I have just returned from AASCU’s Summer Council which was held in Seattle. The meeting of university chancellors and presidents provided a nice occasion to meet and connect with colleagues from across the country. As we talked in formal and in informal groups, it was clear that budget reductions were on the minds of all but a few schools. The range of cuts I heard reported went from 2% to 24% and many conveyed tuition increases from 5% to double digit. The picture portrayed across the county is sobering. We should count ourselves more fortunate than many. I should also tell you that the UW-Superior name drew many compliments from my colleagues. There was considerable admiration for our dedication to our mission.
Back in Wisconsin, the Board of Regents approved tuition increases for the 2012 fiscal year averaging 5.5 percent at University of Wisconsin System institutions. At UW-Superior, in-state students will pay $341 more per year, with annual tuition rising to $6,207.
A more complete picture of the price of attending our institution shows a full-time UW-Superior student living on campus with a meal plan will actually see a 3.7 percent increase in the total price to attend our institution in fiscal year 2012, the lowest percentage increase in the UW System. The highest increase was at 7.1%. Clearly, we remain a highly affordable institution for students.
Also at the July 14th Board of Regents meeting, Interim Provost Faith Hensrud presented an update to the Board of Regents’ Education Committee on UW-Superior’s efforts to institutionalize Inclusive Excellence at UW-Superior. The Board is pleased with the progress made to date at UW-Superior, and will look forward to continued progress over this next year.
We are also very happy to report that UW-Superior will host the April 2012 Board of Regents meeting on April 12-13th! Planning is beginning on campus to support the BOR meeting as well as the Chancellor’s Inauguration that will be held in conjunction with the Board meeting. It will be a great time to showcase the terrific changes and programs on campus.
I understand that there are questions surrounding the changes to collective bargaining rights. Please know that we are working with UW System to provide an accurate, updated summary for distribution.
On campus news…kudos go out to our student athletes and their coaches. The University of Wisconsin-Superior athletic department is pleased to announce that ten individuals and three teams have been chosen for induction into the UW-Superior Athletic Hall of Fame. The induction will take place on Saturday, October 1 beginning at 6:00 p.m. http://www.uwsuper.edu/athletics/news/uw-superior-announces-2011-hall-of-fame-class_article1335980
In addition to being a successful year athletically at UW-Superior, Yellowjacket student-athletes also enjoyed success in the classroom, posting a combined grade point average of 3.053 for the 2010-11 academic year. The grade point average means UW-Superior will again receive all-academic honors from the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC), which occurs when the grade point average of the student-athletes is equal to or greater than that of the overall student body. It is the fifth straight year and the ninth time in the last 11 years that Yellowjacket student-athletes will be so honored. http://www.uwsuper.edu/athletics/news/yellowjackets-post-high-gpa-in-2010-11_article1335922
Older news but still good news…at the end of June, a workshop on institutionalizing undergraduate research was held in Asheville, NC. The workshop was led by facilitators from the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR). You may recall that we (as a part of the COPLAC consortium) were awarded a highly competitive grant through the Council for Undergraduate Research to study and advance Undergraduate Research on our campus and concurrently work collaboratively with 22 other COPLAC schools Attendees were Richard Stewart, Kristin Riker-Coleman, Sergei Bezroukov, and Rhoda Robinson.
Starting on Monday, I will be off campus all week at Lake Geneva, WI attending what my colleagues have nicknamed “presidents boot camp” – a week of intensive immersive study on the issues, challenges, and opportunities of higher education administration. I hear that it is a scenic location, but not to expect to see it much! I will likely defer my weekly message until my return the following week.
One thing about traveling…as nice as it is to see someplace new, there is nothing like coming home, especially to a place like Superior! I smile broadly every time I drive into town, and think about how fortunate we are to live in such an outrageously grand place.