March 2012 Chancellor's Report

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Welcome to the third 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.

New College Deans and Chief Diversity Officer

UW-Platteville has recently hired two new deans as well as a chief diversity officer.

Dean of College of LAE: Dr. Elizabeth Throop

Dr. Throop was most recently Interim Dean at Siemens School of Business and visiting professor at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa.  Prior, she was dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences at St. Mary’s University in Winona, Minn., and chair of the Anthropology, Sociology and Social Work department at Eastern Kentucky.  She has past experience as faculty member, department chair and dean.

Dean of BILSA: Dr. Wayne Weber

Dr. Weber possesses an outstanding 14-year career at UW-Platteville as professor, teacher, department chair and interim dean.

Chief Diversity Officer:  Dr. Jennifer De Coste

Mostly recently, Dr. De Coste was associate vice president for Institutional Diversity Initiatives at Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y.  She has a master’s in counseling from the University of Hartford in West Hartford.  She holds a dual doctorate in curriculum and instruction, and women’s studies from University Park, Penn..

Distinguished Lecturer

We hope that all of you have a chance to hear Dr. Robert Ballard, UW-Platteville’s 2012 Pioneer Distinguished Lecturer, speak on Wednesday at 10 a.m. in Williams Fieldhouse.  Ballard is a premier oceanographer most well known for his discovery of the RMS Titanic and his underwater explorations of the Bismarck, Lusitania and Britannic with sea robots.  During his presentation, Ballard will share his passion for the final frontier of the natural world and explained how cutting-edge science and technology could be used to explore the depths of the ocean in order to better understand and preserve the world’s waters for future generations.

Enrollment

Our undergraduate enrollment has reached 7,458 students, which means that we have more students on campus now than at any time in our nearly 150-year history.  Applications are up three percent and completed applications are more than six percent ahead of last year.  Reservations for new student registration are also up nearly seven percent.  We are currently working on strategic enrollment growth, which is a collaborative effort with the provost, academic deans and departments, Admission Office and Institutional Reporting Office.  This effort is in its initial stages and focuses on strategic enrollment management practices.  The end result will be clear enrollment goals based on institutional capacity, UW-Platteville’s strategic plan and all aspects of our mission.

Strategic Planning

The strategic planning steering committee is currently developing a draft vision statement and strategic priorities to guide the university over the next three to five years. In April, focus group listening sessions and surveys will be used to gather feedback from the greater university community.  Ideas and suggestions can also be sent to strategic_planning@uwplatt.edu at any time.  The strategic planning website at www.uwplatt.edu/planning is live and contains information on the process, the names of the steering committee members, notes and drafts, and other relevant information.

PASS Re-implementation Project 

Known as Re-PASS, the PASS re-implementation project, which started in May 2011, has just reached another major advancement.  For the first time, our rapidly growing base of distance education students can now register for classes in PASS.  As of 4 p.m. on the first day of summer registration, 62 undergraduate and graduate distance education students used PASS to register for summer 2012 courses.

The result for the distance student is a seamless experience for registering, paying tuition, accepting financial aid and many other processes that our campus students have taken for granted for a number of years.  Our staff will also benefit with streamlined processes, information in one place rather than in multiple systems and improved technical support from our in-house OIT staff.

Other recent improvements in PASS include:

  • Applicants for both campus and distance education can access PASS for the first time to allow them to review financial aid awards and view outstanding application “to do” items, among other things;
  • Vastly improved advising tools are much more useful for both students and advisors;
  • More information is in PASS for financial aid, the cashier’s office, recruiting and admissions, and the registrar’s office. Having this information in PASS replaces the use of various Excel spreadsheets and hard copy documents, leading to better analysis and information sharing.

Like all computer system and process improvement projects, the end of the project is only the beginning of continuing to look for ways to leverage PASS functionality and improve our processes.

Budget Management Principles 

Budget management principles have been developed with senior leadership and the deans that will allow decentralized decision-making and more flexibility for account managers on budget decisions.  The highlights of these principles:

  • Decision making is made by college deans and assistant chancellors;
  • Ability to use monies from different sources to meet needs;
  • Reallocation of funds to meet the college and departmental needs;
  • Ability to carry over funds from one year to the next

Pioneer Tower

On Friday, March 16, sometime around noon, a six-inch water main came apart in the basement of the Pioneer Tower.  This resulted in the flooding of three sub-basement mechanical rooms in the Pioneer Tower with up to five feet of water.  Facilities Management crews and Platteville Water and Sewer crews responded and shut down water to the building and secured mechanical and electrical systems within the building.  Facilities crews then worked until late Friday night to pump water out of the building, make repairs and get water service and ventilation service back on to the building.  Over that weekend, facilities staff, media technologies staff and contractors worked to get the spaces cleaned and dried out.  Currently, staff is working with contractors to replace affected equipment and systems.

Facilities Management

With record-setting warmth in our area the past week or so, buildings on the university campus have begun to heat up.  Facilities Management typically has buildings ready for cooling near April 15.  The process for preparing buildings for air conditioning can take up to three weeks.  Facilities crews have begun to prepare buildings for air conditioning and are keeping track of weather predictions with the hope of having some of the buildings ready for cooling by April 2.

Rountree Commons and Plans for New Residence Hall by 2013

The Grand Opening of Rountree Commons will be held on August 30 at 11 a.m.  As of March 12, 597 beds are full with only 23 openings remaining.  If you would like to see pictures, please go to rountreecommons.com or Facebook.  With the Real Estate Foundation, this building is being constructed for about 25 percent less than other residence halls at other UW campuses and it will be self-supporting.  UW-Platteville art students have contributed 11 projects to the residence hall.

In addition, the university has submitted a request to Board of Regents to begin a second residence hall project on campus.  This project would be located north of Southwest Hall and provide an additional 400+ beds as well as an attached campus dining facility.  If approval is granted, work on the site would begin in mid-June with opening scheduled for fall of 2013.

Student Affairs

UW-Platteville Housing has filled Southwest Hall and is on its way to filling the traditional halls.  Some of the traditional halls have been updated and major renovations are planned for one this summer.  In addition, within the next couple of weeks, Housing will conduct a special study that will provide feedback on how the university should proceed with housing choices, remodeling, demolition and food choices.

Human Resources

Update on new University Personnel System (UPS)

On March 19, Jeanne Durr, director of Human Resources, and I met with employees for an open forum to discuss the new University Personnel System.  The session was designed to provide a general overview of the UPS process from the perspective of the Task Force, of which I co-chair.  Jeanne Durr talked about the project team and work groups, which are working on proposed system design.  The six work groups are addressing the following issues:

  • Employee Categories
  • Employee Compensation
  • Benefits
  • Employee Movement
  • Recruitment and Assessment
  • Employee Environment

The project team met on March 20 and 21 to consolidate the different work group draft reports.

By mid-April, the first draft recommendations from the project team and task force will be available to the campus community.  We will be providing access to them for all our staff and will be scheduling additional sessions for comment and feedback.  In the meantime, Jeanne Durr will send out email updates as they become available.  Additionally, she will continue to provide UPS updates at every meeting of the Academic Staff Senate, the Faculty Senate and the Classified Staff Advisory Committee.  These are all open meetings and anyone may attend.  If you have additional questions, please feel free to approach your senators or representatives or call or e-mail Jeanne Durr with questions.

Center for New Ventures

University Research Park and Innovation Center

The Center for New Ventures, in collaboration with the City of Platteville, continues to move forward on its five-month market analysis and feasibility study for a University Research Park and Innovation Center.  Results found during Phase One determined that there is a market for an Innovation Center.  In Phase Two, it will be determined if the concept is financially feasible.  The study’s target completion date is May 1.  A research park and innovation center would have a major impact on our ability to expand undergraduate research and creative opportunities while bringing in outside resources to help cover costs.

State’s Governor’s Conference on Economic Development

Michael Gay recently attended this conference and learned about mature and emerging industry clusters vital to Wisconsin's economic development marketing and investment efforts.  Key clusters related to UW-Platteville's core competencies and applied research potentials:  energy, forest products, water system/quality, manufacturing, engineering, food and agriculture.  It is important for university faculty and staff members and economic development professionals of Southwest Wisconsin counties to find partnerships and synergies with new statewide investment strategy.

State of Washington Site Visits on Innovation

Michael Gay and Dennis Cooley toured four Innovation Centers/Business Incubators in Seattle, Tacoma and Spokane, Washington, on February 22 and 23 with McKinstry, a firm that delivers consulting, construction, energy, and facility services.  Dennis Cooley, Rob Cramer and I have been meeting with McKinstry via teleconference regarding a possible Innovation Center in Platteville. With much of this still being in the pre-planning stages, UW-Platteville and McKinstry will continue working collaboratively to ensure all needs are met.

Visit to Washington, D.C.

Bob Roberts from the Center for New Ventures went to Washington, D.C. at the end of February to meet and establish relationships with representatives from federal agencies who are interested in supporting priority university projects at regional, rural universities such as ours.  This collaboration is essential as we continue striving to identify funding sources for our many programs and projects.

Posters in the Rotunda

On March 7, undergraduate researchers at UW-Platteville presented their work to Wisconsin legislators at the UW System’s ninth annual “Posters in the Rotunda:  A Celebration of Undergraduate Research” at the Capitol Building in Madison.  Twelve UW-Platteville students and five staff advisors presented five different research projects in areas like environmental research, water resources research, renewable energy, manufacturing and nanoparticles, all of which are industry clusters for our state.  The research that these students and advisors are working on could benefit the economic development of the state of Wisconsin.

The 20th annual UW-Platteville Research/Poster Day was held on March 14 in Velzy Commons.  Forty-seven research and scholarly activity posters were presented.  Kathy Lomax and Cheryl Bockhop helped coordinate both events. 

Career Fairs

Career fairs provide educational opportunities for UW-Platteville students, give them exposure to prospective employers and provide agencies with the opportunity to recruit potential interns and employees.  They also provide professors, deans and other university staff members with opportunities to talk with representatives from companies and share some of the exciting programs and projects that students and faculty are working on.  The connections and relationships formed between university students, faculty, staff and employers promote goodwill as well as employment opportunities for our students and opportunities to collaborate on mutually beneficial projects and programs in the future.

Spring Career Fairs – Colleges of BILSA, LAE and EMS

Sponsored by the Career Center, this two-day event on February 14 and 15 welcomed 174 employers to the university where they had the chance to meet and network with over 1,600 students, alumni and faculty members.  Faculty members answered questions regarding curriculum, senior design project ideas and other industry-university partnership opportunities.  Many companies who attended have a long history of successful recruitment at our campus.  As the economy improves, new employers are adding us to their recruitment plans.  This spring, 24 new employers attended the fairs.  These new employers were a mix of local and out-of-state companies interested in a variety of our academic programs from agriculture and business to engineering and technology.  Many employers conducted interviews immediately following or the day after the fairs.

Criminal Justice Career Fair

The 39th Annual Criminal Justice Career Fair was held on March 12-13 in Velzy Commons, Ullsvik Hall.   It was very successful, with more than 400 students and 80 agencies in attendance.  Sponsored by the Criminal Justice Association, this criminal justice career fair is one of the largest in the Midwest.   The two-day event featured keynote speakers Dane County Circuit Judge Roger Allen and Major Sandra Huxtable of Wisconsin State Patrol, both UW-Platteville alumni.

Athletics

Three individuals who have made significant contributions to the UW-Platteville Athletic Department were announced as members of the inaugural Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Hall of Fame class.  Earning induction from UW-Platteville are Patricia Collins, Rob Jeter and Bo Ryan. The three make up a 30-member class that will be inducted as part of the WIAC Centennial Celebration Banquet held on Aug. 4 at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison.

Recently, at the 2012 NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships, March 9-10 in Grinnell, Iowa, four Pioneers earned All-American honors. Senior Patrick Klein was second in the mile, junior Ben Farrell was fourth in the 400-meter dash, sophomore Ace McCarty was sixth in the high jump and sophomore T.J. Valley was eighth in the 60-meter hurdles. The efforts led the Pioneers to a 12th-place overall finish in the nation. Spring sports are underway in the athletic department for the Pioneers. Schedules for the baseball, softball and track and field teams can all be found online at www.uwplatt.edu/athletics.

Commencement

Because of university’s continued growth, beginning in Spring 2012, UW-Platteville will hold three commencement ceremonies, one for each college.  All three ceremonies will be held on May 12. For more information, visit http://www.uwplatt.edu/registrar/files/Info.pdf

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