December 2012 Chancellor's Report

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Welcome to the December 2012/January 2013 issue of the Chancellor’s Report, a monthly newsletter designed to highlight important information, updates and changes that affect students, faculty and staff at UW-Platteville. The newsletter includes information from a wide variety of university departments, including the office of the chancellor, administrative services, prospective students and admission, student affairs, advancement, human resources, office of diversity and inclusion, and athletics. It also includes information from the Real Estate Foundation and Pioneer Farm.

On Dec. 15, our largest December graduating class ever – 602 students – will accept their diplomas at Commencement. Commencement is a time for all of us to reflect on the hard work, dedication, perseverance, and academic successes of these students and wish them congratulations and best wishes as they leave the university environment to pursue their career endeavors.

Commencement is also a time for me to thank all faculty and staff members for providing these students with exceptional academic programs, services, and training that fully prepared them for the workforce while also providing them with the support and encouragement they needed throughout their educational experiences. All of these things were essential to their success.

On Dec. 6, Provost Mittie N. Den Herder and I presented the university’s strategic plan to the UW System Board of Regents. In our presentation, we gave an overview of the university’s successes and challenges as well as its strategic planning process and priorities. Provost Den Herder and I are strongly advocating with the Board of Regents regarding the need to address compensation. We are hopeful that the Board of Regents will give the university the flexibilities it needs so that we can respond to the current and future needs of our students, faculty, staff, and industry partners.

For more information about the meeting, go to http://www.uwsa.edu/news/2012/r121206.htm. To view the webcast, go to http://ics.webcast.uwex.edu/Mediasite6/Play/cf2bc1a6ffba441cb950959f161552f41d?catalog=979beaa0-40d5-40d1-a727-6d8d9aca7c06.

Website Transition Project

The pilot programs for the website transition project are being worked on and will be completed by the start of the second semester. After receiving campus feedback and implementing any changes, the internal team will migrate other departments to the new site in a scheduled fashion. A new homepage and hub pages are planned to be available after spring break. The entire website transition project is being led and conducted by a special 14-member internal committee who has been charged with making decisions, setting timelines, setting policy, creating the navigation wireframe, determining design and style and communicating progress of the project. For more information about the website transition project, go to http://www3.uwplatt.edu/web. To schedule your department's move to the site, contact project manager Paul Erickson at ericksop@uwplatt.edu.

Budget Open Forums

Two budget open forums were held in November to update the campus on the university's finances. The presentation, UW-Platteville Financial Overview Open Forums November 2012, is online at http://www.uwplatt.edu/budget/presentations.html.

Badger Camp Telethon

On Saturday, December 1, UW-Platteville hosted its 39th Christmas telethon in support of Wisconsin Badger Camp, a local nonprofit camp whose mission is to serve people with developmental disabilities by providing quality outdoor recreational experiences. This year, the telethon raised more than $62,000, which will provide more than 100 camperships to Badger Camp, located 10 miles south of Prairie du Chien. The event has been a community tradition in southwest Wisconsin, with over 200 businesses donating auction items or food for the production. Civic organizations such as the Jaycees, Elks Club, Rotary Club and others donate time and money to this event. The Telethon would not be possible without the efforts of students, faculty, staff, community members and volunteers working together toward a common goal.

The telethon was produced and broadcast on Channel 5 and streamed live on the web, with viewers as far away as the state of Washington. The production featured live entertainment, an auction, interviews with Wisconsin Badger Camp patrons, staff and supporters, among other highlights.

“A tremendous amount of work, from numerous people, is put into the telethon each year,” said Colleen Garrity, director, UW-Platteville Media Technology Services. “To see the tote board climb throughout the day and to see the excitement on the campers’ faces makes all of the work worthwhile.”

Human Resources

Employee Recognition Luncheon: On Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, we celebrated those UW-Platteville employees with years of service, in five-year increments. The celebration included employees who started in 2007 and went back as far as 1967. This year, we honored 132 recipients, including 39 employees with five years of service, 25 employees with 10 years of service, 37 employees with 15 years of service, 12 employees with 20 years of service, 13 employees with 25 years of service, one employee with 30 years of service, four employees with 35 years of service, and one employee with 45 years of service to UW-Platteville. A grand total of 1780 years of service has been performed by these 132 employees.  Ray Spoto, in the Department of Humanities, celebrated 45 years of service at UW-Platteville.

Executive Order 54: Earlier this year, Governor Walker signed Executive Order 54, which requires all employees in the University of Wisconsin system to immediately report child abuse or neglect if, in the course of employment, a UW System employee observes an incident of child abuse or neglect, or learns of an incident or threat of child abuse or neglect, and the employee has reasonable cause to believe that child abuse or neglect has occurred or will occur. We have written our UW-Platteville policy, which is located in the Employee Handbook, located on our university website. We have also provided training about child abuse and neglect, and our reporting requirements. The majority of our employees have participated in this training. If you have not received training regarding our mandatory reporting requirement, please contact Christine Buswell in Human Resources at (608) 342-1176.

High Impact Practices

The university continues its tradition of providing high quality, hands-on education and training both inside and outside of the classroom so that students are fully prepared to enter the workforce and pursue their career endeavors. Connections with the community, faculty, industry, government, non-profit agencies and the international community help the university create outstanding engagement opportunities for its students. There are many examples of high impact practices at the university, some of which are highlighted below.

International Programs: During the fall semester, UW-Platteville students participated in education abroad programs in 13 countries throughout Asia, Europe, South America and Oceania. Locations included: Argentina, Australia, Fiji, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Scotland, Spain, Sweden and Thailand. In addition, UW-Platteville was pleased to host 37 international exchange students from ten countries including two Brazilian students from the Brazilian government's Science without Borders program. This fall, UW-Platteville's 66 international degree-seeking students, 37 international exchange students, and eight international scholars came from 27 countries. The International Pal Program, an international friendship program which pairs new international students with returning U.S. and international students, kicked off this fall with nearly 30 participants.

Global Lens Living and Learning Community: International Programs and the Department of Residence Life are pleased to announce the upcoming Global Lens Living and Learning Community. The Global Lens LLC will be located in Dobson Hall and will welcome its first cohort in the fall 2013 semester. The LLC is part of UW-Platteville’s wider efforts to improve first to second year retention and to provide formal and informal support structures for first year students.

The LLC is open to all first year students of any major and seeks to foster the development of a supportive community of students, faculty and staff dedicated to promoting and engaging in opportunities that nurture greater global understanding as well as enhance students’ intellectual, personal and intercultural development through discussion, campus and community events, service, civic engagement and critical reflection.

PACCE’s Engagement Poster Day, Velzy Commons, Dec. 5: After completing their service learning projects, students presented their projects to their clients and to the public at this special event. Community partners on the projects hailed from West Africa, Chicago, New Mexico, Milwaukee, Janesville, Minnesota, Belmont and many points in between. Five hundred seventy-four students participated in PACCE projects this semester.

New Entrepreneurship Minor: For the first time, next semester, the university will offer a minor in entrepreneurship, with 20 students already registered for the Introduction to Entrepreneurship class. This minor is designed to complement any major offered at UW-Platteville. There are no pre-requisites to begin the minor and it includes both a business and a non-business track. For more information, go to www.uwplatt.edu/entrepreneurship.

Pioneer Launch Lab: A ninth UW-Platteville student recently joined the Pioneer Launch Lab. Kyle Shisler, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering, is working on a device that would enhance the fuel economy of vehicles. Located on the 5th floor of Pioneer Tower, the Pioneer Launch Lab helps to connect these students with people and resources to take their entrepreneurial ideas to the next stage.

Third Annual Elevator Pitch Competition, Nov. 14: Students delivered a business or product idea to a panel of judges, with only two minutes to pitch their ideas. The competition was moderated by Dr. Kevin Bernhardt, director of PACCE. The first place winner was Jordan Riemer who pitched an idea on developing a line of potting soil. Tom Aronson received the second place prize for his pitch for his apparel line, Droptine. Third place was awarded to Amadou Hanne whose pitch was titled, Open Your World.

Pioneer Farm

Initiative to Integrate Extension into the Upper Mississippi River Basin Long-Term Agro-ecosystem Research Program: The Great Lakes Regional Water Program has awarded UW-Platteville a one-year competitive Research, Education, and Outreach Opportunities Grant totaling $27,500. This grant, directed by Dr. Dennis L. Busch, will integrate an extension education component into the Upper Mississippi River Basin Long-Term Agro-Ecosystem Research, to enhance the dissemination and the direction of research activities. Co-Principal Directors include: Tom Moorman of USDA/ARS, Joseph J. Lally of Iowa State University, Faye Sleeper of University of Minnesota, Paul Kivlin of UW-River Falls and Andrew Cartmill of UW-Platteville.

Multi-State Runoff Monitoring Demonstration, Training, and Outreach Project Funded by USDA Conservation Innovation Grant: Dennis Busch of UW-Platteville collaborated with Mike Daniels and other Arkansas scientists on a grant submission that builds upon recent research and development conducted at UW-Platteville. The United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service has awarded the University of Arkansas a three-year competitive Conservation Innovation Grant totaling $969,299. This grant project, directed by Dr. Mike B. Daniels, will demonstrate the low-cost runoff monitoring prototype developed at UW-Platteville, provide funding to develop and demonstrate wireless communication systems for the prototype gauge, develop and deliver an edge-of-field monitoring training program, coordinate monitoring implementation, and deliver an outreach program based on the results. Co-principal directors include: Andrew Sharpley, Brian Haggard, Chris Henry, and Yushen Chun of the University of Arkansas, Dennis Busch of UW-Platteville, Michele Reba of USDA-ARS, Debbie Moreland of Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts, and Randy Young, Arkansas Natural Resources Commission.

Athletics

The men’s soccer team ended ts best seasons in school history by making a run to the NCAA Division III men’s soccer Sweet 16 and capturing the 2012 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletics Conference championship. The Pioneers defeated Gustavus Adolphus and Carroll University in the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament before falling to No. 4 Loras in the third-round. UW-Platteville posted a program-best 15 wins and a 7-1 (.875) home record, while head coach Enzo Fuschino was named WIAC Coach of the Year. Senior Brandon Chmiel was named WIAC Co-Offensive Player of the Year and junior Michael Prudisch garnered WIAC Defensive Player of the Year honors.

Just like the men’s soccer team, the football team finished one of its best seasons in program history. The Pioneers tallied an 8-2 record, which is the best finish since 1976 (8-2) and ended the year ranked 12th in the nation. UW-Platteville garnered a program record 15 all-conference accolades. Senior defensive lineman Corey Marks earned his third-straight first-team award and became the third Pioneer to receive three-consecutive first-team honors. Fellow seniors, defensive back Ryan McWethy, linebacker Nick Snyder, and offensive lineman Tyler Miller and junior wide receiver Ryley Bailey all were named first-team all-WIAC.

Office of Diversity and Inclusion

Assistant Chancellor and Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Jennifer deCoste: As the university’s new assistant chancellor and chief diversity officer, deCoste oversees the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, Women’s Center, Veteran’s Affairs, Services for Students with Disabilities, Student Support Services, Human Resources (ADA, Affirmative Action, and Title 9), and International Programs/Study Abroad. In her position, she will provide the leadership to unify the campus and bring its programs, curriculum, students, faculty and staff in line with a very clear vision of diversity and inclusiveness. In this position, she is charged with:

  • Representing the chancellor on matters of diversity within the university and UW System
  • Coordinating/supporting underrepresented faculty recruitment and retention, including the University Fellows Program
  • Coordinating, in consultation with the Admission and Financial Aid offices, those areas that are relevant to increasing student diversity on campus
  • Overseeing the Inclusive Excellence Committee
  • Maintaining final oversight for the implementation of Diversity Action Plans
  • Leading the university response to the campus climate survey
  • Developing programs that provide a welcoming and supportive community for a diverse range of students, faculty and staff
  • Providing strategic planning and direction in recruiting and attracting diverse faculty, staff and students; coordinating diversity activities and programming across the university by collaborating directly with key functional areas
  • Providing oversight for all aspects of the university's affirmative action program: promoting equal opportunity, multicultural activities and relations, and disability services
  • Partnering with campus academic departments to support diversification of the curriculum and educational research related to diversity, multicultural perspectives, access and equity
  • Assessing the success of equity and inclusion programs, including sexual harassment, and develop and implement processes to track and monitor training, presentations and other engagements with the university community
  • Ensuring continual strengthening of the diversity of candidate pools for open positions 

Alumni Services

Athletic Hall of Fame: On Dec. 1, the UW-Platteville Athletic Hall of Fame welcomed three new members. Those honored were Tammy (Corley) Fick and John Schmidt, who were recognized for their outstanding contributions to track and field. Dr. Michael Viney was also inducted for his outstanding service to athletics.

Outstanding Alumni Awards: At each fall commencement, the Alumni Association awards the Outstanding Alumni Award to persons who have graduated from UW-Platteville within the past 15 years. Evaluation of nominees includes contributions to profession, awards and recognition by community or profession, community involvement, and contributions to UW-Platteville in the form of time, talent or resources. The 2012 Outstanding Alumni honored at the fall commencement were Dean Meinholz, Bryan Mergen, Michael Payne and William Shores.

Lifetime Pioneer Awards: The Alumni Association also honored four graduating seniors with the Lifetime Pioneer award. Those honored were Alex Gooding, Cindy Kurek, Elizabeth Wagner and Courtney Weigel.

Administrative Services

International Fraud Awareness Week, Nov. 11-17: The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners first organized this week 12 years ago. Its purpose is to shed light on the fact that fraud exists in all organizations and that we all need to be proactive in our approach to identifying possible frauds. A 2012 global fraud study conducted by the ACFE found that a typical organization loses an estimated 5 percent of its annual revenues to occupational fraud. With budgets already tight, losing any amount of revenue to fraud can have adverse effects on an organization.

Since the ACFE published its first biennial study in 2002, tips have made up the largest percentage of the initial detection of occupational fraud. For the 2012 study, tips were the initial detection of occupational fraud in over 43 percent of the fraud cases reviewed as part of the study. Employees should always keep their eyes open for any unusual occurrences that may take place at UW-Platteville. Not everything that looks suspicious is fraud, but all frauds do tend to look suspicious. If you do have any suspicions or concerns, please contact Patrick Fitzsimons at (608) 342-1286 or by email at fitzsimp@uwplatt.edu.

Campus Planning

The Boebel Hall phase two renovation project is progressing. An architect/engineering consultant team will be selected in late February, with the renovation design work beginning in March 2013.

A combined planning project will begin shortly for a new academic office and classroom building (approx. 120,000 gross square feet, additions to Engineering Hall (approx. 170,000 GSF), and renovation of Ottensman Hall (168,000 GSF). It is anticipated that an architect/engineering consultant team will be selected in February 2013 for this project.

The Williams Fieldhouse recreational space needs study will be completed December 2012.  This study engaged students, staff and the community in examining present and future recreation and athletics space needs.  This study will detail what types of recreation/athletic spaces are needed, and the associated cost for the types of space.

The design phase for Dobson Hall and Melcher Hall renovation project will be complete in January 2013. The future renovation of these two residence halls is anticipated.

The design phase of the Doudna Hall classroom renovation project will be completed in February 2013.  This project converts existing space in Doudna Hall into a high-technology, 142-seat lecture hall with tiered seating. The design includes provisions for adding full lecture capture equipment (video recording) to the room in the future.

Construction of Bridgeway Commons, a new 440-bed residence hall with dining facility, is currently underway. This new facility will be open for student housing in late August 2013.

Prospective Students and Admission

The Prospective Student Services (PSS) Team has been busy on the road advising prospective students how every day is a great day to be a Pioneer. Since the fall semester began, the team has visited more than 300 high schools, attended more than 100 recruitment fairs and welcomed 1560 students and guests to campus for daily visits.

On- and off-campus visits

  • The Pioneer Previews were another great opportunity to welcome 1,420 sophomores, juniors and seniors, along with their guests, to campus.
  • The Paths to Platteville program hosted new visit groups from Chicago and Dekalb, Ill., and welcomed nearly 600 underrepresented minority prospective students to learn about our programs.
  • The PSS staff and a representative from the Forensic Investigation program completed two visits to Houston, Texas, where they visited high schools and participated in a college fair in the Aldine Independent School District. The trip resulted in more than 200 new prospective contacts.

The Admission Team is preparing for the spring and fall semester by processing 400 applications for spring and 2,400 new freshman applications for fall 2013. Deposits for the fall semester are up over 19 percent compared to last year at this same time. The Tri-States Initiative application numbers continue to be strong and steady and are up over 10 percent compared to last year at this time.

United States-India Educational Foundation Recruitment Fairs: UW-Platteville hopes to see more degree-seeking students from India on campus in the near future. Mohammad Amin, International Admission Adviser, and Donna Anderson, Director of International Programs, recently participated in the United States-India Educational Foundation recruitment fairs in India. The fairs held in New Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and Mumbai were attended by thousands of Indian students seeking undergraduate and graduate programs in the United States, particularly in the areas of engineering, computer science, and business/management.

Real Estate Foundation

Bridgeway Commons: The Real Estate Foundation recently approved the name Bridgeway Commons for the new residence hall currently under construction near Southwest Hall. To initially identify options for names, the Department of Residence Life held a contest that gave students the opportunity to submit ideas. A team of students from McGregor and Pickard Halls submitted Bridgeway Commons, which received the most votes from the student residence hall community. Work on the third of five levels began before Thanksgiving break and construction on the dining facility is moving along. Bridgeway Commons will have 440 student beds, a full dining facility that will support the entire campus, meeting rooms, a main floor coffee shop, and outdoor patio. It is scheduled to be completed by August 2013 for student move in.

Adopt-a-Park Program: The City of Platteville recently unveiled a new Adopt-a-Park program and students from Rountree Commons were some of the first to sign up and adopt Valley View Park. The students have already completed a fall cleanup of the park and will be responsible for monthly checks of the park and a spring cleanup. The Adopt-a-Park program fosters civic engagement by providing an opportunity for student volunteers to give back to the community. Student volunteers in the Adopt-a-Park program provide services that go beyond what the City of Platteville Parks Department has the time or budget for. While regular maintenance like grass cutting will be done by the Parks Department, Adopt-a-Park student volunteers can add special touches to the park like mulch, flower beds, and trash removal. Students from Rountree Commons who use the park will know that because of their efforts, the park will be safer and more inviting. In addition, they will have the satisfaction of giving back to the community which is an important life lesson.

Remember to make every day a great day to be a Pioneer!

(Information compiled by Laurie Hamer, hamerl@uwplatt.edu)

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