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Chancellor challenges faculty, staff to continue progress toward centennial vision

RELEASED: Aug. 25, 2010

Chancellor Brian Levin-Stankevich
Chancellor Brian Levin-Stankevich

View the archived video broadcast of the state-of-the-university address.

Read the complete text of the chancellor's state-of-the-university address.

Read the text of the opening meeting address by University Senate Chair Susan Harrison.

EAU CLAIRE — With preliminary work for several major campus building projects already begun, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire begins the 2010-11 academic year amid very visible reminders that the university is always "under construction," a hard-hat-sporting Chancellor Brian Levin-Stankevich said yesterday during his state-of-the-university address at the fifth annual Blugold Breakfast and faculty/staff academic year opening meeting in Zorn Arena.

Since the first Blugold Breakfast in 2006, university faculty, staff and students have made much progress toward UW-Eau Claire's 2016 centennial vision to be the premier undergraduate learning community in the upper Midwest, Levin-Stankevich said. The priorities for the new academic year will ensure that the university continues to progress toward that vision, he said.

"We are well into that journey, and our task is to continue to build upon what we've begun," he said.

The university community moves forward in the new academic year with key support from the Blugold Commitment, approved last spring by the UW System Board of Regents, Levin-Stankevich said. Through the Blugold Commitment, students will pay a $1,200 increase in differential tuition ($600 per semester), phased in over four years and beginning this fall.

"I want to commend our student leadership for stepping up and partnering with us to invest in this university and in the quality of their education," Levin-Stankevich said.

The chancellor recounted the university's progress over the past four years to implement its strategic plan. Accomplishments have included:

  • implementation and/or progress on nearly two-thirds of the 69 action initiatives that resulted from the university's Program to Evaluate and Enhance Quality — an internal review process that has enabled UW-Eau Claire to focus its investments in its highest priorities;
  • planning for several new campus building projects — the first of which, a university student center, will break ground this academic year;
  • progress toward goals to improve equity, diversity and inclusivity across the university, including a 38 percent increase over last year in the number of multicultural students enrolled in the incoming class, improvement in the university's LGBTQ-friendly rating on the nationally recognized Campus Climate Index, and continued outreach to students of color and low-income students in the region through the Blugold Beginnings program;
  • advancements in sustainability efforts, including a university student center designed to silver LEED standards and progress on a campus plan to reduce the university's carbon footprint; and
  • through collective frugality, the restoration of a balance between revenue and spending that has helped the university direct resources toward its strategic goals.

A key priority during the coming year will be the ongoing revision of UW-Eau Claire's liberal education curriculum.

"We are already revising our general education program and implementing what may well serve as a national model of transformative learning," he said.

A goal of the new curriculum is to help improve student four-year graduation rates, which is in line with a UW System-wide goal to increase the number of college graduates in Wisconsin, Levin-Stankevich said.

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JP/DW

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