Paradigm shifts are a rare occurrence. Last week’s Board of Regents meeting proved that a shift is indeed occurring in the University of Wisconsin System. As you may be aware, a 24 member task force recently submitted their recommendations to System President Kevin Reilly for reimagining how the UW System operates in relationship to the Board of Regents and to the individual campuses. The Regents formally heard President Reilly’s response, which included full support of the recommendations from the task force, and his report which outlined how the $2.4 million budget reduction in UW System Administration will occur. In particular, President Reilly has pledged to streamline the academic program approval process, delegate the monitoring of program quality to the campuses, prioritize audit needs to better serve Board of Regent Priorities, and to work with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to coordinate the State’s economic development activities. There will also be more leadership roles made available to Chancellors. Underlying the reports are the fundamental tenants that the Board of Regents and President are still responsible for leadership, oversight, and accountability. Changes in the function of System academic affairs should enable us to be more responsive and flexible in meeting the educational needs of our constituencies. The Board unanimously approved both of President Reilly’s reports.
Saturday was spent hosting some of our UW-Superior alumni at the University of Wisconsin vs. Oregon State University matchup in Madison. At the invitation of President Reilly, game attendees were treated to brunch at Brittingham House before the game. The game was rout as Wisconsin dominated the scoreboard 35-0. It was a nice opportunity for me to meet some long-time supporters of UW-Superior and for them to meet each other. A big thanks to Barb Parenteau, Tom Bergh, and Jan Hanson for helping to coordinate and entertain.
The present Provost role included the duties normally assumed by a Dean of Faculties. These positions will be split and two separate positions will be created. The Provost position will be filled first. Discussions with members of the campus community closest to the Provost/Dean of Faculties roles have taken place with regard to characteristics and considerations for the position description. The Provost search committee will hold their first meeting in the upcoming weeks.
At the end of this month, we are hosting UW-Superior Weekend. This alumni reunion and community open house runs from September 29 – October 2 and includes a variety of events to showcase all the wonderful aspects of UW-Superior. Events include Swenson Hall Grand Opening, tours, BBQs, Hall of Fame Induction, Dueling Pianos and more. See the full schedule online. Please mark your calendars and plan to bring your friends and family to experience UW-Superior. How else can you get involved? Host an open house Friday afternoon (9/30) and allow alumni and friends to stop in for a visit. Offer to be a stop on the campus tours provided to our guests on Friday /or Saturday afternoon. Tell our guests about your office or department, or provide a display. As well, there is an artist and author display in the YU Saturday from 10:00 a.m. -2:00 p.m. Showcase your own work or showcase upcoming events, poster displays, organizations and more. Please contact Lynne Williams or Tom Bergh for further information.
In closing, I finally have moved into permanent housing! While I was down in Madison on Thursday, the movers were busy hauling stuff across town into the new abode. I must admit that on Thursday and Saturday evenings, it was exciting cresting the hill on US 53 near the US 2 split marker, seeing the valley and the lake, and knowing I was heading home. While my life may still be in boxes for a while, it is a great feeling.