||Schofield Hall 218|
||Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004|
As I See It
The Interactive University
A Measure of Our Success!
By Donald J. Mash, Chancellor
MAILED: April 3, 2000|
Whether you're reading this in the comfort of your home in the Chippewa Valley or online from anywhere in the world, there is an increasing likelihood that you are being directly affected by the action of a UW-Eau Claire student.
More than 10,000 students are loose in our immediate service region and the world, intent on fulfilling the service-learning requirement which is one of the requirements for a baccalaureate degree at UW-Eau Claire. The impact of their collective efforts is significant; a critical asset for those they serve and a powerful tool for student learning. Incidentally, UW-Eau Claire is the only public university in Wisconsin that requires a service-learning experience for degree completion.
In line with unleashing the energy of our students, our university is working to become increasingly interactive in many other ways because we believe that interactivity should be a critical part of the mission of a successful public university. I want to describe for you some of our most recent efforts to become more interactive, a more significant player, a focal point and a catalyst in west central Wisconsin.
Our actions and our interactions are driven by a strategic planning process we recently put in place. During the fall semester the University Planning Committee assisted me in developing goals and strategic initiatives that will guide our actions for our five-year planning cycle. There are two goals and nine enabling strategies. Goal No. 1 is the essence of what we do for our students. Goal No. 2 will enable us to achieve Goal No. 1, while guiding our efforts to become more interactive with our citizens and businesses.
Goal No. 1: To enhance the quality of our teaching, learning and personal development environment for our students.
Goal No. 2: To broaden and increase our resources.
- We will develop and market new and revised academic program options that meet the needs of our students and service region.
- We will recruit and retain highly qualified faculty and staff and further diversify those populations.
- We will recruit and retain highly qualified students and further diversify the student body.
We will optimize student services and personal development support.
- We will develop a plan to guide the development of campus facility improvements.
The challenge we are working at now is to create and sustain the actions that will enable us to achieve these goals by implementing the strategies. Highlights of some actions already underway include:
- We will raise the profile and enhance the image of the university.
- We will develop a stronger regional presence by expanding our reach, influence and connections.
- We will increase the number of part-time, nontraditional undergraduate and graduate students.
- We will plan, begin and complete a major fund-raising campaign.
I recently read a strong essay written as a result of the work of a brain trust of leaders in higher education, public policy and government. The premise of the essay was that successful institutions must be mission centered, market smart and politically savvy in order to excel. I strongly agree. From our students' service-learning activities through our academic programs to our goals and strategies, we are applying all of the dynamics that embody the key themes in that essay. We are acting, implementing and moving forward with the purpose and vigor required to become the quintessential interactive university of the future.
- continuing to emphasize the importance of student-faculty collaborative research as a way to connect classroom knowledge with scientific inquiry.
- expanding internship opportunities for students in collaboration with area and regional employers.
- working with our legislators, sister institutions, system administration and many special university friends to secure the best state budget and the best faculty and academic staff pay plan for the university.
- working in tandem with technology employers throughout the Chippewa Valley known as "Wisconsin's Silicon Valley" to provide educational opportunities for their current and prospective employees.
- reaching out to serve more part-time nontraditional students and working professionals.
- increasing regional cooperative efforts with UW-Stout and the Chippewa Valley Technical College for work force development and enhanced educational opportunities.
- developing a series of television advertisements and printed materials that promote UW-Eau Claire and our Marks of Excellence.
- creating an outreach center on Water Street to facilitate easy community access to university courses, programs and services.
- working with deans, directors and department chairs to define needs and priorities that will garner increased public and private financial support.
- developing plans for the replacement of the Park School facility as well as the expansion of Davies Center.
Donald J. Mash began as UW-Eau Claire's sixth chancellor in August 1998. He previously served as president of Nebraska's Wayne State College for 10 years and as vice president at George Mason University, Fairfax, Va., for more than 13 years. He is known as a strong leader, committed to enhancing the university's reputation for excellence and expanding its public service role. He holds a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: April 3, 2000