SOMERS, Wis.– Students and faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside and residents of the Racine and Kenosha communities all benefit from campus outreach and engagement in the region, the Board of Regents learned on Friday (March 9).
“What we want to emphasize is the academic excellence of our students, faculty and staff,” said UW-Parkside Chancellor John P. Keating. “Our communities are better for the presence of students. They take the knowledge that is out there, and bring it back to the classrooms.”
UW System President Kevin P. Reilly introduced Keating by noting that UW-Parkside is the only Wisconsin school to have received the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s “Community Engagement” classification. The designation affirms the campus’s commitment in two areas — curricular engagement, and outreach and partnerships, he said.
Thomas Schnaubelt, the university’s Dean for Community Engagement and Civic Learning, said the campus actively integrates its teaching, learning and service missions.
“We’re not simply doing outreach work to fulfill a service mission, but we’re attempting to link our learning and discovery mission with that outreach effort,” Schnaubelt said.
One such effort is the campus-based Center for Community Partnerships, created in 1997. The center focuses on community-based scholarship and nonprofit development, professional and continuing education, and community dialogues, he said.
Schnaubelt described two additional UW-Parkside centers, Center for Environmental Education, Demonstration and Applied Research (CE2DAR) and the Root River Environmental Education Community Center (REC), which both work to improve K-16 access to environmental education. The centers also look for residential and commercial applications of university knowledge, and build awareness of the Great Lakes and watersheds, Schnaubelt said. UW-Parkside researchers use a beach-side facility for much of this work, he said.
The campus is using a grant from Wisconsin Coastal Management to start up environmental education programs on the Root River in Racine, and will continue to seek external support for future and ongoing projects, said John Skalbeck, assistant professor of geosciences.
Students told the Board about a project through the campus’s Ralph Jaeschke Solutions for Economic Growth Center (SEG Center) in which they engaged with a local corporation for a service-learning project. UW-Parkside students Thad Gabron and Sabha Museteif said their student group produced a market analysis and marketing plans for Racine-based Modine Manufacturing Company. The company asked the students for assistance as the corporation sought to enter the military vehicle market.
Museteif said the company is using the market analysis and tools as it develops strategies for the upcoming year, and Modine continues to work with students in the current semester. The students said they both served internships at Modine, as well.
Keating said the SEG Center, administered through the business school, has been funded by an independent donor.
Patrick Liesch, a UW-Parkside student researcher in the field of astrobiology, impressed the Board with a presentation of his work, which includes elements of chemistry, biology and physics. One application of his work is to identify compounds in meteorites as part of inquiries into past or present life forms on Mars, he said.
Liesch reported that his work has led to dozens of publications, and was funded in part by the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium and the UW-Parkside Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program. Liesch said he plans to pursue graduate study at UW-Madison in entomology.
Keating reiterated the importance of providing students the opportunity to participate in service-learning projects in neighboring communities.
“Students say the experiences in the field are some of the best experiences they have in college,” he said.
Regent Michael Falbo of Racine presented a resolution of appreciation to the campus for hosting the Board’s meeting. He said that Keating and his colleagues have a deep understanding of public-private partnerships and a drive for continuously serving the community.
“I think Parkside has been transformed, and as you heard in the last two days, in some very, very positive ways,” Falbo said.
Regents approve liberal arts degree in Chippewa Valley
As early as next fall, students in the Chippewa Valley can begin earning their four-year college degrees through a collaborative liberal arts associate degree program approved Friday by the Board of Regents.
The associate degree would be offered collaboratively between Chippewa Valley Technical College and four UW System institutions. Two-thirds of the coursework would be available at Chippewa Valley Technical College locations, and students would be able to choose remaining required UW courses at UW-Eau Claire, UW-Stout, UW-River Falls, or through the UW Colleges Online.
According to President Reilly, the program is intended for students who begin their education with intentions of earning a baccalaureate-degree, and the collaborative approach would give students a variety of choices about how to complete that education.
Last month, the Board of Regents approved criteria that must be met for new programs. Under those criteria, liberal arts transfer programs must enhance credit transfer for students, avoid unnecessary duplication, and draw upon existing strengths and resources of both institutions. The curriculum for this transfer program has been reviewed and approved for transfer by the necessary UW institutions, she said.
Reilly said on Thursday that the collaborative option maximizes resources because taxpayers avoid additional local property taxes to fund more programming through the technical colleges, and students can take most courses at lower-tuition levels.
In other business, the Board voted to:
- Update Regent policy related to managing, collection and approval of student segregated fees. The updates require standardized, transparent reporting to the Board of Regents, and outline campus-based processes for student involvement;
- Supported the designation of UW-Stout as “Wisconsin’s polytechnic university”;
- Learned that the Business, Finance and Audit Committee will revisit a report on information-technology projects following a review of statewide projects currently underway by the Legislative Audit Bureau;
- Heard a report that negotiations continue between Wisconsin and Minnesota as to potential changes in a tuition-reciprocity agreement between the two states. The State of Minnesota recently published an announcement on its website that current and new students enrolling in the fall of 2007 would have at least four years to complete their undergraduate education under the current terms of the reciprocity agreement;
- Authorize UW-La Crosse to recruit for a provost;
- Approved salary adjustments for the Chancellors at UW-River Falls (an increase of $7,000 for a total of $185,507) and UW-Whitewater (an increase of $8,000 for a total of $186, 507), and the Provost at UW-Green Bay (an increase of $2,500 for a total of $144, 094);
- Authorized the use state building trust funds for the demolition of the A.W. Peterson Building and the Food Research Institute Building, both on the UW-Madison campus; and
- Authorize UW-Stevens Point to purchase a property at 1730 Portage Street, Stevens Point, next to an existing parcel owned by the university for a purchase price of $112,000.
In closed session, the Board:
- Approved a salary adjustment and new appointment Marv Van Kekerix, who will serve as UW-Extension provost, and vice chancellor for UW Colleges and UW-Extension. As of April 1, he will earn $153, 370.
- Approved a revised contract for Paul Chryst, a UW-Madison assistant football coach.
Reilly touts “Growth Agenda” in Fox Valley, Superior; Walsh presents news from the Capitol
Residents around the state continue to show interest in how the “Growth Agenda for Wisconsin” can improve the state’s economy, UW System President Kevin P. Reilly told the Regents on Friday.
Reilly said he joined UW-Madison Chancellor John Wiley and UW-Fox Valley Dean Jim Perry in Appleton last week to visit with community and business leaders. The meetings furthered the “Growth Agenda” advocacy that Chancellors Richard Wells of UW-Oshkosh and Bruce Shepard of UW-Green Bay have begun in the area, he said.
The visit included meetings at the Fox Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Appleton Rotary Club, and the editorial board of the Appleton Post-Crescent. Reilly said his next stop will be the Superior area, where he’ll meet with campus groups, the area Chamber of Commerce, and a Rotary club.
Reilly said he has also received several more letters of support for the Growth Agenda.
Superior business leaders, foundation board members, the Mayor of Superior, representatives of Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College, and former Board of Regents President Toby Marcovich were among those who wrote to support the Growth Agenda, and UW-Superior’s Liberal Arts Initiative as important for retaining and graduating students.
Reilly said Dennis Kropp, Mayor of Menononie, Wisconsin, has written to support the UW-Eau Claire/UW-Stout NanoSTEM initiative as essential to” sustain a vibrant economy in this state.” Further, the Board of “New North,” an economic-development organization that advocates for the larger Green Bay, Appleton, and Oshkosh region, has urged the Governor and the Legislature to make the Northeast Wisconsin Growth Agenda a high priority in the state budget, he said.
Reilly said the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance has scheduled public hearings around the state for the end of March and the beginning of April, including a March 20 event at UW-Milwaukee.
The committee will formally discuss the UW System’s budget at the Capitol on March 22, and will take public testimony from residents in DeForest, Chippewa Falls, Prairie du Chien, Rhinelander, and Green Bay.
“It is our plan that legislators at these sessions will hear from even more citizens who support a substantial re-investment in the university,” Reilly said.
Regent President David G. Walsh of Madison reiterated that the executive budget proposed for the UW System was developed following the university’s solid performance in recent years, and the Governor’s recognition of the importance of the Growth Agenda.
“The Governor’s position on this is that we are part of the solution to economic development, and not the problem,” Walsh said. “The political process will now have its way with the budget, and we’ll have our discussion about what’s left over.”
Walsh reported that he joined President Reilly and several UW staff earlier this week to testify before the Assembly Colleges and Universities Committee. The Committee took testimony about the Legislative Audit Bureau’s report on personnel policies and practices, Walsh said.
He said the UW representatives clarified unclassified employment procedures and made it clear to the Committee that the UW no longer uses so-called “back-up” appointments.
“I’m pleased to say that we can finally put that to bed,” Walsh said.
UW representatives also testified to the Committee about the UW’s study of educational needs in Waukesha County, as well as the faculty and staff disciplinary rules forwarded by the Board of Regents for Legislative approval, Walsh said.
Regents honor Regent Emeritus Gerard Randall
The Board of Regents on Friday honored Regent Emeritus Gerard Randall, who leaves the Board after serving for more than 13 years.
Regent President Walsh presented Randall with a resolution of appreciation, noting that Randall ends his term as the most-senior member of the Board.
“He showed a great commitment to his responsibilities,” Walsh said. “He truly cares about the issues he raised and the issues he focused on.”
Walsh said Randall was committed to improving the UW for the underserved, and was a champion for inclusion and diversity. He also made sure the Board paid attention to the treatment of student-athletes.
“Gerard stood for a lot of things we sometimes forget,” Walsh said.
Randall thanked former Governor Tommy Thompson for giving him the opportunity to serve as Regent.
“I’ve been privileged to serve with people who have a belief in the power of higher education to transform lives,” he said.
Randall said he was glad that Regent Michael Falbo was officially a member of the Board, and said Falbo would be a “tremendous asset to the Board and its work.”
Randall said that when he was appointed in 1994, he was the only African-American on the Board, but that today, the Board of Regents is the most diverse in its history, which he said was also true of the Board’s opinion, experience and values. He said this diversity, and actions like the Board’s recent update of its admissions policy, give him hope that efforts like Plan 2008 are sincere.
“I ask that you continue to be courageous for diversity and its many manifestations on our campuses,” he said.
He noted his roots as a teacher, and praised the Board for its current and historical work to strengthen teacher education, in part toward reducing the achievement gap among the state’s students. He also said the Board has embraced UW-Milwaukee’s important role in Wisconsin, and urged the Board to be aggressive in promoting the Growth Agenda.
“It contains those pieces necessary to achieve access and affordability for this state’ students,” Randall said. “The passage of this budget will be a new symbol of this Board’s commitment to economic growth and the sharing of prosperity in this state”
Randall also urged the Board to continue its push to secure competitive compensation for faculty, staff and academic leaders. “To do otherwise would be to our peril,” he said.
In closing, Randall said a highlight of his service as a Regent has been to attend student graduation ceremonies, where he charged students to “enlighten, ennoble, and to be just.” Randall said he leaves the same charge with the Board of Regents.
“This state is in good hands – yours and theirs,” he said.
The Board of Regents will hold its next full Board meeting on April 12 and 13, 2007, on the UW-Oshkosh campus.
Related: Read Mar 8 (day 1) news summary