UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-EAU CLAIRE

UNIVERSITY FACULTY AND UNIVERSITY ACADEMIC STAFF MEETING

August 23, 2005

 

The fall meeting of the University Faculty and University Academic Staff was called to order by Chancellor Vicki Lord Larson at 8:32 a.m. on Tuesday, August 23, 2005 in Schofield Auditorium.

 

I.        Welcome and Call to Order – Chancellor Larson

·         Welcome to start of 2005-2006 academic year; great to see all of you as campus comes alive again

·         Announcements

·         Constitution Day, as directed by United States Congress, to be held September 20, 2005

·         Will be round table discussion entitled “Constitutional Law for a Changing Supreme Court”

·         Calendar of events for next two weeks includes schedule of workshops, presentations and social interactions as prepare for return of our students and beginning of classes

·         In addition to agenda for this meeting, folders distributed as entered auditorium contained

·         Campaign Update – Fall 2005

·         The Eau Claire Advantage

·         Facilities Improvements 2004-2005

·         2005-2006 New Faculty and Academic Staff

·         Five-Year Strategic Plan Update for 2005-2007

·         Characteristics of the 2005 Freshman Class, UW-Eau Claire

·         Opening of the 2005-2006 Academic Year Professional Development Programs

·         Call for Applications for Learner-Centered Teaching Faculty Learning Community and Diversity Fellows Grant Program

·         Provost Ron Satz, currently on medical leave for reoccurrence of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, underwent tests recently at University of Minnesota Hospitals for approval for another transplant

·         Following two more rounds of chemotherapy, will return to Minneapolis in mid-September for further evaluation and to determine actual timing of transplant

·         Hope each of you will keep Ron and his family in thoughts and prayers; he enjoys receiving emails from all of you

 

II.       Introduction of New Members of University Community – Interim Provost Steven Tallant

 

III.    Presentation of 2005 Excellence Awards – Chancellor Vicki Lord Larson

·         University only as good as its people

  • We have outstanding people at our university; therefore, we have an outstanding university

·         Today recognizing recipients of 2005 Excellence Awards

·         Each receives university medallion and check from Foundation for $1,500

·         Thank Foundation for support of our efforts to strive for and to encourage excellence

 

Remarks by David Anderson, Chairman of Board of UW-Eau Claire Foundation, class of 1966 graduate, former instructor of business law here, now principal partner at largest regional Chippewa Valley law firm:  

·         This is one of highlights of year – crisp morning and resurgence on campus truly exciting

  • Fall meeting of Foundation Board coming up near homecoming weekend
  • Past fiscal year exceeded goal for comprehensive campaign, so reset goal to $50 million

·         Well on way to achieving that by end of 2007

  • In four of past five years, have raised over $3 million in cash; has become new standard
  • For second year, able to give back over $1 million to students and faculty through scholarships, awards and grants – significant amount for regional public university

·         Key goal of campaign is to help fund programs for faculty

·         Faculty/staff development fund set up by Donald Mash before leaving university now tops $400,000

·         Income to be used on annual basis to fund faculty and staff awards, grants and similar programs

·         Donors feel need to reward students, but also to encourage faculty to do excellent job now doing

  • Beyond numbers, Foundation Board interested in seeing effect of fundraising

·         At spring meeting, viewed faculty/student collaborative research being done

·         Board amazed at work that goes on here

  • Work of Foundation continues – looking forward to being with you another year due to unfortunate death of incoming Chairman of Foundation

 

2005 Excellence Awards

  • Selected by Faculty Awards Committee from nominations from Student Senate

Excellence in Advising Award

DR. GLORIA FENNELL, Associate Professor and Chair, Social Work

 

·         Selected by committee of peers from nominations from campus community

Excellence in Service Award

DR. SUSAN TURELL, Associate Professor, Psychology, Women’s Studies Program Coordinator

 

Excellence in Scholarship Award

DR. GARRY RUNNING, Associate Professor, Geography and Anthropology

 

Remarks by Lee Markquart, owner of many local businesses run with his children, recognized by Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce, Wisconsin Automobile Dealers, and TIME magazine for performance as an automobile dealer and a valued citizen of his community, 2002 recipient of Small Businessperson of the Year:

·         Welcome back – particularly newest members of faculty – coming to wonderful part of world

·         Encourage travel around the Chippewa Valley to learn about our way of life and involvement in volunteer work to get to know neighbors and help community

·         Thirty-five years after purchasing automobile dealership in 1970, principle vocation is that of teacher

·         Teach people who work for me how to succeed in life

·         Teach Markquart version of Great Game of Business and second course on Integrity Selling based on book by Ron Willingham

·         Most recently teaching that good is the enemy of great based on book by Jim Collins – will be my pleasure to provide each of six recipients of excellence awards a copy of this book

·         On behalf of our companies, thank you for all you do for your students and for people in the Chippewa Valley

 

·         Three Excellence in Performance Awards endowed by Lee and Mary Markquart

Classified Staff Excellence in Performance Award

MR. CHRISTOPHER KIRCHMAN, Officer, University Police

 

Administrative and/or Professional Academic Staff Excellence in Performance Award

DR. PATRICIA QUINN, Director of McNair Program, Special Assistant to the Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Development and Diversity for External Funding

 

Excellence in Teaching Award – Based on votes by graduates from past three years

DR. ROGER SELIN, Professor, Accounting and Finance

 

·         Award recipients represent level of excellence so many of you bring to your important work

 

IV.     Remarks of University Senate Chair – Dr. Susan Harrison

·         In ninth year as elected Senate Chair, welcome you to 2005-2006 academic year

·         Role is to enable faculty and academic staff to make most of shared governance process to make difference

·         Encourage involvement as governance touches each of us – from guidelines of pay plan to organizational structure of university

·         Andrea Gapko, Educational Support Services, continues as Vice Chair of University Senate; Academic Staff Representative to UW-System is Judith Blackstone of Counseling Services; Faculty Representative to UW-System is Michael Wick from Computer Science

·         Challenge you to check weekly pink sheet announcing upcoming meetings, including topics for discussion; share ideas with committee members or senate representatives

·         Urge senators to be diligent about informing colleagues of upcoming senate issues, discussions and decisions

·         Chair of Chancellor Search and Screen Committee to update senators on search process at each meeting

·         Urge chairs and directors to include time in department/unit meetings for updates from your senators

·         List of senators will be arriving in mailboxes in next few weeks

·         Working together we can strengthen our governance body, maintain open communication, and enhance university

 

V.      Remarks by Dr. Steven Tallant, Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor

 

On behalf of Academic Affairs, I want to also welcome you to the start of a new academic year. I would like to take a few minutes to report on some activities that have occurred this summer that you may not know about, to talk about some programming that we have in store for this year, and also to look at a couple of future directions that we can go in.

 

First of all, I would like to report on a program that we announced this time last year. At the opening session, I reported that we had come up with the funding to allow faculty release time to work on research. This is primarily on grants that did not allow release time from the classroom. We were able to secure funding that would support up to twelve faculty. This year we have had faculty apply for grants and I am pleased to say that we have five faculty that will be receiving release time to pursue research primarily in working with undergraduates in their research efforts. I encourage and support this program and would like more people to apply. We have the monies available to do this so I encourage you to apply for this program this year.

 

There are two recent grants that we received this summer that I want to briefly mention. Both come under the auspices of Student Development and Diversity. You may or may not have heard about these because of the summer break.

 

The first is a $2.4 million Gear-Up Grant that we received two weeks ago that was announced by Senator Feingold. We are only one of two institutions in the state of Wisconsin to receive this and only a handful in the country. This is a six-year grant that will serve more than 500 low income students living in northern Wisconsin, 75% are Native American. While many people worked on this grant, I want to thank Marge Hebbring for what she did in bringing this forth. This grant includes numerous initiatives involving parents in reading activities with their children, providing pre-college camps, and enrolling more students in college preparatory courses.

 

Another grant that we received at the end of the academic year is a $300,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education to launch a comprehensive program aimed at reducing the rates of drinking among our first year students. I think this is an initiative that we should have done years ago if we’d had the funding and I am very pleased that we are doing this. Again, while many people participated in development of this grant, I want to thank Jodi Thesing-Ritter for her leadership in this effort. This grant will be administered through the newly created Center for Alcohol Studies and Education. We are in the process of hiring a director for that center and the center will be located on a temporary basis in the old library.

 

I would like to talk about three programs that we are looking at right now for the future. Last year I reported that we had started and were exploring the possibility of receiving an entitlement for a B.A. in Women’s Studies. We have worked on that all year. We took it to the Board of Regents in June. Dr. Turell did a wonderful job in presenting that to the Board of Regents. We go back for our second reading next month. I anticipate no problems and by the end of September, we will have developed a new degree here and I am very pleased with that.

 

Another effort that we are looking at is that we are in the process of going to the Board of Regents again next month for the first reading for an MBA Consortium. This is a program that we have been working on and piloting for several years and it is finally going to come to fruition. The partners are LaCrosse, Parkside, Oshkosh, and Learning Innovations. This is a program that is totally online for the MBA. Presently we have 275 students enrolled in this program and it will be the second true consortium developed in the country. The beauty of this program is that it reallocates resources, both in terms of FTE and money to the undergraduate program. So, this is a creative way that we can meet the needs of students, but take those resources that we save and reallocate those to the undergraduate program.

 

Another program that we are looking at and seeing what we can do is also in business. It is an MBA undergraduate alliance. It is an effort that we are looking at with River Falls and Superior to provide online courses to undergraduate students in Winterim and in the summer. The beauty of this is to reduce time to degree for our students. I think both of these programs are creative. We think outside the box, we need to start thinking of other ways of delivering to our students, especially in times of budget reductions.

 

Last year I talked about classrooms and what we had done. I am pleased to report that working on classrooms and working on faculty offices have been a priority of this university. I want to thank Vice Chancellor Soll and Steven Horner for being able to find some extra money from the state for us to do many projects. In your packet today, there is a Facilities Update. I am pleased to say that during this last twelve months, we have renovated five lecture halls and 32 classrooms. We will continue putting our priority in updating our classrooms.

 

There are two initiatives that I want to discuss briefly that I would like to launch this year. I think both of these initiatives are important for this university. The first has to do with our first year experience courses. For the past ten years we have been developing first year experience courses that are offered primarily in the fall semester. Eighty-five percent of all of our students participate in these courses and I believe we have 87 sections right now. I hear lots both good and bad about this effort, but the truth of the matter is that we have never measured any outcomes on FYE. We have goals of the FYE experience, we have goals of the FYE classroom, but we have never measured does it increase retention and are we meeting our goals. I am going to be putting together a group and charging them with doing a complete evaluation of our FYE program. We may be right on. We may need to look at this. We may need to change it, but I think it is time that we really look at what we are doing in there to make sure that we are doing what we say we are doing.

 

Another focus that I want to initiate this year is one that I think we should be doing and one that I think can easily become a mark of excellence for us and that is writing across the disciplines. An institution of our caliber with the marks of excellence that we have needs a program that focuses on writing across all levels and across all disciplines. There are approximately twelve of these programs in the country right now that have been identified by U.S. News and World Report and I would hope that we can be there one day. So again, I am going to be charging a group to look at possible models and how we can initiate that this year.

 

What I would like to ask everybody here is if you are interested and committed to these endeavors, please let me know. Send me an email and I would like to consider you and talk to you about being on these two committees.

 

The last item on the agenda is last year for the first time, we announced the NET teaching scholars at this meeting, and this year I would like to announce the NET Teaching Scholars for 2005-2006.

  • Lia Johnson, Arts & Design
  • Lauren Likkel, Physics and Astronomy
  • Deborah Pattee, Curriculum and Instruction

 

I would like to point out that the second annual Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Symposium will be Monday, August 29th from 1 to 4:30 p.m. in the Tamarack Room. I encourage everybody, if you have the time, to attend. You will learn what your colleagues are doing in the area of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.

 

In closing, I know that Chancellor Larson is going to talk about the budget cuts that we have taken. I want to say that it has not been an easy year in terms of budget reduction. Academic Affairs alone has taken a reduction of $1.45 million since this time last year. These cuts have not been easy to make, but we have worked together and are doing the best we can. Regardless of the cuts that we have taken and regardless of what may come in the future, there are three goals that we must remember here: we must always recruit and retain the best faculty possible; we must always recruit and retain the best students possible; and we must always, always provide the best teaching, learning environment that we can. Now, to do that, we are going to have to work together, we are going to have to work collaboratively, and we are going to have to be creative. I have no doubt that this university can do this and I am looking forward to working with you this year, listening to what you have to say and working together as we continue to be a school of excellence.

 

Again, welcome back for the year.

 

VI.       State of the University – Chancellor Vicki Lord Larson

 

I appreciate having the opportunity and honor to talk about the state of the university – my assessment of where we are, some comments about where I think we are going and how we can get there.

 

First, some words to the new faculty and staff who are joining the UW-Eau Claire community.  Let me share a personal story.  In August 1973, I was sitting where you are now.  Before accepting a faculty position here in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, I had been interviewed by several groups of faculty and staff and finally by Vice Chancellor John Morris.  I was fresh from my Ph.D. program, eager to get started on my mission to be a productive faculty member and only vaguely knowledgeable about something called tenure and in achieving it at UW-Eau Claire.

       

During the interview Dr. Morris spent some time extolling the virtues of the university and the community of Eau Claire.  He also explained to me the requirements and responsibilities of obtaining tenure here and becoming a full professor.  At some point I actually interrupted him and informed him that, while his comments were interesting, they were not applicable to me.  You see, I was going to be here for just 2-3 years because my husband Jim and I were actually on our way to Canada (that comment in itself was an inspiration; Jim and I had never discussed moving to Canada).  Eighteen years later, at a reception for me organized by Dr. Ron Satz because I was leaving to accept an administrative post at UW-Oshkosh, Dr. Morris tapped me on the arm, looked into my eyes, gestured over his shoulder and said, “Vicki, Canada is to the north, not south where you’re heading.”

 

I have talked to many others who thought the same thing when they arrived here – that this was a good starting place, they would be here for a brief while and then move on.  I was here eighteen years as a professor and administrator and fell deeply in love with the university and community.

 

The culture at UW-Eau Claire can captivate faculty and staff who love to teach undergraduates and interact closely with students.  Those who came before us and helped develop this campus created a relatively intimate learning environment for those undergraduates and graduate students.  For the most part our classrooms are small and conducive to interactive learning.  Those who have worked here more recently or who are here now help foster that kind of environment – creating labs for all types of undergraduate research projects, high tech classrooms so students can hone their communication and team-building skills, performance spaces that keep the audiences in close proximity, and so on.  The people of this university create and nurture a healthy educational environment that is focused primarily on traditional undergraduates as they make the transition from youth to adulthood, from student to actively engaged citizen.  To the new members of our faculty and staff I say that I hope you are very, very interested in and become captivated by the kind of environment that has been engineered and is nurtured here.  To quote William Butler Yeats, “Education is not the filling of a pail, it is the lighting of a fire.”  I hope all of you will be deeply engaged in just a few days in helping our students light the fire of lifelong learning.

 

Each Tuesday morning I meet with members of my Executive Staff.  Our agenda always begins with student issues and, as you may suspect, the topics are wide-ranging – sometimes joyful, sometimes conflicted, unfortunately sometimes tragic – but always interesting, especially when we remember that with 10,500 students, we essentially have a medium sized Wisconsin city on our hands.  The staff agenda purposely begins that way because students are the heart of what we do here.

 

Over the course of this summer, I spoke to nearly every one of the 2060 new freshmen whom we will all get to know in the coming weeks and months.  Let’s spend a few minutes getting to know them a bit better now.  In many ways, they are very similar to our recent freshman classes.  This in itself is a bit remarkable, especially considering that we’re hearing that UW-Madison’s freshman class is growing by at least 500 and that UW-LaCrosse is also expanding by a couple of hundred students.  Those two universities remain our strongest competitors for the best and brightest students.

 

Here are some highlights of the members of the incoming freshman class.  Included in your packet is a handout titled “Characteristics of the Freshman Class of 2005” that contains additional detail.

·         The number of multicultural students enrolled as new freshmen is up, from 80 to 89 – an 11% gain;

·         Our new freshmen are academically strong and well prepared.  Thirty-nine percent - nearly two-fifths of our freshmen - are coming to us with college credits gained through credit by examination and transfer credits.

 

These students also come with their own set of plans and concerns:

·         Ninety-four percent plan to graduate from UW-Eau Claire.  We must all do what we can to nurture that plan.

·         Forty-four percent of incoming freshmen indicate uncertainty about a major. Forty-six percent of students with a declared major indicate an interest in a major other than the one they have selected.  Many of those interests are widely divergent.  Given this level of uncertainty, it is not surprising that 65% of those with declared majors will change their major by the end of their junior year.

·         One example is the declared Business Administration major who also wrote down Dentistry as a second choice and “Open to Anything” as his third selection.

 

In summary, we are about to greet and be greeted by a class of bright, enthused students with boundless energy and opportunities they think are limited only by their imagination. 

 

Let’s look at their concerns.  They do tell us their number one concern is money – and will they have enough of it for their education.   This concern in itself is a strong motivation for our foundation to push forward toward completing our first comprehensive campaign. 

 

Additionally, over a third of the entering class indicates a need for help with study skills, suggesting receptiveness to such services.  In fact, a majority of our incoming students fall into at least one group that has been identified by past data as having lower retention rates or lower GPA’s.  These groups include students who have one or more of the following characteristics: first generation, low income, multicultural, male, undeclared, commuter or those with a class rank below the 70th percentile.  This certainly doesn’t mean that all of our students are at risk.  It does mean that we need to take the time to treat each student as an individual – and our environment is conducive to that – to get to know their needs and help them get help to be successful here.  If 94% of them plan to graduate from UW-Eau Claire, each of us should do all we can to help them.  This summer at coffee and conversation with the parents of our incoming freshmen, I noted that our number one goal is to help their son or daughter be successful here at UW-Eau Claire.

 

To provide that assistance and encouragement going forward, it may be useful for us to have readily at hand a resource that provides examples from the recent past of the people and programs here who have helped UW-Eau Claire meet its strategic goals.  There is a resource in your packet – The Eau Claire Advantage - that provides extensive information about our accomplishments.  It is organized around the three goals of our Strategic Plan.  I encourage you to use this resource and share it with current and prospective students, parents, other faculty and staff, and community members who are interested in the University.  When I read it, I was overwhelmed by the compilation of your collective achievements and those of our students.  Excellence is truly our measure, our motto and our goal.

 

While we accomplish much in this rich environment, we continue to have increasingly difficult challenges.   In what is perhaps a much too simplistic method, those challenges can be roughly divided into those that are immediate for us and those that are more long-ranging – and in my opinion more threatening - to our institutions of higher education and to the general health and future of our country.

 

As you know, during this past spring semester, we faced very serious budget cuts as the governor and then the legislature implemented cuts initially totaling $1,488,000, followed with an additional $684,442 in cuts for UW-Eau Claire.   That’s $2.2 million in cuts for us in the first year of the biennium and $1.9 million in the second year.   I, along with other university administrators, sought input from across the campus and kept that input in mind as we made – and continue to make - tough decisions to meet the required cuts.  We are still in the process of making the second round of cuts – the $684,442 – using our best judgment and still relying on your suggestions from last spring’s budget forums.

 

Going forward it will not be business as usual in many if not all departmental units as positions have not been filled, services and supplies have been further reduced and any number of actions have been and will be taken so that this university does shoulder its share of these cuts. 

 

In the midst of all of this, there is some good news.  The Governor vetoed a requirement that the individual members of many state employment groups pay the first 1.5% contribution toward their state retirement fund and additional cuts of $34 million to the UW System schools.  Our portion of that cut would have been nearly an additional $2 million in budget reductions.

 

The Governor’s proposed funding for financial aid was reduced by $11 million during the legislative process.  His veto of this reduction restored $8 million of that funding – a certain boost for our poorest students and a removal of concerns about potentially running out of money for WHEG grants in early fall.

 

Subject to the approval of the Board of Regents at its September 9 meeting, the 2% pay plan increase for faculty and academic staff will be implemented for this year.   The Joint Committee on Employee Relations (JCOER) has approved another 2% increase effective July 1, 2006 and a final 1% on April 1, 2007.  This is certainly an improvement over the 0 and 1% of the last biennium.

 

In some ways, these are not kind and gentle times for public higher education. The competition for state support is keen in Wisconsin and across the country.   Public universities are being identified as one of the few agencies with the capability to fund our own operation from other sources – through increased tuition, grants, program revenue and private contributions.  The way we do business – and the rights and responsibilities that are so critical to our success are again under scrutiny in Wisconsin and elsewhere.

 

There seems to be a devaluation of the role of public higher education in securing the future of this country.  This becomes especially critical when we look at what is happening in other places.  One of the more interesting books I read over the summer is “The World is Flat” by Thomas Friedman.  In it he discusses the role of the information revolution in leveling the playing field for people of many nations in terms of access to education and in economic development of their countries.  He talks extensively about the “human mosaic” that is emerging and the fact that future accomplishments across the globe are going to be driven by groups and individuals of a much more diverse background than in the past.  Although he writes in a global sense – and specifically a great deal about accomplishments in India and China – each of his theories regarding “global flattening” – or leveling the playing field is applicable here.  We must make every effort to support and pursue with renewed vigor those diversity programs that will help to create that mosaic of educated, capable citizens.  Throughout my career I have supported such efforts and will continue to do so in my time here as your Chancellor.  Louis Pasteur said “Fortune favors the prepared mind.”  And it is our collective task and responsibility to help create those prepared minds.

 

I interpret the word “fortune” much more broadly than the current popular emphasis on the close tie of an educated population to increasingly successful economic development.  While that tie is certainly critical and somewhat essential to our role – particularly in this political environment – we, with our mission as a liberal arts institution – can provide the educational opportunity that can transform lives.  We’re in the spot where we can have key roles in such things as educating active citizens for a participatory democracy and have a hand in creating ethical individuals engaged in life-long learning.  We can do these things and, in spite of these challenging times, we must do what we can to continue to move forward.  We must be solution-oriented and willing to bring about constructive, substantive change that will be helpful to our students as they work with us to create their lives.

 

There’s a sports analogy by Eric Peterson, a futurist, that perfectly illustrates what we individually and collectively need to do to move forward.  It relates to ice hockey and goes like this:  “you must learn to skate to where the puck will be, not where it is.”

 

As your interim chancellor, I am doing my best to be at the puck so I can make a good pass to the next chancellor – who should be here with you at the beginning of the next academic year. 

 

In terms of recruiting your next chancellor, Bob Hooper, chair of the chancellor search committee, asked me to share the following information about the search.  Bob is planning on providing search and screen updates at each University Senate meeting throughout the year to keep the campus community apprised of the search progress.  Open forums for the university community are scheduled in September and there is a chancellor search website linked to the university website.  The current search time line brings five finalists to campus in late January (during the first week of Spring semester classes) with the final selection and naming completed at the February 9 meeting of the UW System Board of Regents.

 

As we look to this academic year and into the future, we should be mindful of Alan Kay’s comment “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”  During this year we should spend some time looking at our processes as well as being mindful of what we can do to create the future of this university.  In terms of meeting our challenges and preparing for the next chancellor – keeping a forward momentum this year - we have a strong Strategic Plan in place for guidance.  Over the past six months I have worked with a remarkable group of people – the University Planning Committee – as we have updated the Plan.  An executive summary of the plan is included in your packet.  The work we completed during this update refocuses the plan a bit. 

 

Goal 1:  Sustain and enhance the quality of our teaching, learning and personal development environment, is now termed our emphasis goal.  With its Strategic Initiatives, this goal makes a very strong commitment to the learning and living environment which has been so traditional and valued here.  Goal One is our key operative goal and is essentially at the heart of our mission as a regional public university.

 

Goal 2:  Expand and enhance our regional services impact and connections, is our expanding goal.  It renews our commitment to a strong regional presence and to providing educational services for citizens who are residents of the community and are not intending to move elsewhere.  This is by and large an overlooked population and one that can help increase the number of citizens in the state who hold baccaulaurate degrees. 

 

Goal 3:  Broaden and increase our resource base is our enabling goal that will provide the funds to allow us to do our work and meet our commitments.  It is increasingly important that we continue to foster good relationships with our legislators.  We are grateful for the support we have received over the years for renovations to our existing buildings.  We have managed those renovations well and for the most part our infrastructure meets our needs.  I do plan to continue to encourage legislative support for a new building to replace the Brewer/Campus School complex.  This campus has not had a new academic building since 1982 and our sister institutions at the same time have made considerable strides in updating their physical plants.

 

I also plan to do my best to help the foundation make steady progress with our comprehensive fundraising campaign.  Private fundraising is one of the few fiscal resources we have where our destiny is largely in our own hands.  We need to continue to expand this revenue stream.

 

In addition to the guidance provided by the goals of the strategic plan, we should spend time studying the processes that we have in place.  Are our processes effective in helping us provide the best education for our students?  Do those processes help or hinder the university as we move forward?  Are some of the policies, standards and guidelines that were created years ago with the best of intentions beginning to be negative forces that hinder our attempts to be a flexible change agent in today’s world?  I suggest this is a good year to ask those types of questions, to look for answers and to begin to implement changes that we determine could be helpful to the way we educate our students in the 21st century.

 

In conclusion I tell you that I am motivated by the quote “to whom much is given, much is expected”.  We are fortunate to be in the place that we are, even if times seem particularly challenging and difficult. 

 

I am heartened with the thought that soon the students will be here.  In many ways the beginning of a school year is much like springtime – with its sense of rebirth, hopefulness and boundless energy.  I am also heartened to be here at UW-Eau Claire.  My older brother Skip chose to attend this university and graduated in 1955.  In fact, I hosted his class at my home earlier this month when they got together to celebrate their 50 year reunion and officially become “Golden Blugolds”.  That was a special treat for me and pure luck that it coincided with my service here as chancellor. 

 

Although this is his alma mater, I chose a different path and attended UW Madison, receiving all of my degrees from that institution.  I did it in part to get out from under his shadow and make my own mark.

 

When I became a professor at UW-Eau Claire, Skip was the first person to call me and his first words were, “Well, sis, you finally got it right.”  It’s been 55 years since I sat on the bleachers and watched my brother – my childhood hero – play Blugold basketball.  So in many ways this has been my university for more than half a century.  Now I truly appreciate Skip’s telephone call and feel that I do indeed “have it right”.

 

I am happy to share this coming year with you and look forward to it with enthusiasm and optimism.  Thank you for all you have done and will continue to do to make this an outstanding university.

 

During the spring semester I was invited to speak at many recognition events.  As I prepared for those events, I discovered a quote that is attributed to Aristotle.  It captures the essence of UW-Eau Claire, where Excellence is our measure, our motto and our goal:

 

“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation.  We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly.  We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”

 

My best to you as we all strive to maintain and enhance our habit of excellence here at the University of WisconsinEau Claire.

 

VII.  Old Business – None

 

VIII.   New Business – None

 

The meeting was adjourned at 10:09 a.m.

 

Wanda Schulner,

Secretary to the University Faculty and Academic Staff