UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-EAU CLAIRE

UNIVERSITY FACULTY AND UNIVERSITY ACADEMIC STAFF MEETING

August 24, 2004

 

The fall meeting of the University Faculty and University Academic Staff was called to order by Chancellor Donald Mash at 8:32 a.m. on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 in Schofield Auditorium.

 

I.        Welcome and Call to Order – Chancellor Mash

·         Welcome to start of 2004-2005 academic year; great to see you all

·         Calendar of events for week prior to opening of classes previously distributed

·         Great schedule of workshops, presentations, and social events as we prepare for students and beginning of academic year

·         Opening picnic for new freshman on August 30, 2004 followed by convocation with guest speaker

·         Please consider participating as much as you can

 

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

 

III.    Welcome Back to Provost Ronald Satz – His Remarks

·         Great to be back after spending mid-July to mid-August at Mayo Clinic undergoing an autologous blood stem cell transplant for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

·         Appreciate all of you who have helped in numerous ways during medical leave

·         Those who kept in touch and kept my wife and I in your thoughts and prayers

·         Steven Tallant for serving so ably as interim provost

·         Members of provost’s staff for all they have done  

·         Doctor’s allowed my attendance at this meeting if I refrain from shaking hands and stay away from people with colds or flu

·         Will begin transitioning back to work during month of September; look forward to that

·         Welcome new members to university community

·         Not only outstanding public comprehensive university – also caring and supportive faculty and academic staff

 

IV.    Presentation of 2004 Excellence Awards – Chancellor Donald Mash

·         University only as good as its people

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

·         Today recognizing recipients of 2004 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 of largest regional Chippewa Valley law firm – Garvey, Anderson, Johnson, Geraci & Mirr

·         Past June 30th ended fiscal year, which by any measure was most successful ever for Foundation

  • Exceeded $6 million in contributions and got promise for one gift of another $4 million
  • Exceeded $35 million campaign goal 15 months ahead of schedule
  • Telefund conducted by staff and students raised over $500,000 from alumni and friends
  • New proposals funded by number of other charitable foundations
  • Combined with local organizations in funding Carson Park turf
  • Over 200 major gifts – 80% with indications for future donations
  • Circle of Excellence (people that have given more than $10,000) added 49 people, now totaling 427
  • Carole Halberg and great staff did superb job
  • Faculty very supportive of campaign

·         Over $1,200,000 given out this year 

  • Provided $999,000 in scholarships and grants
  • Another $219,000 provided for other programming, such as honors program and departmental advancements

·         Yesterday, in letter to editor of Minneapolis Star Tribune, Margaret Nelson, a UW-Eau Claire alumnus, wrote  regarding what her family has done here to honor memory of her father, a school administrator in Tomah, Wisconsin killed by a student in 1969

  • Family and friends came up with living memorial by establishing a scholarship and lecture in his name
  • Letter indicated it means so much to have her father’s values and beliefs in teaching young people live on in tangible way for generations

·         Letter sums up Foundation’s goal of making a difference

·         Thank all of you for your role with students here at Eau Claire and your help with Foundation

·         You all touched the future of this institution probably more than you will ever know

  • Proud to be part of it

 

2004 Excellence Awards

·         This year advising, scholarship, and service awards funded by Dick and Marcia Larson

Excellence in Advising Award – Selected by Faculty Awards Committee from nominations from Student Senate

THERESA WELLS, Senior Lecturer, Management and Marketing

 

·         Selected by committee of peers from nominations from campus community

Excellence in Service Award

DR. SUSAN MOCH, Professor, Family Health Nursing

 

Excellence in Scholarship Award

DR. BRUCE TAYLOR, Professor, English

 

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

Classified Staff Excellence in Performance Award

MS. PATRICIA BURBACH, Program Assistant, School of Nursing, Marshfield

 

Academic Staff Excellence in Performance Award

MS. PATTI SEE, Senior Student Services Coordinator, Educational Support Services

 

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

DR. ROSEMARY BATTALIO, Assistant Professor, Special Education

 

·         Award recipients represent level of excellence so many of you in room bring to our important work

 

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

·         In eighth year as elected Senate Chair, welcome you to 2004-2005 academic year

·         Role is to enable faculty and academic staff to utilize shared governance process to make a difference

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

·         Changes to organizational structure of university proposed

·         Typically such proposals work through various levels of governance until action taken by University Senate – process may take months to complete

·         Alternative process within scope of shared governance sought to reduce time of instability associated with major changes since few objections voiced in senate discussion and extensive conversations with those involved

·         University Faculty and University Academic Staff have ultimate decision-making authority

·         Can review and overrule any action taken by University Senate

·         Therefore, motions which come directly to University Faculty or University Academic Staff, bypassing usual levels of governance, legitimate

·         Tomorrow, as noted in letter from chancellor in folder received as entered auditorium, such a rare occasion will occur

·         Motion involving academic reorganization will be presented to University Faculty for action

·         Don’t miss opportunity to be directly involved in governance process

·         For rest of year, to make a difference

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

·         Senators be diligent about informing colleagues of upcoming senate issues so that discussion can take place

·         Chairs and Directors include time in department/unit meetings for updates from your senate representatives

·         A list of senators will be arriving in mailboxes in next few weeks; please watch for it

 

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

·         On behalf of Academic Affairs, welcome each of you to start of new academic year

·         Can find three items in folder that give understanding of accomplishments of past year

·         Characteristics of 2004 freshman class

·         Eau Claire Advantage brochure highlighting many activities of last academic year

·         Flyer labeled Facilities Improvements

·         Highlights

·         Continue to be able to recruit high quality students

·         This year picked up additional freshmen with quality almost equal to last year, when had highest quality freshman class in history of university, based on ACT scores and high school rank in class

·         Had nearly 7,400 applicants for 2,025 positions

·         Challenge is to retain those students

·         New program – Access Eau Claire for first time offers spring admissions to students

·         One hundred thirty-three students have accepted offer

·         Students who few years ago would easily have been accepted into Eau Claire and based upon characteristics could succeed here

·         Have no idea how many students will actually attend

·         If 70 or 80 students select to come starting in spring, will be good for us in many ways

·         Increases access to this great university

·         Helps us financially

·         If accept and then retain them, will be able to lower number of students next fall

·         Means fewer problems with course availability and class size

·         Data indicate starting spring semester is difficult transition for students

·         As university community, need to help these students in that transition

·         Three programs coming to fruition since December

·         Received entitlement to plan BA and BS in Women’s Studies from UW-System

·         Rivers Falls, Oshkosh, and La Crosse have indicated interest in working collaboratively on program

·         Wonderful opportunity

·         Agreement between River Falls and Eau Claire in special education/early childhood education

·         Our students take early childhood courses from River Falls via distance education

·         Their students take special education courses through Eau Claire

·         Enables all students to gain skills, licensure, and certification upon graduation making them better prepared in marketplace

·         Agreement with Nicolet College and Department of Social Work

·         Allows pre-social work majors at Nicolet College to take prerequisite courses at Eau Claire

·         Easier transfer and passage through our program for primarily nontraditional Native American women pursuing degrees in social work

·         Two other programs in works this summer

·         Developing online MBA consortium with Oshkosh, Parkside, and La Crosse

·         Wonderful for students that are both time and place bound

·         First ever consortium degree to be awarded by University of Wisconsin System

·         Will present at fall Board of Regents meeting

·         Proposal for nursing satellite program in Marathon County similar to one now in Marshfield

·         Wonderful model to increase number of nurses and bring in additional resources to help nursing program

·         May or may not be approved because of tight budgets

·         Network for Excellence in Teaching (NET) now sanctioned by university – with resources and location in Teaching and Learning Technology Development Center (TLTDC)

·         There because similar missions

·         Will begin phase one of professional development program focused on student learning

·         Linda Carpenter is coordinator of NET; Kathy Finder is director of TLTDC

·         NET Teaching Scholars for year

·         Jerry Young – Music and Theatre Arts

·         Robert Eierman – Chemistry

·         Tomomi Kakegawa – Foreign Languages

·         Mitra Sadeghpour – Music and Theatre Arts

·         Geoff Peterson – Political Science

·         Paul Kaldjian – Geography and Anthropology

·         Selika Ducksworth-Lawton – History

·         Developed plan this summer that guarantees at least twelve positions each year for individuals pursuing grants not offering release time

·         In last five years, external grant money brought to university increased 126%

·         Money brought in and time spent working with students in undergraduate research beneficial to all

·         Problems created when release time not part of grant

·         Word on how plan works will be out shortly

·         Finally, have ordered and will be installing 28 oak benches on first three floors of Hibbard Hall

·         Last year characterized as productive with collaborative cooperation

·         Need to continue collaborating at college, university, and system-levels

·         Goal/challenge is two-fold

·         Continue to recruit and retain best students

·         Continue to provide best learning experience possible, which requires continued recruitment and retention of best faculty and academic staff

·         Both will require creativity

·         Let’s have productive and fun year

 

VII.     State of the University – Chancellor Donald Mash (provided by Chancellor’s staff)

 

It is a pleasure to talk to you again about the state of the university.  This is the seventh time.  I'm beginning my seventh year as your Chancellor. 

 

Bottom line, the University is in extraordinarily good shape, doing very, very well, all things considered.  What I mean by that is simply this, we are starting the second year of a biennium and we have taken the deepest budget cuts ever by the University of Wisconsin System, and our campus has taken its fair share.  We have reduced our operating budget by $5 million and we have reduced our position count by 32 and that is on top of Governor McCallum’s budget repair bill a few years ago that reduced our budget also significantly.  If we look back to the early part of the 1990s, we had budget reductions as well.  Against that backdrop, considering some of our personnel challenges this year, we have done an extraordinary job maintaining the level of excellence that we enjoy at this University.

 

Our popularity among students is up significantly – we are now getting 30+ percent more applications for admission than we were six years ago.  Our reputation has also grown and been enhanced and that has happened because we have stuck to our strengths and done a great job for our students.  When I met yesterday with our 16th and last orientation session of the summer to welcome our 2,025 new freshmen, I talked with them about what you are doing and how fortunate they are to have this opportunity for an outstanding educational experience.  And I emphasized opportunity, because it is just that.  It is not guaranteed, it is an opportunity, and I talked with them about everything being in place for them and their challenge is to engage and be an active participant in this process with you.  It is not a passive process; we know that.  It works best if students have a sense of what they are trying to do and what this can mean for them if they maximize their four years.  I talked about the time you spend with them in the classroom.  I talked about the opportunities they are going to have to get to know you outside the classroom.  I talked about the support staff that is in place to assist them with their challenges as they begin to make their adjustments and become members of this University community.

 

I talked to them about the academic challenge of being at an outstanding university that is very, very competitive, but I point out that they have been selected for admission from among over 7,000 applicants.  They are one of 2,000, so I told them they have the intellectual capacity to do what needs to be done to simply continue doing what you have been doing that got them here, but do it at a higher level and begin to observe what happens in a university environment and how that is going to be different for them.  I challenged them to take what they are doing in the classroom and connect it with what they are doing outside the classroom.

 

A week ago, US News & World Report again named the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire one of the very best regional public universities in the twelve-state Midwest region.  We have maintained our position.  I think we have even increased our position, and we have done that in spite of budget reductions and all of the challenges that we have had.  I think that speaks tons to our sense of what we are about and the kind of effort we get from you each and every day.

 

When I tell our students about the level of quality here – they know the U.S. News & World Report – so I certainly mention what that is about – and, by the way, they measure things that are quantifiable in arriving at that evaluation.  They look at the entering freshman class qualifications, they look at the percentage of our faculty who are full-time, they look at our student/faculty ratio, size of our classes that are under 20 and over 50 – these are the sort of things that they pull together and then they strike a composite score and that puts us third in the twelve-state Midwest region.  But I say to students, if they could measure some of the other things that happen here in extraordinary ways, we’re even better than the ranking indicates.  And I believe that sincerely.

 

Three years ago, US News & World Report added a section that doesn’t figure into the quantitative ranking.  It's called "Programs to Look For," and they say if these programs are available on a campus and students take advantage of them, it will significantly enhance their undergraduate experience.  If you look at that list of "Programs to Look For," it reads like the programs we have been referring to as our "marks of excellence" for a number of years.

 

Students Engaging in Study Abroad – by the time our students graduate, 15% to 17% of them will have had a semester-long experience.  National average is more like 2% to 3%.

 

Opportunities to Engage in Collaborative Research with Their Faculty – we are the Center of Excellence in the UW System for this activity.  The program continues to grow in the number of students participating and the number of faculty who are taking their time, with an already full class workload, to engage our students in this high-powered learning while mentoring them to enhance their personal development.

 

Internships – we have students leaving here with more than one internship, sometimes two and three.  They are getting real-life and work experience.

 

Service-Learning – we are only one of five public universities in the country that requires service-learning for graduation.  Our students are getting a taste of civic engagement and modeling behavior that we hope, when they graduate, they will continue to do in their communities as the chair of school boards, running for political office, looking after the United Way campaign as a volunteer – all the sorts of things that enhance the life of the communities and the regions that we serve.

 

Freshman Experience Courses – they are registering for those courses in large numbers. 

 

Senior Capstone Courses

 

These are the things that this campus has developed almost, I think, to an art form in terms of a regional public university.  We are doing these things very, very well.

 

The challenge to our students is to engage with you day in and day out in the classroom, pay attention, observe, assess what is important, and latch on to everything else that is offered here that can enhance their intellectual development and their personal development, so that when they leave here they are ready for successful careers and to be engaged citizens in their communities.

 

We hope that you are going to find that your students are arriving ready to learn and ready to engage.  Our orientation program has been working at this diligently.  That is the general message to students – special place, engage, do your part.  Then we talk to them about not only the intellectual challenges, but the personal challenges, the bad decisions they need to avoid making, the good decisions that they need to make day in and day out about all the things that they have probably heard their parents talk about for some time.  Those are the sorts of things that can derail their educational experience.  Bright, able young people coming to us on a regular basis, already having worked and achieved academically, and sometimes they do crazy things.  They don’t pay attention to what they are doing; they are not writing stuff down; they are not figuring out that the social/cultural activities aren’t centered on alcohol on a regular basis and so forth and so on.  We say these up front.  Four years, a great opportunity, do what you can to maximize it.

 

So here we are having had our budget reduced on a systematic basis now for a number of years and we are still an outstanding university.  And perhaps in some ways better than we have ever been, and that is a tribute to the work and the perseverance that I see every day in the classroom and in our support offices.  And you could very easily get yourselves mired down in some of the bad news about having less to work with.  And, sure, we do need to reflect on that; we need to commiserate about that; we need to support each other, because that is reality.  However, in terms of what we are doing on a day-to-day basis and the way that we touch students' lives, that isn't being compromised, and we have to continue to do that.

 

Several months ago, an article in the Wisconsin State Journal talked about the growing selectivity at the University of WisconsinEau Claire.  They picked up on the fact we were getting 7,000+ applications, and we were only accepting 2,000 students.  They felt it was great that a campus like ours can be that selective.  And, of course, we are very, very pleased anytime we get a positive mention – and if it's a Milwaukee or Madison paper, any mention is good.  After reading the article, I talked to the reporter.  We talked about the dynamics of this, and I told her, "You know, you are missing something here."  Yes, we are a great place; students know it; we are becoming more and more popular.  How are we doing this in the face of budget reductions?  And you know, that’s the part that is so difficult to communicate.  But I thought this was an opportunity to try to say thank you, yes, we are pleased that students want to come in increasing numbers; and we do a great job, and they will get a great education here.  That's the good news.  But how we are doing it is bad news for Wisconsin’s future.

 

We are not growing.  We are at the same enrollment level, essentially, that we were when I arrived, and, a little-known fact, this campus and the UW System overall, enrolls fewer students today than it did in the mid-1980s.  Think about that.  Public higher education – what does public higher education mean?

 

Arguably, one of the very best systems of public higher education in the country is enrolling fewer students today than it did twenty years ago.  I pointed that out to the Board of Regents recently, because that is an attention getter.  It doesn’t make a case for support, it doesn’t make a case for growth, but it certainly gets their attention, so that we can speak about our case for support and the future.

 

When the UW System was forced in the mid-1980s to look at their budget and enrollment level as a result of a legislative fiscal audit, it was determined that we had too many students for the size of our budget.  The UW System was forced to begin downsizing.  I can’t imagine that anyone associated with that decision at that time could have envisioned that twenty years later, this would be a smaller system than it was then.

 

Having just finished a Charting a New Course study, our Board of Regents looked at our System’s future – trying to determine what we should be doing and where we should be going.  We must take a different road at this crossroad than we took twenty years ago.  We need to begin to see public higher education as the growth industry that it should be.

 

Governor Doyle laments the fact that we rank 31 as a state in the percentage of our adult population with college degrees.  He wants more degrees.  There is this notion that young people are being graduated from our UW System and fleeing the state in large numbers.  It simply is not true.  Over 80% of all UW System graduates from Wisconsin are still in the state of Wisconsin.  That is a large number.

 

When we talk about the brain-drain/brain-gain issue, we should note we are dead last as a state in attracting bachelor degrees into the state.  That is a complicated issue, and I don’t know what the solution is to that.  But I do know this, those two numbers coming together is a strong argument for investing more heavily in the UW System and growing our own.  If you look at the number of part-time students over the age of 25 enrolled as undergraduates in the UW System, it is an embarrassment.  We are down near the bottom.

 

Now think about that.  These are the people that have had the benefit of a very good K-12 education in Wisconsin.  They are all over the state now working at jobs, probably not jobs that they see as the most fulfilling career jobs.  Some of the jobs are going to be going away.  They have already begun to go away.  We do not have the financial capacity to serve these students.

 

So when the Wisconsin State Journal asks, "Isn't it terrific that your enrollment pressure is so high?"  Yes and no.  The "no" has to do with the fact that we're doing this by limiting growth.  We are managing very, very well; we are staying focused, but it is too bad for Wisconsin, because we basically circled the wagons.  We are focusing on the things that we do at our core, and we are not doing other things; we are not reaching out to our potential non-traditional students to enroll them.

 

Think about the impact of additional investment to enable us to hire some additional faculty and to put on additional sections at the right times of day and then reach out to these folks that are out there working and say, "College is possible for you."  They would enroll.  We express concern all the time about the shortage of health-care workers.  We need more health-care workers.  We have five schools of nursing in the UW System, every one of them maxed out and cannot take another student.  We need some additional faculty to teach and to supervise clinics, and we could increase the enrollment and graduate more nurses.  Wouldn’t these two initiatives be good for Wisconsin and don't they deserve an investment – a greater investment than we have been getting.

 

We now find ourselves looking hopefully at better funding in 2005-2007.  But make no mistake about it, the challenge for our System and this campus is to figure out how to deal with our financial capacity to do the things that are important to Wisconsin.  That is the key, and we are trying to do what we can.  Part of it is making the best case we can to the state, and particularly to the citizens of the state, who typically have a sense that everything seems to be going pretty well and everything is fine.  But we must hold out a promise of what could be.

 

Less than a week ago, our Board of Regents put forward a budget request to the state that asked for a 4% tuition increase, an investment from the state, and no more cuts.  An investment in financial aid to help offset the rising cost of tuition for those students who can’t afford today’s prices and are likely to be priced out of the market, an investment to replace some of the positions that we have lost and an investment to fund a pay plan for our faculty and staff – critically important are these priorities.

 

The regents deliberated long and hard about the request.  The regents need to be advocates for what we are doing; the regents know that the state isn’t broke.  It has been spending money, but it isn’t spending it on its public higher education system, and that is what needs to change.  We talked about that.  They heard testimony to this effect.  This is going to be played out over months, and we don’t know how it is going to come out.  But we are going to continue working at it.

 

We will have new leadership at UW System; new president, Kevin Reilly, is going to be taking over September 1. He has been engaged and involved.  He has been based in Madison.  He is a very articulate leader.  He knows how to put a case together.  He knows how to communicate the case.  I am hopeful that the tide is going to turn our way.  But we must reach out to the general public and talk about Wisconsin’s future and the role we can play in making it a bright one.

 

Closer to home, you heard the interim provost talk about external grant activity – wonderful increases are helping us to support student-service support positions, to grow our research for our many faculty, and do other things.  This is only one of the things we are doing to help ourselves.

 

On the tuition front – We continue to collect a differential tuition from our students in addition to what they are required to pay.  They have stepped up and willingly pay additional tuition, and it went up 4.5% as a result of their action for this year.  Differential tuition now brings in well over $1 million a year that we use to fund our marks of excellence to deliver back to them a return for their investment.

 

Chad Wade, president of our Student Senate, is with us today.  Chad, will you stand and be recognized, please.  We are blessed with the quality of our student leadership.  They understand the challenges, they know what they want in their educational experience, and they make tough decisions to get as much as they possibly can.

 

On the tuition matter generally, how high is the tuition going to go and how fast is it going to go there?  This year tuition went up 17%, last year 17%, that was a part of getting us to a median amount.  The problem with tuition going up rapidly is the lack of a coordinated financial-aid program to buffer the costs for our lowest income folks.  It hasn’t been a public policy decision that has been conscience, it simply happens biennium to biennium.  We have to figure out how to do that differently.  This state suppressed, I would suggest, its tuition rate for too many years, and at the same time state support was declining, and now we are in a fix.  If you throw in over regulation in terms of our ability to be more flexible, our challenges are exacerbated.  We must get these issues sorted out.

 

Private fund-raising – We have surpassed our $35 million campaign goal a year and a quarter ahead of time.  When the Executive Committee for the Foundation met just about a month ago, Carole Halberg, the president of the Foundation, myself, Kim Way, executive director of Development, talked with them about the campaign, and I am pleased to tell you we will be extending the campaign.  We will raise the goal to $50 million and are going to push on through December of 2007.  We are connecting with new people every day that weren’t on our radar screen a year or so ago and we are going to be bringing people into this campaign that simply are not part of the campaign as of today.  Our priorities for this comprehensive campaign are still relevant – student success, which means scholarships and financial aid support for our students; faculty and staff distinction, which means the sort of things we are able to do to support the work that you are doing in your departments, and several others that are programmatic.  This is not a bricks and mortar campaign. 

 

You are making a difference – every academic department now has a newsletter in place and sends it out to their alumni.  That newsletter brings our alumni up to date on what is happening in their department, what their faculty are doing and tells them of some of the exciting things that are taking place here.  It also has a section that says, "If you care to help, you can send a check back to us."  This is working.  It is working, and it is providing modest dollars now for a discretionary account in each department but more importantly, long-term these connections which we will continue to make are going to pay big dividends, sometimes when we least expect it and other times when we have brought the potential donor along systematically.

 

Recently I talked to two different faculty from different departments who said essentially the same thing – one of our graduates stopped by unexpected.  We took him on a tour and told him what we were doing, and he said, "What could I do to help?"  I asked what do you tell someone when they ask that question – well, we kind of talk a little bit about some of the things we need and some of our challenges.  I said, you know what would be really helpful is if we sent some Foundation staff to one of your departmental meetings with all faculty present, and we engaged you in a discussion about the answer to that question – what do you need – and we could come away with a page for each department that lists at $50,000 level, this is what we could do; at the $100,000 level, we could do X; for a million dollars, we could do the following.  This is the sort of thing we need to do.  We are a young operation with regard to private fundraising, but we are getting better fast and we must continue to build on that.  What that means is, that everybody has a role to play in that process, and I am so pleased that that is beginning to happen.  We are doing it, and it is going to make a difference, if not today, certainly five years from now, six years from now, seven years from now.

 

That is the financial piece of this puzzle.  It is about financial capacity, and we need to build it.  We know exactly what we are trying to do; we know what is the strength of this residential campus basically focused on a rich experience for full-time traditional-aged students who are living away from home and engaging in the classroom and out of the classroom during their time here – that is our strength.  We are doing it, we are doing it well, we know how to do it, everybody is working very, very hard to make that happen.  I am pleased to say that our focus then really is on building our financial capacity, so we can further enhance what we are doing and perhaps create some growth with some special initiatives and do some additional things, not just for our students, but to continue the great impact that we are having here in the Chippewa Valley region.  I don’t have time to get into that in great detail, but students and faculty and all of the things that reach out into this region from our work here are making a significant difference.  We see indications of that every day.

 

I recently received a copy of the Chippewa Valley Business magazine.  It is a relatively new magazine that had a feature article about "Movers and Shakers in the Chippewa Valley."  I recognized some of the people, and I don’t know all of our graduates, but our development staff picked it up and said you know what, that is basically a story about who’s who that graduated from the University of WisconsinEau Claire.  Practically all of these "movers and shakers" have a degree from here, and they are in the Chippewa Valley contributing and working very hard to build this region.  We sent them congratulatory letters, of course, and told them how proud we are of them.

 

That’s the sort of impact that is happening here and it happens as a result of the work that you do.  I am fortunate in that I get to travel around the country with the campaign and to do alumni gatherings, and I talk with alumni who graduated from here ten years ago, fifteen years ago, twenty, twenty-five years ago.  At these gatherings, they want to talk about UW-Eau Claire.  Always any number of our alumni will say, "Is professor so-and-so still there?  He was incredible; he changed my life."  I usually say, "Why don’t you tell him that."  That’s what this is all about; that’s why we do what we do in public higher education; that’s why we work as hard as we do.  We make a difference.  We change lives.

 

When I get back to campus and I run into a mentioned professor, I tell him his name came up.  He will typically say something like, "Really!", with surprise.  The shame of it is you get only a minuscule amount of this feedback, and the amount of it out there is many, many times that.  Let's keep working at our challenges.  Let's fight the good fight.  Let's increase our financial capacity to do more and to do it better.  We have a plan for the future.  We have long-range vision about the role of a regional public university, and we are making progress.  Let's celebrate that progress and use that to launch us each year into continuing the great work that is being done here.

 

I want to wish you a great year – I think that we have seen the worst of the budget issues.  We are going to manage well this year.  We have already made the tough decisions that needed to be made.  I believe '05-'07 is going to be better financially. 

 

I wish you all a great year.  It continues to be an honor and a privilege to serve as your chancellor

 

VIII.   Old Business – None

 

IX.    New Business – None

 

The meeting was adjourned at 10:02 a.m.

 

Wanda Schulner,

Secretary to the University Faculty and Academic Staff