Vol. 56, No. 25Seventh Week • Spring Semester • March 9, 2009

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Featured Articles

Administrative reorganization eliminates vice chancellor post; David Gessner named CFO

Provost fiinalist to present open forum today

Regents discuss proposed state budget impact

Chancellor selects new student center site

Middle East delegates to hold forum today

Civil rights legend to visit campus March 10-11

Campus to be site of March 11 Community Breakfast

Forensics team wins 17th state championship

New sustainability Web site goes live

Campus Campaign: Employees take advantage of gift matching

Health journal publishes faculty/
student study

Women's Concert Chorale to tour South Africa

Professor, students to study war's environmental impact in Vietnam

Professor brings Grandparents U to Eau Claire

Free kids' foreign language classes to begin April 2

Prickly subject: Alumnus, succulent expert is biology seminar series guest

No University Bulletin next week


Administrative reorganization eliminates vice chancellor post; David Gessner named CFO
UW-Eau Claire excellence sealIn a March 4 e-mail message to  all UW-Eau Claire employees, Chancellor Brian Levin-Stankevich outlined an administrative reorganization that will eliminate the position of vice chancellor for administration, finance and facilities — a position that has been vacant for several months. The reorganization and elimination of the vice chancellor position is the result of the significant budget challenges facing UW-Eau Claire and the state.

Eliminating the vice chancellor position will result in realigning the offices and units within the division, reducing the number of administrative divisions from four to three. The three remaining divisions are Chancellor, Student Affairs and Academic Affairs.

As part of the reorganization, Levin-Stankevich appointed David Gessner, UW-Eau Claire's director of Business Services and budget officer, as assistant chancellor for budget and finance. In his new capacity, Dave will report to the chancellor and will serve as the university's chief financial officer, oversee the university's budget, act as a key liaison with the UW System and provide leadership for the Business Services unit. Full story. Go to top of page

Provost finalist to present open forum today
provost search graphicThe following finalist in the search for a provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at UW-Eau Claire is on campus today:

  • John Wells, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Young Harris College, Young Harris, Ga., will present a campus open forum today, March 9, from 2:15-3:15 p.m. in Hibbard 102.

Links to all finalists' curriculum vitae, video of their campus open forums, and a forum feedback form are available online. Go to top of page

Regents discuss proposed state budget impact
From UW System news release
UW System logo
The proposed 2009-11 biennial state budget and its impact on the UW System was the first item of discussion at the March 5 meeting of the system's Board of Regents in Madison. Amidst a massive state budget deficit and deepening recession, the UW System is planning for significant budget cuts over the next two years. View the regents' presentation on the Governor's 2009-11 Recommended Biennial Budget.

The real question, said UW System President Kevin P. Reilly, is “how much capacity does the UW System really have to absorb any kind of budget cut, and how do we begin to assess the real impact of a cut on our core operation of educating students?”

After stripping away targeted, earmarked or restricted funding, the UW System is left with about $1.8 billion in unencumbered dollars to support direct instruction of students, Reilly said, with $860 million in GPR and $981 million in tuition.

Read news coverage of the budget's impact on the UW-System.

The March meeting also included discussion of the next steps in the UW System’s work on equity, diversity and inclusion, as well as the presentation of the first Regents Diversity Awards. Read the meeting's news summary. Go to top of page

Chancellor selects new student center site
A green space located between the current Davies Center and the Phillips Hall parking lot on the south side of lower campus is the preferred site of a new student-funded $48.8 million student center at UW-Eau Claire, Chancellor Brian Levin-Stankevich announced March 3.

In making the selection, Levin-Stankevich considered factors including but not limited to flood plain and sustainability issues, traffic flow, parking, proximity to student populations during the day and evening, proximity to McIntyre Library, student activities, and how the project affects future campus development. Full story. Go to top of page

Middle East delegates to hold forum today
A National Peace Foundation program titled "Islam in America: New Dimensions in Activism, Pluralism and Thought" will bring 12 citizen delegates from the Middle East to UW-Eau Claire today.

The delegates are visiting the United States for meetings and experiential workshops to learn about culture in the U.S. and to address the role that Islam plays in various societies around the world.

Their visit to campus will include a tour with a stop at the International Learning Community, visits to classes, a lunch hosted by Interim Provost Marty Wood, and a panel discussion.

The panel discussion — titled "Islam, Civil Society and the Future of U.S. Relations with the Arab Gulf States" — will run from 1-2 p.m. today in Davies Theatre. Dr. Ali Abootalebi, professor of political science, will be the moderator. The panel discussion is free and open to the public. Full story. Go to top of page

Civil rights legend to visit campus March 10-11

Minnijean Brown Trickey
Brown Trickey

A civil rights legend who helped desegregate U.S. public schools will meet with students and give a public lecture during a March 10-11 visit to the UW-Eau Claire.

Minnijean Brown Trickey will present "Return to Little Rock: A Seminal Moment in American Education and Civil Rights" at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 10, in Schofield Auditorium. A reception will follow at 8:30 p.m. in the Presidents Room of Davies Center. The lecture and reception are free and open to the public.

Brown Trickey will meet with students for coffee at 9 a.m. Wednesday, March 11 in the Skylight Lounge of Davies Center. She will then give a lecture for students, faculty and staff at 10 a.m. in Davies Theatre.

As a teenager, Brown Trickey entered the civil rights movement — and American consciousness — when, as a member of the Little Rock Nine, and in defiance of the state of Arkansas, she took her place in what had previously been a whites-only school. Full story.

Brown Trickey's presentations are part of UW-Eau Claire's schedule of Women's Herstory Month events. Go to top of page

Campus to be site of March 11 Community Breakfast
Community Breakfast graphic"How Green Is Our Valley?" will be the theme of the 2009 Annual Community Breakfast, to be held from 7-8:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 11, in the Spruce-Tamarack Room of UW-Eau Claire's Davies Center.

The breakfast will include a panel discussion by representatives from local organizations that have adopted an environmentally friendly approach to business. Panelists will include Charles Farrell, UW-Eau Claire University Centers; Lee Jensen, Five Star Dairy; Dave Savage, Superior Auto Body; Mark Steil, Chaos Water Park; and Jim Vaudreuil, Huebsch Services.

The Community Breakfast is sponsored by the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce, UW-Eau Claire Foundation and UW-Eau Claire College of Business. More information is available on the College of Business Web site. Go to top of page

2009 forensics team

Members of the UW-Eau Claire forensics team that brought home the Wisconsin Forensics State Championship include (left to right) Katie Nichols, Natalie Hunter, BJ Pickard, Laura Magnusson, Whitney Zahn, Eric Plantenburg, Emily Schreiner, Alicia Gerber, Sarah Taylor, Nick Miller, Justin Rudnick, Dylan Jambrek, James Kust, Jake Johnson and Meghan Pickard.
Forensics team wins 17th state championship

The UW-Eau Claire forensics team has won the Wisconsin Forensics State Championship for the 17th year in a row. The tournament was held Feb 20-21 in Menomonie.

Members of the forensics team will represent Wisconsin at the Interstate Oratory Contest in April at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Miss. Each state is allowed two representatives in this prestigious contest. To become a Wisconsin representative at IOC, a contestant must place first or second in oratory at the state competition.

Senior Eric Plantenberg, Monroe, placed first in oratory and will represent Wisconsin for the second time at IOC. Junior Emily Schreiner, Wausau, placed second in oratory and will join Plantenberg for her first IOC. For 16 of the last 17 years, both Wisconsin IOC representatives have come from UW-Eau Claire. Full story. Go to top of page

New sustainability Web site goes live
Sustainability Web site imageInformation regarding sustainability efforts across the UW-Eau Claire campus has been centralized on a new sustainability Web site.

Visitors to the site will find information on ways the university community is promoting sustainability in the areas of campus buildings, energy, food, place, purchasing, transportation, waste and water. The site also links to other pages of the university Web site that contain sustainability-related information.

"Individuals from every part of the campus community are working to help UW-Eau Claire function in more sustainable ways," said Kate Hale, UW-Eau Claire campus sustainability fellow. "This Web site will serve as a gathering place to highlight these efforts — a nexus for education, reflection, inspiration and celebration. We hope students, faculty and staff will be encouraged by what they read on the new Web site, and that they'll contemplate ways they could engage with the energy." Go to top of page

Campus Campaign spotlight
Employees take advantage of gift matching

2009 Campus Campaign heading
Read a letter of appreciation from 2008-09 Campus Campaign chairs Larry Solberg and Jodi Thesing-Ritter.

To date more than 400 current and retired employees have contributed more than $338,000 to the UW-Eau Claire Foundation in fiscal year 2009. This includes a bequest of $149,000, according to 2009 Campus Campaign chairs Larry Solberg and Jodi Thesing-Ritter.

In a letter to UW-Eau Claire faculty, staff and emeriti, Solberg and Thesing-Ritter noted several gifts that took advantage of a matching opportunity for Campus Campaign gift increases or first-time gifts. One couple who normally give $1,000  gave $2,000, resulting in a $3,000 gift, and a new donor gave $2,500, resulting in a $5,000 gift, they said. Go to top of page

Health journal publishes faculty/student study
handweightsA study completed by UW-Eau Claire assistant professor of kinesiology Lance Dalleck and a team of student researchers was published last month by the Journal of Women's Health. The study focused on the dose-response relationship between exercise amount and coronary heart disease risk factors in postmenopausal women.

This study yielded some of the most rewarding findings he's seen in his research at UW-Eau Claire, Dalleck said.

The research team consisted of recent graduates Brittany Allen, Bailey Hanson, Erica Borresen and Mary Erickson, as well as junior Sondra De Lap, De Forest. It was funded by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs for a Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates. Full story. Go to top of page

Women's Concert Chorale to tour South Africa

Alan Rieck


The UW-Eau Claire Women's Concert Chorale will represent the university on a tour of South Africa March 12-22. The 69-member choir will be led by conductor Alan Rieck, associate professor of music.

The itinerary includes an exchange with the Stellenbosch University Schola Cantorum in Cape Town, a formal concert at St. Stithian School in Johannesburg and an informal performance at the historic Regina Mundi Church in Soweto. Non-musical events include a safari tour of Pilanesberg National Park, a visit to Lesedi Cultural Village and a tour of the Apartheid Museum. The group also will tour Robben Island, holding place of Nelson Mandela for 18 years. Full story. Go to top of page

Joseph Hupy


Professor, students to study war's environmental impact in Vietnam
The lasting impact that warfare has on the environment will be the basis of a research project that will take two University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire students and their geography professor to Vietnam for three weeks in May and June.

The research team will assess the Khe Sanh battlefield in Vietnam 40 years after the fighting ceased, said Dr. Joseph Hupy, assistant professor of geography and anthropology.

The May trip to Vietnam is possible because of funding from the ASIA Network, a consortium of colleges and universities devoted to furthering the teaching and learning of Asian studies. Hupy, Berg and Koehler received a grant totaling more than $15,000 through the ASIA Network's Freeman Student-Faculty Fellows Program to support their work in Vietnam. The grant — the first awarded by ASIA Network to UW-Eau Claire — was one of just 14 grants given out in 2009 by the fellows program. Full story. Go to top of page

Professor brings Grandparents U to Eau Claire
For five years Dr. Jeanie Geurink has enjoyed learning alongside her young granddaughter through Grandparents University at UW-Madison.

Abbey and Jeanie Geurink
Abbey (left) and Jeanie Geurink

This year, Geurink, a UW-Eau Claire assistant professor of communication and journalism, is helping to bring the intergenerational learning experience to her own campus.

On June 20, UW-Eau Claire's Grandparents University will offer classes for grandparents and their grandchildren, ages 8 to 12. The grandparents and grandchildren will together attend classes taught by university faculty.

"Grandparents University is a bonding experience for grandparents and grandchildren," Geurink said of the program's value. "It's something my granddaughter and I talk about all year. I just had to bring it here for UW-Eau Claire alumni to enjoy."

While the university hopes that many UW-Eau Claire alumni will participate in the program, Grandparents University will be open to all seniors and children in the community. Full story. Go to top of page

Free kids' foreign language classes to begin April 2
UW-Eau Claire students enrolled in the curriculum and instruction course "Teaching Foreign Languages in Grades 1-9" will offer free exploratory classes in beginning French (grades 1-5), beginning German (grades 3-5) and beginning Spanish (grades 1-5) for area schoolchildren.

Classes will meet from 4:10-4:50 p.m. on Thursdays, April 2-May 7, in Hibbard Hall, located on the corner of Park Avenue and Garfield Street. The registration deadline is March 19. Full story. Go to top of page

Prickly subject: Alumnus, succulent expert
is biology seminar series guest
Photos by Rick Mickelson, LTS

Steven Brack presenting in Phillips Hall

Steven Brack presenting in Phillips HallUW-Eau Claire alumnus Steven Brack presented a talk on South African flora March 5 as part of the university's Biological Sciences Seminar Series. Brack, a 1970 graduate with degrees in mathematics and physics, followed his passion and opened the Mesa Garden succulent nursery in Belen, N.M., in 1973. He sent out his first mail order catalog in 1977.

Succulents are water-retaining plants adapted to arid climates or soil conditions. According to the Cactus and Succulent Society of America, Brack is the only full-time producer and exporter of succulent seeds in the United States. Read a Los Angeles Times feature article about Brack and Mesa Garden.
Steven Brack presenting in Phillips Hall

No University Bulletin next week
The University Bulletin will not be published next Monday, March 16, because of spring break. The next issue of the University Bulletin will be published when classes resume Mondday, March 23. Have a great spring break! Go to top of page


University Bulletin
Published weekly during the fall and spring semesters by the UW-Eau Claire News Bureau. News items and notices should be sent to the News Bureau, Schofield 201, by 10 a.m. Wednesday to ensure publication in the following week’s issue. E-mail submissions to Julie Poquette at poquetjm@uwec.edu are encouraged. Faculty/staff news items are published on a space-available basis.

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News Bureau
Julie Poquette, Editor, UW-Eau Claire News Bureau, Schofield 201, (715) 836-4741
Diane Walkoff, Assistant Editor. Updated: March 9, 2009

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