Vol. 54, No. 11 • Eleventh Week • Fall Semester • Oct. 30, 2006
Service-learning program earns national recognition
UW-Eau Claire was among the 141 public and private colleges, universities and professional schools named in the first President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction for General Community Service, compiled by the Corporation for National and Community Service.
The new recognition program is designed to increase public awareness of the contributions that college students are making within their local communities and across the country through volunteer service. More than 500 colleges applied for the honor roll in its inaugural year. Full story.
A panel of three veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) will tell their stories Thursday, Nov. 2, at the third event of the 65th season of The Forum at UW-Eau Claire. Their program, titled "Iraq War Stories from Those Who Served," will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Zorn Arena.The panelists will represent IAVA's nonpartisan stance, which is not anti-war or pro-war. Veterans Todd Bowers, James Downen and Mike Krause will discuss their experiences in the war and in coming home, offering a unique and politically valuable perspective on the war as they tell their stories without a media filter. Full story.
University reaccreditation prep moves forward
UW-Eau Claire and other member institutions of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools must be reaccredited every 10 years, said Andrew Phillips, interim associate vice chancellor for academic affairs and a member of UW-Eau Claire's HLC Steering Committee. Being accredited both certifies to the public that an institution is prepared to do its job well and assures the institution is eligible for federal funding, Phillips said.
UW-Eau Claire's HLC Steering Committee has formed several self-study groups, five of which are aligned with the HLC criteria for accreditation. The five criteria and the study group chairs are:
Most recently, the self-study groups developed questions and methods to gather data from faculty, staff, administrators, students and community members.
The first campuswide activity will be a survey in April. To prepare the survey, the self-study groups will conduct focus groups in November for which departments and units will be asked to send representatives. After the self-study groups have analyzed the data collected in the focus groups, they will refine the questions for the campuswide survey.Faculty, staff, students and administrators soon will have opportunities to contribute to the preparation for UW-Eau Claire's re-accreditation. The self-study will be published in the spring of 2009, followed by the HLC accreditation team's campus visit that fall.
Dr. Richard Freund, director of the Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Hartford, will visit UW-Eau Claire Thursday, Nov. 2, to speak on several topics relating to his research.
An afternoon presentation will focus on Freund's research in Israel's Cave of Letters, which was featured in the 2004 NOVA documentary "Ancient Refuge in the Holy Land." (The documentary will be shown on campus Tuesday, Oct. 31, at 3:30 p.m. in Phillips Hall Room 265.) Freund's evening talk, "Jerusalem of the Jews, Christians and Muslims," will cover the more than 4,000-year history of the city that has numerous holy sites in relatively the same locations.
Freund also will speak briefly during the Nov. 2 opening reception for the exhibit "Burials, Baths, and Beyond: Archaeological Sites from Israel and Spain" in the Grand Corridor of the McIntyre Library. The exhibit is on loan from the University of Hartford Art School. The reception will begin at 2:30 p.m., with comments at 3 p.m. by Freund and Interim Library Director Chris Cox. Full story.
University Senate resolution supports regents' opposition to state marriage amendment
The UW System Board of Regents voted Oct. 6 to formally oppose the proposed amendment that would change the state constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman. In addition, a clause in the proposed amendment would not allow Wisconsin to recognize a legal status "identical or substantially similar" to marriage for unmarried individuals. (Read the regents' resolution.)
The regents said the amendment would be a significant setback for the UW System as it seeks to recruit and retain faculty and staff. In an Oct. 6 UW System news release, UW System Legal Counsel Patricia Brady said the amendment could lead to "uncertainty" about what benefits the university or state would be able to provide to employees.
UW-Eau Claire associate professor Sherrie Serros proposed the University Senate resolution last week.
"There have been recent instances where faculty in the system have left, primarily because of this issue," Serros said. "At the senate meeting one senator indicated that candidates for positions on this campus withdrew because of the issues surrounding civil unions and partner benefits."
The Board of Regents resolution gives examples of Wisconsin businesses that offer domestic partner benefits to give those businesses an advantage in recruiting and retaining quality employees, Serros said.
"It is time for the UW System to act in a similar fashion; however, the proposed amendment would completely stifle the system from offering equal benefits to all members of the UW System academic community," she said.
Researchers seek health care stories for study
Researchers encourage those sharing their stories to include the "who, what, when, where and why" of the experience. The research team will collect stories now through Nov. 10.
"We hope to identify the common themes as well as the strengths and weaknesses of our current system to help us develop a research project that will positively contribute to the public policy debate on health care reform," Jamelske said. Full story.
UW-Eau Claire professor of geography and anthropology Harry Jol and senior geography major Holly Jean Johnson recently returned from northwest Oregon, where they were part of a research team that successfully investigated coastal tsunami deposits. The team used ground penetrating radar to study the extent of ancient tsunami inundation and the magnitude of wave run-up at sites in Cannon Beach and Seaside, Ore.
"We collected GPR data along deposits from the 1964 and the 1700 tsunamis," Johnson said. "The data we collected may be used to improve tsunami hazard assessment for coastlines in Washington, Oregon and Northern California. The information will be used by emergency response officials to better understand and mitigate the tsunami risk to coastal communities." Full story.
An Eau Claire veterinarian has been memorialized with a $25,000 endowed UW-Eau Claire Foundation scholarship in his name.The Jay Mettler Pre-Veterinary Medicine Scholarship will provide an annual $1,000 scholarship to an outstanding pre-veterinary major at UW-Eau Claire who plans to enroll in the UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine. Mettler, a 1982 Memorial High School graduate, earned a bachelor of science and a veterinary medicine degree from UW-Madison. He was killed in a snowmobile accident in February. Full story.