate enrollments at UW-Green Bay are among the smallest in the UW System, and that the student-of-color population is lower than preferred. But Shepard said he is pleased that 50 percent of UW-Green Bay students are the first in their family to attend college.
While the region still benefits from strengths cultivated during the manufacturing era, such as an internationally competitive paper industry in which UW-Green Bay is involved, just under 19 percent of area residents have four-year college degrees, he said, among the lowest in the nation.
At the same time, the health-care and service sectors in the area are growing, but fewer national headquarters are located in the area. Value in growing fields is “not happening on the factory floor,” Shepard said, but rather in professional areas, where college graduates are driving innovation.
“What it’s really about is having bright young people, and having enough of them,” Shepard said.
Shepard shared data that showed Brown County’s population grew at twice the rate of the rest of Wisconsin in the last decade, giving Northeastern Wisconsin a real “brain-gain opportunity.”
Shepard outlined some of the goals of the campus’s “Phuture Phoenix” program, which seeks to grow college aspirations among fifth-grade students in Northeastern Wisconsin. He said it is “magical thinking” to believe that there’s overwhelming demand from students of color just waiting to get in to a UW campus. “We have to build the pipeline,” he said.
Shepard noted that the campus will be able to grow in part because it has successfully fostered partnerships with other public and private colleges and university, regional public schools, and the private sector.
“It is precisely during troubled times that we must clearly see where we need to end up if we are to be in a leading position as things turn around,” he said. “A turnaround, then, is not something we should be waiting to have happen; we share responsibility to make it happen.”
Shepard said the campus Growth Agenda represents the campus’s best efforts to respond to the needs of the region.
Regent Brent Smith of La Crosse asked if the campus’s plans would depend on receiving funding from the state. Shepard said state funds would be necessary because as an urban campus, UW-Green Bay could not rely on increased tuition to recover costs. The plan will also benefit from broad community support and demonstrated need in the region, Shepard noted.
“ We will not grow without the funding that would be dishonest to our students,” Shepard said.
Regent Thomas Loftus of Sun Prairie indicated that he would support UW-Green Bay’s proposal, as well as all such campus plans. He, too, noted that such plans would depend on the support of local legislators, as well as reasonable tuition and increased financial aid.
Regent Peggy Rosenzweig of Wauwatosa described UW- Green Bay’s growth plan as inspiring, but wondered if the plan would succeed without the support of the current legislators, who may not remain in office for many years ahead. She asked if Chancellor Shepard intended to request that the system reallocate internal funding to support the campus’ plans.
Shepard said that he believes that it is “not realistic” look to internal reallocation as a source of funding to fuel the campus’s growth. Rather, he said, he suggested that friends of all UW institutions should work together to gain legislative and community support for the whole UW System, a strategy that could, in turn, benefit individual institutions.
Regent Gerard Randall of Milwaukee said he was happy that the campus is acknowledging the opportunities that accompany a diversifying population.
Regent Brent Smith of La Crosse and Regent Chuck Pruitt of Shorewood both noted that the plan was directly responsive to the state’s need to expand the number of Wisconsin citizens who have baccalaureate degrees.
In addition, Shepard noted, the proposed agenda for growth also includes elements to serve an “untapped market” of adult students, beyond the 7,500 headcount-enrollment target, through “anytime, anywhere learning,” Shepard said.
The Board will hear on Friday from Chancellor Shepard and a panel of community members about how UW-Green Bay’s Growth Agenda intersects with the broader goals of Northeastern Wisconsin.
UW-Green Bay unveils Master Plan
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s new Master Plan lays out the components for a larger university and seeks to resolve a wide range of issues facing the campus, including a continuing commitment to sustainability.
UW-Green Bay officials and students Thursday explained the key components of the long-range campus development plan at a joint meeting of the UW Board of Regents Business, Finance and Audit Committee and Physical Planning and Funding Committee.
The Master Plan is only the second comprehensive development plan in UW-Green Bay’s history, which dates to 1969 at the current campus location on the northeast edge of the city of Green Bay. University officials say it’s time to consider a new Master Plan as the UW-Green Bay faces decisions about enrollment growth and sites for new facilities.
UW-Green Bay Chancellor Bruce Shepard told the regents that the new plan will shape opportunities for students 50 to 100 years from now. He said a master plan must mix reality with a “sense of dreaming.”
Shepard said the plan fits in well with his proposal to grow UW-Green Bay’s enrollment by 50 percent to 7,500 students.
“This plan answers the fundamental question: Do we have the capacity to grow? The answer, clearly, is yes,” he said.
Dean Rodeheaver, UW-Green Bay assistant chancellor for planning and budget, said the campus has the land mass and infrastructure to support a university with an enrollment substantially larger than it has today.
Even after nearly 40 years of existence, UW-Green Bay has retained an image of being apart from the larger community, Rodeheaver said.
“We’re still seen as being ‘out there,’ even though the city (of Green Bay) actually encircles us today,” he said.
As UW-Green Bay’s enrollment grows, sustainability will continue to be an important concept for a campus long known for its commitment to environmental awareness, Rodeheaver said.
Rodeheaver introduced students from UW-Green Bay’s Environmental Science and Policy graduate program who made numerous recommendations related to sustainability. The students studied the plan as part of the graduate program’s capstone seminar.
Graduate student Chris Waltman said the students’ recommendations covered transportation, stormwater management, energy use and other issues related to sustainability.
One transportation recommendation, Waltman said, was to create a car-pooling “buddy” system to minimize UW-Green Bay students’ reliance on the automobile. The students also suggested that fees for University parking lots be based on the fuel-efficiency of vehicles.
Graduate student Larry Cornell said there are many good reasons for UW-Green Bay to pursue sustainability, including cost savings, obligations of an academic institution, community leadership, and the use of the campus as a laboratory.
The presentation, which Shepard described as “well-conceived, exciting and farsighted,” followed planning that has involved input from students, faculty, staff, neighbors, friends of the university, and local communities, Shepard said.
“Today, we widen that circle of participants who, by their participation, become owners of this plan,” Shepard said. “Real planning is people, not paper.”
Students at UW-Green Bay benefit from “Connecting learning to life”
UW-Green Bay leaders put a face Thursday on the campus’s core educational theme: “Connecting Learning to Life.”
Provost Sue Hammersmith told the Education Committee on that the campus focuses on this approach by in providing the typical education that UW-Green Bay students receive as they pursue undergraduate degrees.
The presentation also included remarks from faculty member Andy Kersten and UW-Green Bay graduate David Lamers, a middle school social studies teacher at Parkview Middle School in Ashwaubenon and a recipient of the very prestigious 2005 Golden Apple Award.
Regents praised Provost Hammersmith and her colleagues for delivering an engaging presentation, and thanked UW-Green Bay for helping its students make the institutional mission come alive by connecting learning to life.
The Education Committee also approved the UW System Report on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment and endorsed the efforts of UW System campuses after hearing reports on national, state and single-institution efforts against sexual assault.
“I think it goes without saying that the Regents support all of the things you have done,” said Regent Roger Axtell of Janesville.
Janice Sheppard, senior academic planner in the UW System Office of Academic and Student Services, described reporting, workshops, training, and other efforts in the UW System, and announced that just today, the UW System received the 2006 Voices of Courage Award for Community Support from the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault.
“This award is evidence of the hard work and consistent attention the UW System has given to this painful problem,” she said.
Committee members were taken with the national perspective provided by Eva Shiffrin, staff attorney with the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Inc., who reported that in a national survey of male students, 6.4 percent reported acting in ways defined as rape or attempted rape, and of those, 63 percent admitted to just under six rapes each. More than 80 percent of those admitted to raping women incapacitated by drugs or alcohol. Yet nationally, only 4.5 percent of rapes are reported to any police agency and only 3.2 percent are reported to any campus authority.
“If we can increase the climate of campus reporting, we can get a handle on this,” said Committee Chair Elizabeth Burmaster.
Ann Malain, associate director of the Counseling Center at UW-Oshkosh, reported on the model program at her institution.
Student Regent Chris Semenas of UW-Parkside observed that he has observed long-term impacts of sexual assault on students in his role as a resident assistant in student housing.
In addition, the Education Committee heard from President Kevin P. Reilly and Ron Singer, associate vice president for academic and student services on the process of planning and approving academic programs in the UW System.
Programs are not increasing, Reilly said, “As a matter of fact, over the last ten years, there’s been a net reduction of six programs.”
“What we’re looking for in our role as regents is to make sure the quality and rigor is there,” said Regent Danae Davis.
In other actions, the Education Committee:
- Accepted the 2004-2005 Minority and Disadvantaged Student Annual Report outlining the System’s pre-college, recruitment and retention plan for multicultural and economically disadvantages students. The report presented by Senior Vice President Cora B. Marrett showed an increase in expenditures that she described as “slight, but significant” in a time of budget constraints;
- Approved a resolution to rename the UW-Milwaukee School of Business Administration to the Sheldon B. Lubar School of Business, honoring the Milwaukee business leader and philanthropist. Lubar, a former member of the UW Board of Regents, recently pledged the largest single donation in UW-Milwaukee history, $10 million, to the institution;
- Approved a UW-Milwaukee charter school contract with the Academy of Milwaukee, Inc., to establish the Academy of Milwaukee, a new science-oriented charter school for approximately 450 students in grades six through 12; and
- Approved a request to the Trustees of the William F. Vilas Trust for $8,722,145 for fiscal July 2006 through June 2007. The greater portion of the request supports undergraduate scholarships, graduate fellowships, research professorships and various other awards and an allotment for a Microbial Sciences Building for the BioStar program at UW-Madison. Some of the funds also will support research professorships and a series of music events at UW-Milwaukee.
Physical Planning and Funding Committee
Committee approves next steps to make Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery a reality
The Physical Planning and Funding Committee met jointly on Thursday with the Business, Finance, and Audit Committee to listen to a presentation on the UW-Green Bay Master Plan (see above).
Following the presentation, the committee reconvened and approved the minutes of the March 2006 meeting. Next, the committee unanimously approved the resolutions related to:
- Approval of the Design Report and Authority to Construct the Chadbourne Residence Hall at UW-Madison;
- Leasing space at the University Research Park on behalf of the UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine for the Department of Pathobiological Sciences. UW-Madison Associate Vice Chancellor Alan Fish told the committee that the lab space would be instrumental in helping to keep UW-Madison Professor Yoshi Kawaoka and his ground-breaking influenza virus research in Wisconsin;
- Conveying the Hanson Forest property (1,028 acres in Ashland County) to the United States Forest Service;
- Executing an agreement to install exterior flood lights at the Engelmann Soccer Field at UW-Milwaukee;
- Authority to construct the Student Union Expansion Project as well as the third central chiller installation project at UW-Parkside. Chancellor Jack Keating told the committee that UW-Parkside students have given overwhelming support to the project, which will primarily be funded through segregated fees to be phased in over four years at approximately $100 per year through 2007. He also indicated that the segregated fees to support the chiller installation may not be necessary due to actual enrollment numbers;
- Authority to Construct Various Facility Maintenance and Repair Projects at six campuses throughout the System;
- Authority to construct the Engineering Learning Center project at UW-Madison. Fish pointed out that the $538,000 project is fully gift-funded; and
- Authority for UW-Madison to exchange land with the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) and to request a waiver that would allow WARF to construct the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery and the Morgridge Institute for Research, a private, not-for-profit research institute. Alan Fish and Carl Gulbrandsen, managing director of WARF, will make a presentation to the full Board on Friday on this exciting venture, supported by a $50 million gift from John and Tashia Morgridge.
The committee deferred action and placed on file a UW-Oshkosh request to purchase two parcels of land.
In addition, Assistant Vice President for Capital Planning and Budget David Miller reported that the state Building Commission in March approved $28.5 million in projects. Funding for those projects includes $6.7 million in General Fund Supported Borrowing and $21.8 million in Program Revenue, Gifts and Grants.
Business, Finance and Audit Committee
Student input key to food-service contracts in UW System
Food service on UW campuses is “customer-driven,” making service and quality top priorities, the Regents’ Business, Finance and Audit Committee learned Thursday.
The committee heard from Ruth Anderson, UW System assistant vice president for procurement, who reviewed how food service contracts are developed and administered on UW campuses. Some campuses, like UW-Green Bay and UW-Oshkosh, contract for full food-service operations. This includes the responsibility to purchase food and provide services, offered by employees who work directly for the outside vendor. Others, like UW-Madison or UW-Platteville, are self-operated, when goods are purchased through a vendor, but employees who work in food service are employees of the campuses.
UW campuses have some of the lowest food-service rates in the nation, she said, adding that oversight at the system level helps ensure best practices. In addition, Anderson said that buying larger volumes of food does not necessarily guarantee economies of scale, noting that 90 percent of variable costs, such as administration or labor, would not be affected by consolidation.
Randy Hedge, director of UW-Oshkosh’s Reeve Memorial Union, said food service contracts are complicated, especially perhaps, at the campus level. “To pull those all together would be a nightmare,” he said.
Contracts are consistently updated in response to student input, he added, making it important for campuses to retain local control of the service. Campuses also work with contractors to secure flexible menu options, to allow a broad selection as students come from increasingly diverse backgrounds, he said.
Chris Moore, a senior at UW-Oshkosh, said he has been involved with student input into food service for four years. Now employed as a student liaison by the campus’s food-service contractor, he noted that such contracts allow volume discounts, but local control of the contracts allows the campus to meet student needs. For example, soy milk was recently made available in campus dining facilities due to student demand, which would not have been possible without campus autonomy.
“Please don’t make that go away,” he asked.
There is no formal proposal for a consolidation at this time, Anderson noted. The review was conducted to answer commonly asked questions about such contracts, she said.
In other business, the committee:
- Heard from Trust Officers Patricia Brady and Doug Hoerr about the Board’s fiduciary responsibilities in managing UW System trust funds;
- Learned that a chancellor car-allowance policy, campus initiatives, and audit reports will be considered by the Regents in May;
- Heard the report of the vice president; and
- Discussed how campus growth agenda proposals would be incorporated into the UW System’s budget request for the 2007-09 biennium. Regent Eileen Connolly-Keesler of Oshkosh asked how the Board might balance UW Growth Agenda initiatives with the need to maintain and improve current operations, such as the need to increase faculty and staff salaries to reach peer levels. Pruitt said that the university would follow the process of creating a central budget request within state guidelines, and that such initiatives would be included in that process.
Regent President David Walsh of Madison noted that other initiatives might include packages to address financial aid and distance learning. Regents also discussed how funding from the state and generated by revenue is distributed to UW campuses. Regent Thomas Loftus of Sun Prairie said he believed that UW-Madison is at “a tipping point,” and suggested that to attract faculty, the next budget must reflect “hope” for investment in the campus’s future.
The Board of Regents will resume its April meeting on Friday, April 7, at 9 a.m. in the Phoenix Rooms of the University Union on the UW-Green Bay campus.
Related: Read April 7 (day 2) news summary