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ROTC to Offer Pilot Program at UW-Eau Claire

RELEASED: April 2, 2009

EAU CLAIRE — The Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps is establishing a partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire to provide a one-year pilot program on campus, Interim Provost Marty Wood said.

For the 2009-10 academic year, ROTC classes will be offered through UW-Eau Claire's Continuing Education program, Wood said. After the pilot phase, if the ROTC program is approved through the university's shared governance system, it will become a series of courses offered through the College of Business, he said.

Given the ROTC's focus on leadership development, the program will be aligned with the College of Business' Center for Leadership, said Dr. Robert Sutton, associate dean of the College of Business. Starting in the fall, ROTC office space will be housed in Schneider Hall, he said.

The ROTC currently has programs in western Wisconsin at UW-Stout (established in 2005) and UW-River Falls (established in 2007). Eighty students are enrolled in the ROTC program at those campuses, said Maj. Eric Beuerman, ROTC assistant professor of military science.

UW-Stevens Point, which established an ROTC program on its campus in 1967, will serve as the host institution for the UW-Eau Claire program. It's also the host institution for several other programs, including those at UW-Stout and UW-River Falls.

Students enrolled in the UW-Eau Claire program will take one ROTC course per semester during their four years at UW-Eau Claire, Beuerman said, noting that a typical class has two to eight cadets.

Currently, 15 UW-Eau Claire students are enrolled in ROTC through the UW-Stout program, Beuerman said. The UW-Eau Claire students in the program are majoring in a wide range of fields, including biology, history, music, environmental public health, advertising, criminal justice, political science, Spanish education, math, business administration, accounting, communications, psychology and kinesiology.

The UW-Eau Claire students currently take their ROTC classes as special students at UW-Stout and attend leadership labs at off-campus locations in Eau Claire, Beuerman said.

Starting in the fall, students will take ROTC classes on the UW-Eau Claire campus, Beuerman said.

The introductory ROTC classes will be available to any UW-Eau Claire student regardless of major, Sutton said. Students can take classes as participating students or as auditing students, he said. Students must fulfill prerequisites to enroll in the more advanced ROTC courses, he said. To contract in the ROTC program itself, students must meet the criteria of eligibility for joining the U.S. Army, he said.

ROTC class credits will count toward the university's 120-credit graduation requirement but will not count toward any specific degree requirement, Sutton said.

ROTC classes are taught by military faculty members, not university employees, Beuerman said. While their salaries are paid for by the U.S. Army, the university is consulted prior to hiring new military faculty, he said, adding that ROTC faculty members must abide by all university standards of conduct.

All students join the ROTC voluntarily, with motivations such as serving their country, developing leadership skills, paying for their advanced education, and progressing from the Army's enlisted ranks to the officer corps, Beuerman said. The ROTC offers students enrolled in the ROTC program substantial scholarships that cover tuition, housing and other expenses, including tuition and airfare for international study, he said. In turn, contracted students commit to serving a set number of years in the U.S. Army on active duty or as part of the National Guard or Army Reserve, he said.

For information about the ROTC's partnership with UW-Eau Claire, contact Dr. Marty Wood, interim provost, at 715-836-2320 or mwood@uwec.edu.

For specific questions regarding the ROTC program or classes, contact Dr. Robert Sutton, associate dean of the College of Business at UW-Eau Claire, at 715-836-4187 or suttonr@uwec.edu, or Maj. Eric Beuerman, assistant professor of military science for the ROTC, at 715-232-5612 or beuermane@uwstout.edu.

-30-

JB

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