Chancellor welcomes faculty and staff back to campus
UW-Eau Claire will move forward with plans
to enhance and expand the quality educational opportunities
available here in spite of a soft economy and fewer state dollars,
Chancellor Donald Mash told about 600 faculty and academic staff
members Aug. 20 during the Opening Meeting of the 2002-03 academic
“The bottom line is that we have been
moving forward and can continue to move forward in spite of the
fiscal challenges we are facing,” Mash said during his “State of
the University” address. “It's particularly important that
when we are challenged, we do not lose sight of the big picture.”
Faculty, staff and administrators must together
work toward accomplishing the three goals set forth in the
university's Strategic Plan, Mash said, adding that it is the
activities and actions of the faculty and staff that will help the
university meet its goals.
Goals included in UW-Eau Claire's
Strategic Plan are:
the quality of our teaching, learning and personal development.
and enhance our regional services and impact.
and increase our resource base.
Perhaps the greatest challenge the university faces in meeting the
goal to enhance teaching and learning is attracting and retaining
quality faculty and academic staff, while still another challenge is
attracting and retaining top students in an increasingly competitive
marketplace, Mash said.
Enhancing facilities, increasing student
scholarships, new program initiatives, and identifying creative ways
to ensure faculty and academic staff are fairly compensated are
among the strategies being used to help build a campus community of
quality students, faculty and staff, Mash said.
“We've been focusing on the right
things at this university for a long, long time,” Mash said,
noting that many of UW-Eau Claire's Marks of Excellence — the
things the university cites when describing what makes it an
exceptional place — are similar to a list of program enhancements
recently compiled by U.S. News & World Report magazine. “We've
been doing many of these things year after year,” he said,
referring to things such as study abroad opportunities, first-year
experience classes, capstone courses, service-learning and
The university's goal of expanding and
enhancing its regional services is important to the overall mission
of the university, Mash said, noting that helping people understand
how the university directly affects the quality of their lives also
will help garner public and state support. The university's
success in gaining state support for the Chippewa Valley Initiative
— which provides funding to expand and enhance high-tech programs
at UW-Eau Claire — is an example of what can be accomplished when
the university demonstrates specific ways it can contribute to the
region's future growth, he said.
But achieving its goals of enhancing
teaching and learning, and expanding regional services requires an
increase in the university's resource base, Mash said.
“The items in the first two goals are all
related to resource base building,” Mash said. “We can't
ignore it. It can stand in the way of this university's ability to
get even better and it threatens our ability to maintain our
UW-Eau Claire students recognize that
reality, Mash said, referencing the unanimous decision of the
Student Senate last spring to increase differential tuition even
though they knew their tuition was likely to increase by 8 percent.
tuition — dollars paid by students that are above tuition set by
the Board of Regents — generates about $1 million a year for the
university, which is used to support things such as capstone
courses, internships and student/faculty research.
UW-Eau Claire and the UW System needs to
continue helping legislators and the public understand that
investing in higher education in Wisconsin can help the state's
economy thrive, Mash said. “We need to stay on message: if you
invest in this university, it will pay big dividends for Wisconsin,”
he said, adding that the university will not grow without additional
dollars because it will not sacrifice the quality of its programs
Mash also talked about the success of
UW-Eau Claire's first-ever comprehensive fund-raising effort, “Fulfilling
the Promise of Excellence.” Already more than $18 million has been
pledged toward the $35 million campaign goal, Mash said, noting that
many faculty and academic staff are among the contributors.
“This is an outstanding university and it's
our challenge to keep it that way,” Mash said, encouraging faculty
and staff to keep the good of the overall university in mind as they
go about their business.
“Don't lose sight of where we're going
and why it's important to be there,” Mash said of faculty and
staff's ability to touch the future.
In Brief Calendar
of Events Faculty/Staff News
Liz Wolf Green,
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
· Diane Walkoff,
Editorial Assistant ·
Aug. 26, 2002