The commitment and passion of UW-Eau Claire faculty and staff were the highlight at the UW System's Board of Regents meeting late last week, when the regents and all present viewed a video that followed nursing faculty member Dr. Cheryl Brandt through her days (and nights and weekends) as a nursing educator.
The video, titled "A Look at the Work of a Nurse Educator," is the first in a series to be produced for the UW System to inform the regents, state legislators and the general public about the totality of the work of our UW System faculty and staff. The response to the video was a sustained standing ovation among regents and guests.
I watched Dr. Brandt prepare for her courses, teach in the classroom, advise her students, prepare late into the evening and rise before dawn to mentor students during their clinicals, participate in faculty/student research, pursue additional professional development —and the list goes on. All the while, I also was watching what I know is the experience of so many of our dedicated faculty and staff.
I will share far and wide this amazing depiction of "a semester in the life" of a UW-Eau Claire faculty member, and I will share as well that this is the norm here at UW-Eau Claire. I've said it since arriving here almost two years ago: This is a place where it's obvious when you walk the hallways of our campus that our faculty and staff go above and beyond to put students first.
Another of our faculty members has eloquently put into words our faculty and staff spirit of dedication to students that anyone can see and feel every day at UW-Eau Claire. Be sure to read English Professor B.J. Hollars' "It seems to me: We can't cut our way to a better future," published in today's Eau Claire Leader-Telegram.
With the media spotlight focused on higher education in Wisconsin, it is important that we share widely the story of the great work of our faculty and staff. Their passion for and devotion to transformational student learning is the backbone of the outstanding UW-Eau Claire experience for which we have achieved great distinction. Our faculty and staff do more than teach course content and deliver service, they help students unlock their full potential and inspire them to reach for greater levels of achievement and service. I will continue to be a staunch advocate for state investment in public higher education.
I will work with our legislators to reduce the proposed $300 million cut to UW System and UW-Eau Claire's possible share of $7.6 million. We must ensure that this generation and successive generations of Blugolds have access to the same transformational educational experience that our faculty and staff have been providing for nearly 100 years.