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UW-Platteville is one of 13 publicly supported comprehensive universities in the UW System. Founded in 1866, UW-Platteville is the oldest public institution in the state of Wisconsin, and is considered one of the safest campuses in the nation. We are proud of our students’ contribution to the safety record, their pursuit of academic excellence and the leadership they continually demonstrate throughout the state, region and nation. As our nickname implies, our UW-Platteville “Pioneers” have created the very foundation for which we are known. Our leadership in the Colleges of Business, Industry, Life Science and Agriculture; Engineering, Mathematics and Science; and Liberal Arts and Education helps students build on the foundation of strong values, commitment to excellence, leadership for a stronger world and a knowledge of technology which prepares them for life in the 21st century. We encourage you to visit our home page.
The fundamental mission of UW-Platteville and the entire UW System is to serve the people of Wisconsin. This basic goal is expressed in detail in the mission statement adopted in 1988 and revised in 2002. In those statements, UW-Platteville pledges itself to:
- Enable each student to become broader in perspective, more literate, intellectually more astute, ethically more sensitive and to participate wisely in society as a competent professional and knowledgeable citizen.
- Provide baccalaureate degree programs which meet primarily regional needs in arts and sciences, teacher education, business and information technology.
- Provide baccalaureate degree programs and specialized programs in middle school education, engineering, technology management, agriculture and criminal justice which have been identified as institutional areas of emphasis.
- Provide graduate programs in areas clearly associated with its undergraduate emphases in education, agriculture, technology management, engineering and criminal justice.
- Provide undergraduate distance learning programs in business administration and graduate online programs in project management, criminal justice and engineering.
- Provide agricultural systems research programs utilizing the Pioneer Farm in partnership with businesses, universities and agencies.
- Expect scholarly activity, including applied research, scholarship and creative endeavor, that supports its programs at the baccalaureate degree level, its selected graduate programs and its special mission.
- Seek to serve the needs of all students and in particular the needs of women, minority, disadvantaged and nontraditional students. Furthermore, the university seeks diversification of the student body, faculty and staff.
- Serve as an educational, cultural and economic development resource to southwestern Wisconsin.
These statements, along with the UW System and University Cluster mission statements, provide a guide to UW-Platteville in what it attempts and does not attempt to accomplish as an institution of higher education.
The first priorities of UW-Platteville’s faculty are teaching and advising. Students benefit from direct contact with faculty; all classes are taught by faculty and academic staff members. The student to instructor ratio is approximately 18 to 1. Of a faculty of 417, approximately 65 percent hold doctorates or terminal degrees. Among full-time faculty, 90 percent have terminal degrees. A complete listing of our faculty and academic staff can be found on the Faculty and Academic staff page.
Students attending UW-Platteville are from all parts of Wisconsin, from surrounding states and from other countries. Enrollment for Fall 2012 was approximately 8,000 students. Nearly 90 percent of students are undergraduates. Some 3,300 students live in 11 campus residence halls. Nearly 76 percent of students are Wisconsin residents, and 20 percent are enrolled through the Tri-State Initiative. Students actively participate in the governance process at UW-Platteville. There are incredible opportunities for involvement through membership in the more than 200 student clubs and organizations.
The UW System is committed to maintaining adequate facilities for a safe and healthy learning environment. The university works with faculty and staff so that they are equipped to educate their students on practices and procedures that ensure compliance with safety laws and regulations in their institutional areas.
Certain courses and research projects require that students work with hazardous materials while engaging in academic studies. Instructors of these courses and research projects must inform and train students on procedures that will maintain the students’ personal health and safety and provide them with information on the hazards of specific chemicals that will be used during their course of study. Furthermore, instructors must enforce and follow safety policies. Prior to use of hazardous materials and equipment, students shall review the procedures and information, and discuss any associated concerns with the instructor.
The main campus of UW-Platteville is located in the southwest quadrant of the city of Platteville.
Spanning over 330 acres, the main campus includes over 30 buildings in a park-like setting. Over the last decade, there has been extensive facility development on the campus. New buildings since 1997 include the Children’s Center, the Markee Pioneer Student Center, the greenhouse and adjacent gardens, Southwest Hall, Roundtree Commons and Engineering Hall.
Additionally, there have been major renovations to Doudna Hall, Russell Hall, Pioneer Tower, Ullrich Hall, the Art Building, Ullsvik Hall and Glenview Commons. There have also been extensive improvements in athletic and recreational facilities, including Ralph E. Davis Pioneer Stadium, the outdoor track and field facility, and the softball and baseball fields. A significant feature of the university campus is the Center for the Arts. The 565-seat concert hall is known for its excellent acoustics. There is also a 200-flexible seat theater and rehearsal halls in the facility. The center is home to the award-winning Performing Arts Series and the summer Heartland Festival.
Pioneer Farm, located about five miles southeast of the city of Platteville, is the university’s 450-acre systems research and education facility. Pioneer Farm features newly constructed buildings, including the Agriculture Technology Center, the Cooper Living and Learning Center, the Swine Center and the Dairy Center. The farm enterprise includes dairy, swine and beef herds plus corn, soybean and alfalfa cropping. Pioneer Farm is a key component of the Wisconsin Agricultural Stewardship Initiative, a statewide collaboration between producers, state government and the UW System to evaluate best management practices in Wisconsin and form policies based on practices that will enhance the environment and produce a profit for the producer. Pioneer Farm has developed to provide agricultural and environmental research in a production setting representative of Southwest Wisconsin and the Upper Mississippi Basin loess hills.
UW-Platteville also has facilities which can transmit or receive full motion or compressed video to or from anywhere in the world. One facility, a permanent distance education classroom in Ottensman Hall, is used primarily by the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science, and another is used within Pioneer Tower by the College of Business, Industry, Life Science and Agriculture. A third facility is at the Pioneer Farm.
The Greater Platteville area, with a population approximating 25,000 people, is located in scenic Southwest Wisconsin. Platteville is served by U.S. Highway 151, a four-lane expressway that connects Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to Fond du Lac, and State Highways 80 and 81. Platteville is located in Wisconsin’s Driftless Area and is surrounded by gently rolling hills and beautiful farm country. The city has an historic Main Street and extensive retail opportunities both downtown and near the east-side expressway exit. Additionally, the city has excellent medical facilities, a bustling industry park and several quickly developing housing areas. Residents and visitors enjoy 16 city parks, which include over 200 acres of open space, the city’s art gallery and museums, playgrounds, baseball and softball diamonds, biking and hiking trails, a skate park, picnic shelters, an arboretum and an outdoor aquatics center.
The city and university join together to offer local residents events and activities such as the Heartland Festival and Performing Arts Series, Homecoming and the lighting of the “M.” More information about university events can be found on UW-Platteville’s home page. Information about places to stay in Platteville can be found at www.uwplatt.edu/contact/lodging.html or by calling the Platteville Area Chamber of Commerce at 608.348.8888.
UW-Platteville has a long, rich history. It was founded in 1866 as the first state teacher preparation institution in Wisconsin, then called the Platteville Normal School. Classes were held in Rountree Hall, located at the corner of Main and Elm streets. Rountree Hall was actually built 13 years earlier in 1853 to accommodate the rapidly increasing enrollment of the Platteville Academy, founded in 1839 (even before Wisconsin’s statehood) by the city’s Presbyterian Church.
The university also has roots in the Wisconsin Mining Trade School, established in 1907 to train specialized technicians to work in the mining operations surrounding Platteville. When the Normal School vacated Rountree Hall for its new quarters in Main Hall, the mining school moved in. In 1917, a third year was added to the curriculum, making the Wisconsin Mining School the first school in the United States to offer a three-year course in mining engineering, upon completion of which a student received a diploma.
One of the university’s oldest traditions originated in the year 1936 when the mining school students began work on the “Big M” by placing rocks in a pattern on the southwest slope of the mound, located a few miles east of the city. Completed the following year, the “Big M” measures 214 x 241 feet and consists of some 400 tons of whitewashed stone. The lighting of the “Big M” is now a tradition at UW-Platteville and is the featured ceremony each fall during Homecoming weekend.
The mining school became the Wisconsin Institute of Technology in 1939 and later merged with the Platteville State Teachers College in 1959 to become the Wisconsin State College and Institute of Technology at Platteville.
During the 1960s, the college experienced a period of rapid growth resulting in the construction of several new halls. In 1966, the name was changed again to the Wisconsin State University-Platteville. The university and all other public institutions of higher education in Wisconsin merged in 1971 to form the UW System, governed by a single Board of Regents. As a result of the merger, the university experienced its most recent name change to the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.
From its beginning in 1866, the university has grown tremendously. Current enrollment is approximately 7,500, making UW-Platteville large enough to provide diversity, yet small enough to assure students that they are more than just numbers.
The university seal displays two symbols rooted in the school’s beginning. The bell reminds us of the Platteville Normal School where it woke the students each morning, calling them to daily assembly, sounded study hours and signaled the day’s end. The Normal School bell can still be heard on campus today. The “M” originates from the Wisconsin Mining School and symbolizes the engineering programs and their roots in the mining industry of the Platteville area.
The school colors represent the two academic disciplines which were the foundation of our university: orange symbolizes engineering, and blue symbolizes education.
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