Campus Happenings

Greetings Colleagues,

This week I am headed to Madison for a regular meeting.  I am also now on the Advisory Board for WiSys, so this Friday will be my first meeting.

One topic to be discussed will be the budgeting process for this next biennium.  As a reminder, rather than using a campus-based initiative funding model, the process will use more of a “block grant” approach.   Given the attention being paid to economic development by the legislature, it is likely this will be a piece of the positioning which will be developed and it should help to call attention to how our campuses are actively supporting it.  Controlling the rising cost of tuition is something which is receiving scrutiny from a number of other state governments.  Some have chosen to increase their funding for higher education or at least to hold higher education harmless.  However the proposal is structured, I know that compensation is certainly a high priority for not only ours but for other campuses; it is an active part of the discussions. 

Tonight we are celebrating the Swenson Scholars program and its recipients with Jim and Sue Swenson.  Did you know that since 1994 they have funded more than 630 annual full ride scholarships for a total of more than 3.5 million dollars? 

Our student government had its last meeting yesterday evening, the first with the current slate of officers and senators.  The departing president and vice president are Emily Borra and Jeff Anderson respectively.  The incoming president and vice president are Graham Garfield and Yer Vang respectively.

This is a celebratory time of the year.  It is the culmination of semesters of hard work for students and faculty alike.  Performances, presentations, and showcases abound.  Please come out and support your students and mentees as they demonstrate their knowledge and skills.

It was a history-making week for the land of Yellowjacket Athletics.  Katie Capriglione shattered the school record in the shot put at last week’s Twin Ports Open.  That same meet Scott Behling broke the school mark in the 3,000-meter run.  Those are just two of the highlights of a week that featured victories and personal best marks in track and field.  The baseball team swept its rain-delayed series with UW-Platteville, marking the first time UW-Superior has swept a WIAC opponent in a four-game series.  On the softball diamond it was a busy week.  Despite the fact the Yellowjackets went 3-4, Taylor VanDamme had a huge week, batting .481 while hitting four home runs and driving in 12.  As the weather continues to get nicer there will be more opportunities to catch the spring sports in action.  Baseball and softball will each have four home games this weekend.  Baseball plays four against conference-leading UW-La Crosse, while softball hosts UW-Whitewater and UW-Oshkosh.  Games start both Saturday and Sunday at noon…weather permitting!

I understand that the Pow Wow at Wessman Arena was impressive.  There were 7 drums this year and it continues to be one of the largest in the region.  It is sponsored by the Circle of Native Nations student organization and the First Nations Center.

Renee

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Inauguration Week

Dear Colleagues,

I will keep this message short; the Week has arrived!  And it is a period full of reflection, conversation, and celebration.  The student athletic advisory committee was out working yesterday afternoon to make the campus shine in anticipation of more than 90 visitors who are scheduled to visit us.  So if you know any of them, please thank them for their effort. 

Also our facilities and grounds crew has been working overtime adding spit, polish, and paint to Old Main, the grounds, and other buildings….and they look great!  Large thanks to them for all of their energy to make the university look its best.

Today presents an opportunity to continue conversations over coffee; and we have the talk and concert by Gary Farmer, which is sure to be interesting.  Check out the schedule at http://www.uwsuper.edu/inauguration/.

The Board of Regents makes a journey in this direction only about once in 7 years.  There are opportunities to engage the Regents during Thursday and Friday.  This is an important time to emphasize our interests as we look toward the next biennium and a changing landscape with regard to potential future flexibilities.  You can also witness what your colleagues will present on our behalf at the various meetings – we are scheduled to deliver four presentations in all (http://www.uwsuper.edu/bor/)  Our Foundation and Alumni boards are also on campus and having meetings on those days.

I had to smile as I drove home through some flurries, having attended the student government association meeting last night – ??A-pril in Su-per-i-or ?!  (However, we ordered much better weather for Thursday!)

Renee

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Post-Spring Break News

Dear Colleagues,

First, welcome back from Spring Break!  I hope that the brief respite gave you a chance to catch your breath before the last push of the semester.

These two weeks have flown by.  I have been on back-to-back trips to California and Arizona to meet with some of our alumni/ae.  The high regard in which they hold the University and the warmth of their memories of UW-Superior are wonderful and inspirational.  It is clear that we have a long history of providing an exceptional educational experience to students from all walks of life.  I want to extend special thanks to Tom Bergh and Jeanne Thompson from our Advancement office for arranging the detail of these successful trips; to our alumni/ae who called their fellow alums; and to those like the Swensons, Lindhals, and Daigles who kindly opened up their homes for our visits.

We had a real treat in Arizona; we were able to catch our Yellowjacket baseball team in action as they trounced their opponents.  This makes them undefeated so far this season!  You should know that many of the parents in attendance remarked about how much their progeny has enjoyed being at UW-Superior.  One parent said that, of his three children, the UW-Superior student was the only one who said he “loved the university.”  I know that it takes an extremely dedicated faculty and staff across the University to produce those kinds of sentiments!  Two players have been honored by the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference for their efforts. Senior pitcher Ethan Branum (Nisswa, Minn./Brainerd) has been named WIAC Pitcher of the Week, while junior catcher Jeff Miller (Minneapolis, Minn./Washburn) has been named WIAC Player of the Week for the period ending March 25.

Tomorrow I am off to a momentous event – the signing of the NorthWERD cooperative agreement.  Eight educational institutions in northwestern Wisconsin are joining together to form a regional consortium of educational partners called Northwest Wisconsin Educators for Regional Development, hence NorthWERD.  The group has been developed to respond to the needs of regional developers and students, as well as to identify regional economic trends and opportunities for graduates as they choose a career path.  NorthWERD partners will celebrate the group’s formation in a signing event at the Lac Courte Oreilles Community College in Hayward.

I will then head toward Wausau for another alumni/ae gathering. 

On Friday, I will join several of your faculty colleagues at the Higher Learning Commission meeting in Chicago.  The gathering will be valuable as we continue to prepare for our accreditation visit.

I tiptoed into the rehearsal of The Merry Widow, the opera which our students and music faculty will perform and which debuts on April 4.  If the rehearsal was any indication, you’re in for a real treat!

Our emphasis on inclusive excellence continues.  For Superior Stew, Swim Creative – the company which developed the marketing for the UnFair Campaign – talked to faculty, students, and staff about the development of the campaign and fielded questions which ranged from its genesis to impact and local and national reaction.

With regard to Executive Order #54, “train the trainer “development sessions called Keeping UW Communities Safe for Children will be held by UW System at several regional sites.  We have gathered a first list of people who will attend one of these training sessions later in April.

Finally, but not leastly, come to the Yellowjacket Staff Social, Thursday, March 29, 2012, 4:30 p.m. at the Thirst Pagan – All faculty and staff welcome!! (This event is sponsored by the Alumni Association and Thirsty Pagan.)

With this warm, wacky weather, get out and walk the dog, take the kids on a bike ride, hit some links, anything to celebrate that we’ve almost made it through March with no more snow!

Renee

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Campus News

Dear Colleagues,

On Wednesday, February 15, the Joint Finance Committee is holding a hearing with regard to the lapse plan.  DOA Secretary Mike Huebsch is currently the only speaker listed to appear regarding the lapse plan the agency submitted to the JFC.  I’ll keep the campus posted as developments unfold.

At the Board of Regents meeting last week, there were several developments.  The report of the Ad Hoc Working Group on System Structure and Governance was given by Regent Mark Bradley.  As a consequence, the Board voted to change how meetings were conducted to focus discussion less on reporting and more on issues themselves.  They approved the creation of a standing committee on Research, Economic Development and Innovation (REDI) and to maintain the current meeting frequency.  The creation of the REDI committee underscores the increasing attention on economic development and job creation by the legislature.

The report on the activity of the Legislative Task Force on UW Restructuring and Operational Flexibilities was given by the Chair of the committee, Regent Michael Falbo.  Preliminary recommendations included the formation of local advisory boards without governance authority by campuses. 

There was quite lively discussion generated by the presentations on cost containment and educational attainment strategies by the UW-Superior, UW-Milwaukee, and UW-Stout campuses and by Mark Nook, UW System Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Our admissions department is making great progress in shaping our incoming class for the Fall 2012 semester.  Often times the best referrals for new students come from you.  If you know of a learner who might be interested in UW-Superior, please let admissions know.  Complete this simple refer a student form and the admissions department will reach out to the prospective student to get them more information. 

The mission of UW-Superior includes a statement to embody “respect for diverse cultures and multiple voices”.  While there are multiple ways in which we achieve this mission, I would like to inform you of a new Diversity Dialogue Series that will provide the campus an opportunity to engage in a safe, respectful and inclusive conversation about privilege, power, perspective, racism and oppression.  The dialogue will kick-off this Thursday, February 16, at noon in the Yellowjacket Union Great Room.  The event will begin with a panel discussion and be open to questions and comments from attendees.  This event is open to campus and the community.  This discussion addresses topics brought about by the Un-Fair Campaign.  Please join the campus on Thursday and future events as we learn together how to better understand the concepts of privilege and its implications and challenge ourselves to explore ways to end racism and create a more inclusive environment. 

The Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) announced at the end of last week that its men’s and women’s ice hockey teams (yes, ours is included) will be leaving the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association (NCHA) and will compete solely under the auspices of the WIAC effective with the 2014-15 academic year.  The current budgetary challenges confronting all WIAC institutions and the composition of the NCHA (a single-sport conference comprised of institutions that are members of six different multi-sport conferences as well as five institutions that are members for women’s ice hockey only) were among a number of factors that led to a decision that is deemed to be in the long-term, best interests of the WIAC.   

On campus, – just a friendly reminder that the opening night performance of Jack and the Beanstalk is Friday, February 17 at 7:00 p.m. in the Manion Theatre.

I hit the road again this week and will be in Madison for Business Days at the Capitol mid-week.  On my return trip on Friday, I hit a small snow zone south of Eau Claire which made me appreciate the mild winter we’ve had here in Superior!

Renee

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Updates from Madison

Greetings Colleagues,

This message will be rather brief.  I am writing this while I am down in Madison.  It looks like the budget lapse discussion by the Joint Finance Committee is being postponed until mid February.  On the positive side, state revenue estimates are projected to come in stronger than expected.

As the UW System, we will soon be moving into the framing of the agenda for the next biennial budget cycle.   As events unfold, I will keep you informed.

Sen. Jauch and Rep. Milroy were on campus earlier this week to discuss the impact of the lapses on the campus and the state of activity in the legislature.  It was a good meeting and we discussed our Enhancement Day lunch conversation on concerns about the changing nature of the social compact with regard to higher education and its funding.

The men’s and women’s hockey teams were jockeying for position in the NCHA standings on Friday and Saturday.  The women swept Concordia University (WI) with scores of 2-1 and 6-2 led by Dani Schultz’s three goals on the weekend.  The men struggled to find the net Friday despite having six power play opportunities as UW-Eau Claire edged them 3-1.  They would bounce back and get a point in the standings on Saturday, skating to a 2-2 tie. 

The men’s and women’s basketball teams were in action against UW-River Falls on Wednesday night.  A Ben Aalfs buzzer-beater lifted the men’s team to an 85-82 win while the women’s second half struggles gave the Falcons momentum, and they drowned the Yellowjackets 86-44.  Saturday turned out to be a tough day at UW-Platteville for both teams with the men going down 69-62; the women lost as well 69-60.  The men’s and women’s track team hosted the Blizzard Open on Saturday and it was a big day for Traelynn Lewis.  She set the school indoor record with a triple jump of 11.49 meters, which currently ranks her sixth in NCAA Division III!

Putting our best foot forward…be aware that we will have 13 African American high school students from Superior Senior High School and Denfeld High School on our campus on Wednesday, Feb. 8th between the hours of 8 AM and 3 PM.  These students will be “shadowing” our current students for the day so you may have some of these students in your offices wanting to learn more about the services and programs that you provide in your office.  Can you help spread the word in your department/office?  We are excited for this day and thank you for your involvement and commitment to these prospective students.  If you should have any questions please let Ivy Vainio know. 

Website:  http://www.uwsuper.edu/oma/programs/college-student-for-a-day.cfm

For better or for worse, it is clear from the drive down that we have certainly been on the slight side of the snow!

Renee

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Welcome Back

Greetings Colleagues, and Welcome Back!

It’s been a little too quiet and it’s nice to see everyone back. I must say that it has already been a rousing start to the new semester…. On Monday, several of our faculty, staff, and students participated in the commemorative activities of Martin Luther King Day. I’ve attached a couple of pictures below.

Tuesday was our formal welcome back to campus and update on events and activity which impact our campus community. If you missed Wednesday’s Enhancement Day, you missed a thought provoking day! From our opening panels on how student centeredness does (and does not) manifest itself on our campus, to the enhancement breakout sessions, to the stimulating noon session on the changing nature of the social compact concerning the funding and support for public education, to our closing digital story films – it was quite the day. We have an amazing campus. What the day proved is that if we fundamentally value each other’s contributions, we can truly be exemplary. Kudo’s to CETL, the outstanding leadership by Maria Cuzzo, and to all of our participants for an incredible program!

Last week, our student athletes were already back at it. The men’s and women’s hockey teams resumed NCHA play after a four-week hiatus. The women kicked off the 2012 portion of the schedule with a 3-1 victory over St. Norbert College on Friday night behind a pair of goals from Dani Schultz. They weren’t able to complete the sweep on Saturday as they were shut out 1-0 by the Green Knights. Offensive struggles continue to haunt the men’s team as they were swept by St. Norbert College on the road by scores of 3-0 and 5-2.

The men’s and women’s basketball teams took to the road to face UW-Whitewater on Saturday. The women weren’t able to capitalize on their winning momentum as they lost 86-55. The men also struggled and were defeated 80-58. With the loss, the women’s winning streak was halted at five games which broke a school record. Hailey Hart’s nine points against UW-Whitewater puts her 30 points shy of seventh place on the Yellowjacket all-time scoring list. This Wednesday night witnessed an exciting down –to-the-final-buzzer-shot to win the game play in our ‘Jackets win over River Falls in men’s basketball!

The men’s and women’s track team competed at the Super 8 invitational in Bemidji, Minn. on Saturday. Shane Trentor took home the triple-jump crown and the men’s 4×200-meter relay team also took first place. Several of your colleagues will be representing our campus on various sub-committees of the Personnel Systems Task Force which is reexamining the UW System human resource and personnel practices. I have listed them below.

UW-SUPERIOR

UPS Project Team and Employee Movement Work Group Lead – Peggy Fecker

Benefits – Steve

Marshall Employee Environment - Terri Kronzer

Employment Categories - Cristina Kline

Recruitment & Assessment – Steve Rosenberg

UW-Superior is promoting undergraduate scholarship, creative expression and research as one of our high impact practices for teaching and learning. To better understand what is occurring across campus, we want to understand how you use scholarship, creative expression or research activities in your teaching. For the purposes of this survey, undergraduate scholarship, creative activities and research refers to any inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline.

Please fill out the anonymous survey by January 31, 2012. Again, whether you are applying undergraduate scholarship, creative activities or research in your teaching today is not as important as learning about why not and what barriers you may experience. http://uwsuperior.us2.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_cTl5fJh6LAnQnXK .

I will be traveling down to Madison next week. We may receive some update on the budget lapse, so I will keep you informed on what I might hear.

I will be holding “Coffee with the Chancellor” meetings throughout the semester. There is no set agenda. Rather the sessions are intended to provide an opportunity for individuals on campus to come and ask questions about issues facing the University. It is also an opportunity for you to express your ideas and opinions on matters related to the future of UW Superior. I’ll try when possible to hold one or more sessions a month. The first two dates are: February 7 at 2:30 and February 28 at 2:30. We’ll meet in the YU. I look forward to seeing some of you there.

Finally, our students, the real reason we are here, will be back next week. I had the opportunity to meet with some of our incoming students via WOW yesterday. Many are transfers, so I encourage you to extend a kind hand to see that they feel welcome and help them integrate.

Have a great semester!

Renee

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End of the Semester News

Dear Colleagues,

In less than three weeks, we will have concluded the semester (yikes!).  This weekend marked the beginning of the University holiday season.  The Foundation Board held its winter meeting on Friday afternoon.  They were treated to a presentation by our fabulous Mock Trial students. 

The annual Chancellor’s Ball took place on Saturday night.  With over 200 people in attendance at the YU, the opportunity was a nice event to see friends and colleagues as well as raise funds which support student experiences and scholarships.  A big thank you to Tom Bergh, Jeanne Thompson, the Advancement office staff, the Alumni Association Board, and our own UW Superior Ambassadors for being consummate hosts!   

You’re not too late to catch the final performance of the UW Superior Acappella Choir held at the Cathedral of Christ the King tonight at 7:30.  It is a magnificent performance in a fabulous setting.  You’ll come away inspired for the season and thoroughly awed by the effort of students and faculty of the UW Superior Department of Music.

Our freshman and seniors are busy in these next few days presenting their first year seminar experiences and senior presentations.  Please come out and see the culmination of their hard work!

This is a heavy travel week.  On Monday, a team from UW Superior including Faith Hensrud, Peter Nordgren, Tonya Roth, Julienne Raymond, Chris Cherry, Kathy Pykkonen, and myself traveled to Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College for a NorthWERD meeting.  NorthWERD stands for the North West Educators for Regional Development, a group of educational institutions including CESA 12, Northland College, UW Colleges and UW Extension, UW Superior, WITC, and Northcentral Technical College.  The consortium is looking at ways to collaborate for the greater good of northern Wisconsin.

Tomorrow Faith Hensrud and I leave for the December Board of Regents meeting in Madison.  We should be hearing about the first Legislative Task Force meeting on UW System.

Another tradition is right around the corner.  For those of you who are new to campus, come join me at the Finals Feeding Frenzy, 8-10 p.m. Monday, December 19, in the YU Cafe!  On Monday, December 19, from 8 to 10 p.m. in the YU Cafe, hundreds of UW-Superior students will partake in a finals treat: breakfast for dinner.   Served up by faculty, staff, and administration, more than 300 students annually enjoy breakfast burritos, frost-your-own-donut, pancakes, sausages, and drinks in the YU Cafe.  If you are interested in helping to serve students, please email Mickey Fitch in Residence Life or call x8575. How could you not have fun!?

Finally, the end of the semester is, well, you know, the end of the semester.  Be kind – to yourself and to others.  If you need some decompression, Krisi  Patterson is providing relief  by holding on Wednesday, December 7, 2011 from 12noon-1pm in 2420 MWC  a presentation by Dr. Tony Macioce on “Stress Management Around the Holidays!”.

Renee

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Budget and Campus Updates

Dear Colleagues,

My, how time flies!  Thanksgiving is upon us already tomorrow!   Having spent time last week in Madison and consequent to President Reilly’s cabinet meeting yesterday morning, I can say confidently that there is no recent news to report on the budget lapse.  Attending student government Monday night, it was interesting to hear from our students who went down to Madison to lobby.  It seems like they came away with an appreciation of the process.

There was a hearing last week on the rehiring of annuitants; there are two bills up before the assembly.  During the testimony, the reaction was primarily negative.  Many attendees spoke out against the bills, including voices from other state agencies in addition to the UW-System.  For now, it looks like little-to- no quick movement is in evidence.

It was a great week for the ‘Jackets.  The men’s basketball team hosted the 2011 Merrill Thompson Tip-Off Classic last weekend at Mertz Mortorelli Gym, finishing in second place.  They defeated Finlandia in the semi-finals before falling to Edgewood College in the championship.  The women’s basketball team also had a second place finish last weekend.  They soundly defeated Dominican University in the first round before dropping the championship game to St. Norbert College, host of the Baylake Bank Tip-Off Tournament.  From now until the end of December there is a “Fill the Net” promotion at Wessman Arena.  Everyone is encouraged to stop by and donate non-perishable food items into the net in the lobby.  The donations will be given to Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank.  Six men’s soccer players – Thomas Shuldheisz, Logan George, Dan Warnke, Bryan McBride, Eric Nilsen, and Alberto Rivero received post-season honors from the WIAC.  Congratulations to all of them.  Oh yeah, and have you seen the new web site?

As I mentioned last week, we sometimes get so caught up in the moment and in details that we forget to stop and think about how much we do or the resulting impact on our surroundings.   On behalf of our students, thanks to you for all that you contribute to make UW-Superior the special place that it is!

Enjoy the time with family and friends this week!  Safe travels if you must leave home!  May you experience no turkey-related malfunctions if you choose to cook!  And, for all of you football fans:

Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence.
— Erma Bombeck

Renee

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Campus Happenings

Dear Colleagues,

I’ve decided to open this message by talking about campus events rather than the lapse. In part, this is because we need to sometimes remind ourselves of the importance of our work and of our impact on our constituencies. If you missed Cultural Night 2011, you overlooked one hot ticket. From fine cuisine to flags on parade to the closing song about one Brazilian’s take on his Superior life, it was a feast for the senses. I don’t think that one person left Thorpe Langley without a smile on his/her face. The talent of our students is amazing. To all of those who helped in front of and behind the scenes and kept the show running smoothly, thank you for such a great event!

And if you haven’t been to our theatre department’s production of Six Characters in Search of an Author, you’ve passed on another great cultural event. (It’s still not too late; the remaining performances take place this Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday matinee at 1:00p.) Without revealing anything, it’s an ambitious production, and the delivery of very challenging dialogue and content is impressive. I promise you’ll be talking about the play’s meaning and the performance long after the play is over!

I am in the process of visiting with each of the academic departments on campus. Each meeting impresses me with obvious dedication to student learning and development, innovative approaches to learning and curriculum, and a genuine sense of collegiality.

It’s a big weekend on campus for Yellowjacket sports. The men’s basketball team is hosting the 2011 Merrill Thompson Tip-Off Classic at Mertz Mortorelli Gym on Friday and Saturday. Madison-Edgewood plays Lake Superior State at 6:00 p.m. Friday, followed by the Yellowjackets vs. Finlandia at 8:00 p.m. The losing teams will play on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. and the championship game will be Saturday at 3:00 p.m. The men’s hockey team is in first place in the NCHA (yea!) and they are at home for two games this weekend against UW-Stout. Games are at 7:05 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday nights. Also, congratulations are in order to former men’s soccer player Jon Bell for his inclusion on the WIAC All-Time Men’s Soccer Team!

Finally, I had the opportunity to sit with one of our Freshmen at the Cultural Night dinner. She came from a small high school which did not have rich curricular options. There is a great deal of pleasure hearing from her as she relayed her joy at the discovery of foreign languages and her great desire to study abroad. You can see the opening of mental and attitudinal doors which did not exist prior to her coming to UW-Superior. I know that these stories happen every day on our campus. It is the reason we are here – to offer possibilities and to expand horizons.

Ok — budget lapse update. I have just returned from a hearing held in Madison on Tuesday about the challenges to higher education in 2012, a hearing called by Sen. Dale Schultz. Testimony from select UW-System chancellors and business leaders focused on the lapse lopsidedness, the impact on campuses, and the corresponding impact on economic and workforce development. Questions from the senators centered on job placement of students, economic and workforce development, and faculty retention.

At present, there seems to be scant new movement. You should be aware that there is an “advisory” in this budget bill for the next biennium which contains lapse language. While one legislative session cannot mandate what will happen in the next, the advisory is there and thus, under law, must be considered. We are in the process of looking to see how we can meet the more aggressive budget lapse amount should it occur later and will continue the dialogue with campus. You should also know that Faculty Senate on Tuesday has passed a resolution in objection to the lapse.

Our students also are engaged. I told you that SGA has passed a resolution. Several of our students are headed to Madison to meet with our legislators. This past Tuesday, the “Teach-In” organized by one of our students and held in Swenson Hall featured fellow students sharing stories about the challenges facing them as they try to meet their educational goals. These stories and experiences are important for us and for our legislators to understand. My understanding is that the student emissaries will be holding other events. Thank you to those who stopped by and showed your support.

I am headed to Madison yet again this week for the monthly Admin/Staff meeting. I have finished John Adams (all 24 CDs and highly recommend it!). Adams was always a strong advocate for accessible higher education. I’m moving on to Benjamin Franklin which, after hearing about John Adams’ critique of Franklin’s performance in France, should be interesting.

Renee

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Budget and Event Updates

Greetings, Colleagues,

I want to thank you for your terrific turnout at the budget lapse open forum held on Friday.  As I mentioned at the forum, I have been in budget discussions during difficult times on several different campuses, and I appreciate greatly your candor and collegiality.  This attitude will sustain us during the difficult time. Just so you are aware, our Student Government Association has passed a resolution against the lapse and they intend to lobby the legislators. 

The deadline for UW-System to submit its plan to the Department of Administration has been pushed back from November 7 to November 21.  System President Kevin Reilly is slated to have a meeting with Secretary Huebsch on November 17.  All are in agreement that we will not have a better notion of the size of the lapse until January, after the holiday spending season.  The debt situations with Greece, Italy, and Spain and the instability of the markets abroad and at home have caused some concern about the eventual impact on Wisconsin and the ability of the State to meet revenue projections.  We must hope for the best but plan for the worst.

Some legislators have suggested that our “flexibilities” should enable us to address this cut.  On further discussion about the disproportionate size and additive nature of the cuts, the limits in the flexibilities due to the present interdependence of our process on other state agencies like DoA and JOCER, and the protracted timeline for implementation of certain flexibilities, they are beginning, in some cases, to understand that we indeed are not able to deal with the cuts.  We need to continue to send this message.

On campus, the review process for proposed areas of reduction will be reviewed by governance groups and by the Executive Budget committee, which includes governance representation.  The Executive Budget committee is due to meet next week.

The names from various campuses have been submitted to UW-System for possible inclusion on the New University Personnel Structures task force.  The rest of the task force membership will be assigned soon. The assessment of the current personnel systems will rest primarily with the institutions and will serve as a starting point to begin building the frame work of the future state of the new personnel systems. 

Jason Beier, System Human Resources Director will be visiting our campus on November 8, 2011 to conduct informational sessions for all employees to learn about this initiative.  Employees can attend either of two sessions that will be held.  We look forward to your attendance. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011    12:00     Webb Recital Hall/Holden Fine Arts Center
Tuesday, November 8, 2011      2:00     Webb Recital Hall/Holden Fine Arts Center

There are two bills in the assembly which are coming up for review – Assembly Bills 352 and 318.  Both deal with the hiring of annuitants – those people who have retired from and come back to work at a state agency, usually the same state agency.  The bills want to narrowly restrict their reemployment.  There has been much press in Green Bay and some in Madison (see recent Chronicle of Higher Education tidbit). We sometimes use these people if there are retirements and we need to staff a course or cover a position until a search can be conducted.  K-12 is heavily reliant on their use.  Limiting our ability to fill holes in our staffing would be a handicap.  As a System, we are working with our legislators to find a solution that addresses concern about “double dipping” (taking retirement and a paycheck at the same time) and preserves our flexibility.

Great News! – The campus learned today that our Yellowjacket Union has received a 2011 Build Wisconsin Award in the General Contractor – New Construction category by the Association of General Contractors of Wisconsin.  The project was submitted by Immel Construction, General Contractor for the union project.  This is the 4th design/construction award that has been garnered for this facility!!

Build Wisconsin projects are evaluated by a panel of construction industry professionals, including architects, engineers, city officials and other building experts who select the top projects to receive the awards. Projects are judged and awarded points based on criteria such as innovation, teamwork, overcoming challenges and client satisfaction.  AGC of Wisconsin is a construction trade association representing nearly 275 general contractors, subcontractors, manufacturers, material suppliers and other professional construction-related firms.   

The award ceremony is December 1, 2011 in Madison at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery (which also received awards in several categories.)  We hope to have the campus represented at this event.

Congratulations campus and Immel Construction!!

In other arenas, the men’s soccer team won their final game of the 2011 season, posting a 7-0 shutout at Finlandia.  The team finished the year with 12 wins and placed third in the WIAC, its highest placement in the three seasons when the WIAC has recognized soccer as a championship sport.  The men’s and women’s hockey teams entertained on the ice at home this weekend, winning three of the four games over the weekend at Wessman Arena.  After the games on Saturday, the teams held their annual “Skate with the ‘Jackets” skating party where fans got on the ice to pose for pictures, get autographs, and skate with our student-athletes.  The women are off to a fast 4-1-1 start while the men are 2-1-1 and in first place in the conference.  This weekend, the men’s and women’s cross country teams will compete in the NCAA Midwest Regional at Rock Island, Ill.  Good luck runners!

Cultural Night is this Saturday!  A celebration of the wonderful array of nationalities on our campus, you’ll be treated with sights, sounds, and tastes from around the world.  Dinner starts at 5 p.m. and the show at 7 p.m.  Tickets for adults are $8 for the show or $14 for both. For students and seniors, tickets are $5 for the show or $9 for both and can be purchased at the door or in advance, Nov. 8-10 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Orders also can be placed by contacting the Office of International Programs at (715) 394-8138 or by emailing wsa@uwsuper.edu.    

Inclusive Excellence forums for discussion regarding the climate survey are underway.   The schedule can be found at: http://www.uwsuper.edu/ie/news/climate-survey-discussion-forum-for-classified-staff—maintenance–grounds_article1366924

I attended Chorfest this last weekend.  Starting the program was our UW-Superior  a capella choir under the direction of Matthew Faerber.  It was quite impressive!  More than 100 of our students majoring in all kinds of academic programs are involved.  It was the embodiment of our liberal arts mission.  The last spiritual number stole the show!  Bravissimi!

Renee

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