February 2012 Chancellor's Report

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Welcome to the second 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. Each month, the newsletter includes information from a wide variety of different campus departments including the Office of the Chancellor, Admissions, Student Affairs, Athletics, Advancement, Administration, and Human Resources. It also includes information from the Center for New Ventures and the Real Estate Foundation.

Dr. Freeman Hrabowski lecture

On Friday, Feb. 24 through Saturday, Feb. 26, UW-Platteville’s Black Student Union will host the 9th annual Ebony Weekend Conference. This year’s theme is Bridging the Generation Gap – Removing the Divide Between Us. The event will celebrate the many multigenerational perspectives within the African American community and seek to bridge the gap between them. Throughout the weekend, there will be workshops, lectures, break-out sessions, panels and informal opportunities for social dialogue which will focus on finding solutions to the common challenges that affect the black community while promoting collaboration, understanding and acceptance.

As part of Sunday’s Ebony Weekend activities, we are honored to welcome nationally renowned Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, III, President of the University of Maryland - Baltimore County, as our keynote speaker. A higher education leader who has appeared on 60 Minutes and has been recognized by TIME magazine, the Washington Post, and the Harvard Kennedy School's Center for Public Leadership, Dr. Hrabowski is one of America's most highly regarded university presidents and a very respected leader in higher education. Under his leadership, UMBC has been widely recognized for developing innovative approaches to teaching and learning that help more students from all backgrounds excel in the science, technology, engineering and math fields.

In his address on Sunday at 10 a.m. in Velzy Commons, Ullsvik Hall, he will talk about the educational challenges we face in America, from closing the achievement gap to increasing the number of Americans from diverse backgrounds who succeed in STEM fields. His message closely aligns with our university’s mission of providing high quality, technologically advanced, competitive education that is accessible to all students. In this day and age, it is essential that we continue to engage in dialogue about inclusive student success. I anticipate that Dr. Hrabowski’s message will have significant implications for our efforts on this campus as we continue to evolve our programs to maintain our proud traditions based on our aspirations for success with all students, specifically within these fields.

We have recently completed several examinations, including a campus climate survey and equity score card, that have allowed us to transition, realign and allocate new resources toward engaging in an inclusive campus environment that consistently produces high achieving students from all walks of life. Additionally, we are currently in the later stages of a search and screen to fill the newly created position of Chief Diversity Officer who will join my leadership team.

President Hrabowski's expertise will assist our campus community in examining our efforts on inclusive achievement in this important area. I hope that all of you are able to participate in the weekend activities and listen to his address on Sunday.

Here are some of the most recent changes that affect all of us:

Impact of Lapses

UW-Platteville is finalizing plans for the budget lapses approved by the Joint Committee on Finance. In 2011-12 the University needs to lapse (give back) about $1.3 million in state funds. Options for meeting this lapse and planning for a level of $1.6 million each year for the next several years have been presented to Faculty Senate, Academic Staff Senate, Student Senate, and other groups. The options, and an overview presentation, are available at http://www.uwplatt.edu/budget/presentations.html.

The state's recent economic forecast and revenue estimates show that the closing balance for the state's general fund at the end of this biennium is now negative. In October 2011 the estimated balance was about $72 million; it is now an estimated -$143 million. This deterioration will likely create more pressure for additional budget lapses in 2012-13. More information on this is available from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau at http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lfb/publications/Revenue-Estimates/Pages/Revenue%20Estimates.aspx.

Questions and suggestions should be sent to Cathy Riedl-Farrey at riedlfac@uwplatt.edu.

Rountree Commons

Rountree Commons is still on track for its grand opening on August 30. Student interest has been high with over 300 students already signed up to live there. We are expecting the building to fill up rapidly so interested students should contact Housing to get on the list before all the rooms are taken.

The north side of the building is now bricked. Inside, the finish on the ground level floor is almost completed. The floor is unique in that it is cement with a tinge of color that contains crushed glass chips. When all the large windows are in place later this spring, the floor will sparkle in the sunlight. The second floor is painted with one room completed with all its finishes and furniture. If you'd like to see what everything looks like, pictures are posted on the website and on Facebook.

Academic Programs

UW-Platteville received a $94,806 grant from the Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation Community Investment Program for the 2012 Summer Bridge Program, which provides services for 50 at-risk students who are entering their freshmen years. The UW-Platteville program, called SUCCEED for Scholars Unleashing College Creativity and Enriching Educational Development, helps disadvantaged students for three weeks in English, mathematics and reading.

The UW-Platteville SUCCEED program targets students who may have struggled in high school, but have potential to achieve with extra guidance. The program is a collaborative effort, led by the First-Year Experience and includes the Writing and Tutoring Resources center as well as instructors in reading comprehension, English, math and Introduction to College Life. Fifty students will arrive on campus Aug. 12 for the summer bridge program. School districts in Madison and Chicago wrote letters of support to the Great Lakes Higher Education for the program.

The SUCCEED program mirrors the First Year Experience goal of creating opportunities for students to develop academic and social skills that are necessary to successfully complete their collegiate journey.

Strategic Planning

The strategic planning process is getting under way. The steering committee is working on synthesizing ideas gathered during a large group workshop held in January, with over 90 campus attendees. Wider campus and community input will be solicited in March and April through a variety of methods, including focus groups and surveys. Ideas and suggestions can also be sent to strategic_planning@uwplatt.edu at any time. Watch for our coming strategic planning website at www.uwplatt.edu/planning which will hold information on the process, the names of the steering committee members and other relevant information. This site will be updated with drafts and more information as the process proceeds. Thank you for your interest and input.

Update on the transportation study

The growth of UW-Platteville over the last decade has created some challenges and opportunities with parking and transportation. In an effort to be more proactive with managing transportation demand, Delta 3 Engineering of Platteville was hired to conduct a transportation and parking demand study, which included a campus-wide survey on possible transportation options. The study was completed in December, and results of the study and survey are available at http://www.uwplatt.edu/business/. The campus is currently evaluating and prioritizing the numerous recommendations. By managing transportation demand more holistically, we hope to provide a wider array of transportation options and ultimately reduce the percentage of people bringing cars to campus. Questions or comments can be sent to Christina Curras at currasc@uwplatt.edu.

Recyclemania

For the third year, UW-Platteville is participating in an international higher education recycling competition, Recyclemania. This competition started in 2001 between two schools and by 2011, had expanded to over 600 participating schools. Last year, UW-Platteville placed 56th overall with a recycling rate of 39.36 percent. Our goal this year is to top a 60% recycling rate. With our 42.49 percent recycling rate, we are currently ranked in 22nd place internationally and in 1st place in the state. It is vitally important for the university community to continue to recycle throughout the year and in the long-term, not only for the stewardship of our natural resources, but also for the university's bottom line as it pertains to lessening our waste hauling costs.

Sustainability

The campus is involved in many sustainability efforts. This includes recent lighting modifications in the Markee Pioneer Student Center, where we have employed the latest in high efficiency lighting technology through our performance contracting partner, McKinstry. Also in the MPSC, Dining Services has begun replacing the disposable plastic spoons and forks with reusable utensils. Soon, the campus community will be able to directly see the entire campus's energy performance on kiosks in the Markee Pioneer Student Center and Engineering Hall. These touch panels will include readings from our renewable energy sources as well as general campus use of electricity and steam.

Human Resources

Twelve members were named to to the newly created Chancellor’s Classified Staff Advisory Committee. The committee is charged with providing feedback from its constituents on the new personnel system and be an ongoing voice for UW-Platteville’s classified employees. Members of the new Committee are:

Name, Position, Department

  • Greg Bies, IS Technical Services Senior, OIT
  • LaVon Blum, Academic Department Associate, Business and Accounting
  • Cheryl Bockhop, USA I, PAACE
  • Ian Clark, Communications Specialist, Public Relations
  • MaryJo Droessler, Custodian, Facilities Services
  • Heather Faherty, Food Retail/Catering, Lead Catering
  • Karla Kuhl, Student Status Examiner Associate, Admissions
  • Marcia Rako, USA I, Distance Education
  • Ron Redwing, Painter, Facilities Services
  • Jayne Sherer, USA I, Food Services
  • Kurt Tuescher, Police Officer, Campus Police
  • Lori Wedig, Library Services Assoc.-Advanced, Library

Our Limited Term Employees (LTEs) will soon be entering their work hours online, rather than using printed time sheets. Training for LTEs and their supervisors will be announced shortly.

Human Resources will also start using a new online Talent Acquisition Model (TAM) for applications for faculty and academic staff positions. The office will transfer to the new module slowly and train search chairs and administrative support personnel on a “just-in-time” basis.

Center for New Ventures

Michael Gay, Director of the Center for New Ventures, recently attended the State's Governor's Conference on Economic Development to learn about mature and emerging industry clusters that are vital to the State of Wisconsin's economic development marketing and investment efforts. Key clusters related to UW-Platteville's core competencies and applied research potentials were Energy, Forest Products, Water System and Quality, Manufacturing, Engineering, Food, and Dairy (especially cheese). It will be very important for the university and the economic development professionals of the counties in Southwest Wisconsin to find partnerships and synergies with this new state-wide investment strategy. Michael will also tour three Innovation Centers/Business Incubators in Seattle, Tacoma and Spokane, Washington, with Dennis Cooley.

UW-Platteville's section of the federal research priorities binder for the UW System has been updated. This effort is important as we align on-campus research opportunities with federal agencies funding priorities. This will hopefully lead to larger grants covering multiple years of interdisciplinary researchers and applied learning opportunities for our students.

Enrollment and Tri-State Efforts

We are now working on strategic enrollment growth which is a collaborative effort with the Admission Office, the Provost, the Institutional Reporting Office and the academic Deans and departments. This plan is in the very initial stages but focuses on strategic enrollment management practices with the end result being clear enrollment goals based on institutional capacity and the institution's strategic plan and all aspects of the institution's mission.

Three Commencement Ceremonies this Spring

Beginning in Spring 2012, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville will hold three commencement ceremonies, one for each college, because of the university's continued growth.

Commencement for all three colleges will be held May 12, 2012. The College of Business, Industry, Life Science and Agriculture ceremony will be held at 9 a.m.; commencement for the College of Liberal Arts and Education will be held at 12:30 p.m.; and the ceremony for the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science ceremony will be at 4 p.m. Beginning this spring, all graduate students will walk with their respective colleges.

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