Vol. 50, No. 21 • Third Week • Spring Semester • Feb. 3, 2003
Claire a leader in study abroad participation
With 345 students studying abroad during the 2000-01 academic year, UW-Eau Claire was first in the state and 17th nationwide among similar institutions in the number of students studying abroad, the report states.
"This report highlights what a major player we are among study abroad programs," said Karl Markgraf, director of UW-Eau Claire's Center for International Education. "We're a national leader."
A new category in this year's report looks at the duration of students' study abroad experience. UW-Eau Claire ranked first in the state and third in the nation among similar institutions in the number of students studying abroad for at least a semester, the report states.
"Our philosophy has always been to encourage longer term study abroad experiences. These programs give students the opportunity to form strong relationships and a good understanding of the culture," Markgraf said.
Nationwide, the number of students studying abroad for credit during the 2000-01 increased 7.4 percent to a record total of 154,168, the Open Doors report states.
UW-Eau Claire's numbers have climbed in recent years as the university has added international programs and as students have come to understand the value of international experience, Markgraf said. Currently 21 percent of UW-Eau Claire students have a study abroad experience during their undergraduate program, compared to an estimated national average of 8 percent.
Even the Sept. 11 tragedy of 2001 did not have a negative effect on study abroad participation, Markgraf said.
"By continuing with their international programs, our students are doing their part to ensure that terrorists don't succeed in their efforts to isolate Americans."
Students at UW-Eau Claire can choose from 23 international programs in 13 countries, including Costa Rica, France, Germany, Latvia, Spain, Australia, Mexico, Sweden, Denmark, Japan, England, Ireland and Scotland.
For students who can't make a semester or longer commitment, there are some short-term study abroad options. These include an intensive two-week study tour in Vietnam during Winterim 2004, a program to study the tribal cultures of Thailand with a focus on Hmong cultures next summer and a program in South Africa in 2004.
update: Initial cuts to total $335,900
Administrators are working to determine how to meet this budget lapse requirement, Soll said. Information will be shared with the campus community as decisions are made. Soll stressed that this is a one-time budget lapse this fiscal year and is not a base reduction. Adjustment of the university's base budget is anticipated in the 2003-05 biennium appropriation.
Chancellor Mash discussed the newly announced budget requirements with the University Senate during its Jan. 28 meeting. He also talked with Senators about the university's look ahead to the next biennium when even more substantial cuts are expected.
Doyle has asked the state Legislature to meet in a special session to approve $161.5 million in "emergency" spending cuts by June 30 – including a 5 percent cut in administrative spending by the UW System this year, and similar cuts in most state agency and legislative operating budgets. Exempt from the cuts are UW instruction and research.
Systemwide, the lapse requirement translates into $6.9 million between now and June 30 out of the $137 million budget designated for "institutional support." Those dollars cover a broad range of administrative operations, from purchasing to human resources management to safety and security, for example.
The Doyle administration also has placed limits on hiring and on out-of-state travel, and put a hold on many state building projects.
This article is the first in a series discussing the impact of Campus Campaign contributions and the different ways faculty and staff can support the campaign.
Students using UW-Eau Claire's Career Discovery Center have access to new career-exploration materials. UW-Eau Claire's art department will purchase a new digital video camera. The special education department plans to send students to conferences to start their professional development.
What do all these news items have in common? They wouldn't be happening without the generous gifts from UW-Eau Claire faculty, staff and alumni to their department advancement funds.
Career Services staff contributions during Campus Campaign 2001-02 established two advancement funds for Career Services, said director Jeanne Skoug. In addition to the purchase of additional student resources in the Career Discovery Center, the advancement funds paid for staff development and training opportunities that were not otherwise covered by the department budget.
"These funds give us a way to enhance our services, to do some things we wouldn't otherwise be able to do with just our GPR dollars," Skoug said.
Contributing to a department advancement fund is one option for faculty and staff considering making gifts to Campus Campaign 2002-03, said Kimera Way, UW-Eau Claire executive director of development. (Donations to Campus Campaign also are counted in the totals for UW-Eau Claire's ongoing comprehensive fund-raising campaign, Fulfilling the Promise of Excellence.)
Some departments already have funds in place, and employees can simply designate their particular fund on the Campus Campaign contribution/pledge card.
For an individual or group of faculty/staff wishing to establish a department advancement fund — or a fund to support some other university program — the process is simple, Way said. It starts by calling or visiting with a member of the UW-Eau Claire Foundation staff. (The Foundation office is in 214 Schofield Hall. A staff member can be reached by calling 836-5630.)
The Foundation staff member can set up an account, name the fund as requested by the donor or donors and deposit the contribution(s) to establish the fund. (While there is no minimum amount required to start a fund, the amount deposited should be enough to be considered a "good start" for the fund, Way said.)
One donor will be designated as the account contact person, and he or she will be asked to approve all requests for payments out of the fund. A Foundation representative assigned to the fund will be available at any time to answer questions and to assist with fund transactions.
Next week: Donors to Campus Campaign can use their gifts to establish or contribute to already-existing annual funds, quasi-endowed funds or fully endowed funds. What are the differences between these types of funds and how does a donor determine which type will best help meet his or her goals?
Poll results support funding for higher education
More than half of the 514 respondents in the Badger Poll said they would make public higher education a higher priority and another 33 percent would keep its priority at its current level.
Although 63 percent of respondents said the level of state spending was too high, when asked about various programs in the budget, respondents tended to want to keep the priority for areas like education or increase it, the poll found.
The Badger Poll is a public opinion poll produced by the University of Wisconsin Survey Center and co-sponsored by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and the Capital Times newspapers. The survey was conducted from Jan. 7-Jan. 15 and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
Valley Rally participants seek support
UW-Eau Claire officials and other participants thanked state legislators for their support of the Chippewa Valley Initiative, which provided funding to expand and enhance opportunities in UW-Eau Claire's highly respected computer science and management information systems programs. The expanded programs will help meet the demand for skilled workers in high-tech businesses in the Chippewa Valley and beyond.
In addition, participants in the rally asked legislators to restore the UW System budget and support for the Chippewa Valley Initiative, which were reduced substantially in the past year as the state addressed serious budget issues.
Rally participants also asked legislators to support programs in UW-Eau Claire's School of Nursing and School of Human Science and Services that help educate health care workers.
The Chippewa Valley Rally, an annual effort organized by Momentum Chippewa Valley, provides participants with an opportunity to discuss issues that are important to the region during face-to-face meetings with individual legislators and their staffs.