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UW-Eau Claire Chancellor Announces
Major Policy Initiatives

RELEASED: Aug. 21, 2007

Chancellor Brian Levin-Stankevich
Chancellor Brian Levin-Stankevich

EAU CLAIRE — University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Chancellor Brian Levin-Stankevich focused on two major policy initiatives — finalizing and implementing a new strategic vision for the university and broadening the borders of the university by strengthening and expanding community partnerships — in his state-of-the-university address Aug. 21.

The chancellor delivered the address during the opening meeting of the 2007-08 academic year in Zorn Arena, attended by nearly 800 university faculty and staff members, community leaders and legislators.

Following are excerpts from the speech (the complete transcript and the archived video broadcast of the address are available online):

On the rationale for creating a new strategic vision:

"Without a sure sense of our direction and priorities we will not continue our leadership as a premier institution. The innovations of undergraduate research, service learning and study abroad that set us apart in the 1990s are now the minimum entrance requirements for top-tier institutions.... As Will Rogers once said, 'Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.'... Colleagues, maintaining the status quo is no longer good enough.... If we are to compete, we need to change."

On ideas that have been developed by five strategic planning work groups composed of university faculty, staff and students:

"It's clear that we have a tradition and opportunity in international learning. We can elevate this strength to a leadership level nationally. While we will continue to welcome students from every culture to our campus, we should also expect every one of our students will experience an international learning opportunity.

"To create global leaders, we must foster in our students a set of skills and attitudes that apply the learning of a liberal education to the resolution of real-world problems. To that end, our curriculum must be streamlined, intentional and ... radically transformed.... Our planning, after all, starts with setting priorities, and then aligning our strengths. We will have to start saying 'no' to some things so we can say 'yes' to the things that truly matter."

On broadening the borders of the university:

"Our campus already extends into our community for sporting events: When I watch soccer, I'm on Stein and Macarthur; football and softball at Carson Park, and hockey at Hobbs. We have had successful and ongoing collaboration with the city of Eau Claire on developing these shared facilities that benefit us all. I am eager to look for ways in which we can extend this in support of our academic mission while also enhancing the quality of life for our region — especially in the arts and in our physical connection to downtown revitalization."

On strengthening and expanding community partnerships:

"UW-Eau Claire is already engaged in our community in so many ways — through Continuing Education, faculty applied research, economic development, student internships and service ... the list goes on. But if our vision is truly regional leadership for the public good, I believe we have more to do."

In addition to the two major initiatives, Levin-Stankevich provided updates on goals he has set as priorities: enhancing equity and diversity on campus and in the community, enhancing and replacing aging campus facilities, and expanding university revenues through donor gifts and grants.

-30-

MR/JP

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