March 2013 Chancellor's Report

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Welcome to the March 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, office of diversity and inclusion and athletics.

Office of the Chancellor

On Thursday, Feb. 21, I met with Tracy Hribar, the non-traditional student representative on the UW System Board of Regents and Dave Brukardt, UW System associate vice president of economic development. This was an excellent opportunity for us to showcase for UW System the unique opportunities UW-Platteville offers our students. They were especially impressed with the growth in our enrollment, the Tri-State Initiative, and our physical campus. They toured a number of locations on campus such as the Center for Plastics Processing Technology, Boebel Hall, and Ottensman Hall.

At every opportunity, it’s important for our university to highlight the knowledge and technical, industry-specific skills that we are teaching our students, especially to business and industry leaders who will be hiring our students once they graduate. One way the university strives to do this is by bringing employers and students together at our career fairs. In early February, we hosted two career fairs for all three colleges. Both were a tremendous success, with 174 businesses; 1,891 students; 53 faculty and staff members; as well as alumni attending.

At the fair, students had the opportunity to meet with many local, regional, state, and national employers in one location. In turn, employers had access to job candidates who were educated and qualified in specific fields. Many of the employers met with faculty members to discuss curriculum, senior design project ideas, and other industry-university partnership opportunities.

Some of the companies at the fairs included Kohler Company; Integrys Energy Group; Growmark, Inc.; CNH America, LLC; Colony Brands; Epic; Frito-Lay; Rite-Hite Corporation; Organic Valley/Cropp Cooperative; Southwest Health Center, etc., all of whom were looking for highly skilled employees from a variety of fields to fill multiple positions at their companies.

Diana Trendt, director of the Career Center, said that our students made a very positive impression on the employers attending and were successful at promoting the university by not only highlighting their skills and qualifications, but also by promoting the various academic programs available at UW-Platteville. She said that employers thought that the event was well-coordinated and gave them the opportunity to meet with many prospective candidates for internship, co-op and full-time employment opportunities. One employer wished that all UW System career fairs would copy ours.

The number of employers who attend our career fairs shows that they value the academic and experiential environment that UW-Platteville provides its students. Mike Henderson, Energy Supply Business Manager of Integrys Energy Group, stated, “UW-Platteville and Integrys Energy have a long history together. Graduates, interns and co-ops have played a significant role in the success of the company and expectations are high for future candidates. The career fairs at UW-Platteville have been and will be an important element in that relationship…some students introduce themselves to the company in their freshman year, increasing the chances of eventual internships, co-ops and full-time employment. For college students, the fair is the principal gateway into the company’s hiring process.”

Sara Anderson, in human resources at Colony Brands, Inc., stated that Colony Brands, Inc. continues to attend UW-Platteville career fairs each year because of three reasons: “You have majors that fit well with the types of fields we are seeking when recruiting interns, your proximity to our corporate office, and the great success we’ve had with UW-Platteville graduates over the years.”

Knowledge Powers Wisconsin

UW System has recognized UW-Platteville for being a leader in helping promote the System’s new public relations campaign Knowledge Powers Wisconsin, with student Jamie Procarione being the first in the System to manage the statewide Twitter account. Knowledge Powers Wisconsin is a UW System marketing campaign that focuses on showing that UW System universities are playing a strong role in the economic development of the state by leveraging the state’s human capital, supporting business and industry, and strengthening local communities.

Administrative Services

Governor Walker’s 2013-15 Budget Proposal

The governor unveiled his budget proposal on Feb. 20, 2013. It is the first in a series of steps where hundreds of items will be reviewed and modified by the legislature before the finalized budget is signed into law. Here are a few of the elements from the proposal:

First, there are no proposed lapses for UW System and the institutions. This is a welcome change from the past several budgets.

Second, new funds for several specific initiatives were recommended. Over the two years of the budget, these new funds include:

  • $20 million in state tax funds (GPR) for economic development activities by UW institutions;
  • $28 million in GPR support for ongoing costs related to fringe benefits, ongoing costs for discretionary merit compensation awards, and other items;
  • $2 million in GPR support for the Flexible Option program; and
  • $89 million in funding for expected increases in costs during the 2013-15 biennium.

Third, the proposed budget recommends several changes in state law. These include:

  • Authority for the Board of Regents to establish compensation plans for all employees (UW-Madison would have separate authority for its employees);
  • Changes in a number of health insurance programs including a surcharge for employees who use tobacco ($50 per month) and establishment of health savings accounts;
  • Increasing the break in service requirement for rehired annuitants from 30 days to 75 days and limiting rehired annuitants to working no more than two-thirds time to continue receiving an annuity; and
  • Allowing veterans from any state to qualify for the Wisconsin GI Bill by living in the state for five consecutive years.

For those interested in more information, good web resources for tracking the budget include the Department of Administration’s site at http://www.doa.state.wi.us/debf/execbudget.asp?locid=166 and the Legislative Fiscal Bureau’s site at http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lfb/publications/budget/2013-15%20Budget/Pages/Publications.aspx.

Strategic Planning

While strategic planning is a continual process, the 2012 steering committee has completed its work in creating the official 2013-2018 Strategic Plan for the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. The plan is presented in the document link below. The process is now shifting to implementation. A new committee structure will be developed to oversee the implementation of action items and assessment of the plan. The on-going process will be presented to governance groups during the spring semester, 2013. The mission statement is currently still a draft, as it needs to be approved by the Board of Regents before it is final. See http://www.uwplatt.edu/planning/files/StrategicPlan.pdf.

Recycling: a UW-Platteville Tradition

2013 marks the fourth year UW-Platteville is participating in Recyclemania, the inter-college recycling competition. Last year, UW-Platteville placed first among participating Wisconsin universities with a 42 percent recycling rate. In late February, we were awarded the 2013 Associated Recyclers of Wisconsin (AROW) Outstanding Achievement in Recycling Award for this accomplishment. Recycling builds upon a proud UW-Platteville ethic of wise resource use and care for our surroundings.

This year, we are partnering with the Platteville Main Street Sustainability Committee to promote all forms of waste reduction on and off campus. During the eight weeks of Recyclemania (Feb. 3-March 30), events and promotions are occurring both on and off campus, including the showing of the critically-acclaimed Waste Land movie in March. For more information, please visit www.uwplatt.edu/sustainability/recyclemania/

Student Affairs

The UW-Platteville Residence Hall Association/National Residence Hall Honorary Blood Drive was successful yet again. Since 1978, the UW-Platteville RHA and NRHH have been hosting a blood drive on campus, with the assistance of the Red Cross. What began as a one-day event has become so successful that it now requires three days to collect from the many donors. Due to the hard work and efforts of the RHA and NRHH members, UW-Platteville has historically been one of the most successful college blood drives in the nation. During this spring’s drive, more than 808 units were collected, breaking the university’s spring record of 755 pints donated last spring.

RHA and NRHH would like to thank all the volunteers, donors, and the Red Cross for their help in making UW-Platteville’s blood drives successful. They are excited about its success and the altruism of the UW-Platteville community.

Athletics

Men’s Basketball

  • The men’s basketball team beat fourth-seeded UW-La Crosse and top-seed UW-Stevens Point, both on the road, to advance to the WIAC championship game before the Pioneers lost at UW-Whitewater.
  • Junior Chas Cross was named Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Men's Basketball Player of the Year and was also selected first-team All-WIAC. Cross led the conference with points (15.8 ppg.), rebounds, and free throw attempts. He totaled 442 points, 46 blocks, 45 assists, 37 steals and 237 rebounds for the year. Cross is the first Pioneer to be named Player of Year since Jeff Skemp was co-Player of the Year in 2009.
  • Sophomore Jake Manning earned honorable mention honors, averaging 8.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game.
  • Senior Rob Stallion was named All-Defensive Team. He was the Pioneers best defender, averaging 7.9 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.4 steals per game.
  • Senior guard Marcus Jackson was named to the WIAC All-Sportsmanship Team for his display of exemplary sportsmanship throughout the season.

Women’s Basketball

  • Women's basketball senior Elizabeth Lawinger earned honorable mention All-WIAC, averaging 10.5 points, 3.3 assists and 2.3 steals per game. She ends her career in the Orange and Blue as the Pioneers all-time steals leader with 219 and set a new season record with 90 steals.
  • Senior guard teammate Claire Poad was named to the WIAC All-Sportsmanship Team for her display of exemplary sportsmanship throughout the season.

Wrestling

  • Freshman 125-pounder Cole Ferguson was selected second-team All-WIAC, posting a 24-10 overall record and a 3-1 league record.
  • Sophomore Tyler Henken earned a berth in the NCAA Division III national championships.

Women’s Track and Field

  • Women's Track and Field senior Deidre Dillman won the 800-meter run at the WIAC Championships, which was the Pioneers only title. Five Pioneers have qualified for the NCAA III indoor track and field championships.

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

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

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