Monthly Archives: January 2015

Changes coming for the new semester

Advocacy for 2015-17 state budget begins0P5A1282

Most of you probably saw the memo I sent out today, Jan. 27, concerning the governor’s 2015-17 state budget proposal. I just wanted you to know that I, along with interim Provost Jackie Weissenburger and External Relations Director Doug Mell, will meet with two members of the Joint Finance Committee—Sen. Harsdorf and Rep. Knudson— on Wednesday to lay the groundwork for our budget work. We plan to make the case with our legislators that UW-Stout already has sustained significant reductions in previous budgets and to appeal for whatever options are available to make this budget as palatable as possible. We will keep the campus informed about the budget as it makes its way through the Legislature.

A great way to start the semester

Welcome speech video
Watch my welcome speech at

I can’t say enough about the energy I felt in the Great Hall of the Memorial Student Center last week as we kicked off our spring semester. I appreciated the chance to make some remarks, but I really appreciated all the work and creativity that went into the “You Said…We Did” event and all the other fine sessions that marked Professional Development Week. Kudos to everyone who had a hand in planning last week.

New engineering program moving forward

On the engineering front, it looks like there is some good news to report. The Education Committee of the Board of Regents will meet on Feb. 6 to consider requests for new engineering programs in Wisconsin. It appears that at that meeting, interim UW System Provost David J. Ward will make a recommendation that UW-Stout be allowed to proceed with planning for mechanical engineering. Under that tentative recommendation, UW-Eau Claire could proceed with its materials science and engineering proposal, and UW-River Falls could proceed with its agricultural engineering proposal. Rest assured, we intend to pursue our electrical engineering and chemical engineering proposals, but at a later date. It also appears that we would be able to start recruiting students for the fall 2015 semester. I want to thank everyone who helped push this engineering initiative forward. It is an important effort for UW-Stout.

Good news on the enrollment front

Our new freshman and transfer enrollments numbers for fall 2015 continue to be positive. Our new freshman admissions for fall 2015 are up 12 percent over fall 2014. Our transfer admissions also are up significantly. Keep in mind that fall 2014 was a record year for enrollment at UW-Stout at 9,371. If we continue making progress in our retention efforts and maintain solid graduate enrollment, we should be in very good shape for fall 2015.


In this photo: Bryan, a freshman from Oostburg, unpacks after arriving back from winter break Friday afternoon while Alicia, a sophomore from Stillwater, Minn., looks up the textbooks she’ll need for her spring semester.

A great visit from a UW Regent

Regent_Jose_Delgado_7I had the distinct pleasure of hosting Jose Delgado, a member of the UW System Board of Regents, on Tuesday. Regent Delgado is one of our two official liaisons or “buddies” with the board, and this is the first time he has been on campus.

He is an electrical engineer, having spent his career in Wisconsin’s power generation and transmission industries, so we had a lot of conversations about our proposals to add more engineering programs to our undergraduate program array.

Regent Delgado also spent some time with representatives of our four governance groups, as well as touring Fryklund Hall, Jarvis Hall and the Discovery Center Fab Lab. It was a great day and I want to thank everyone who made it a successful event.

Dunn County EDC annual meeting

A19A0970The Dunn County Economic Development Corp. held its annual meeting in the ballrooms of the Memorial Student Center Wednesday, and I was privileged to attend and give the keynote address.

I took the opportunity to talk about the wonderful and dedicated faculty, staff and students we have on campus and how fortunate I have been to spend the bulk of my career at UW-Stout.

Also attending was Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, who announced at the meeting that the Menomonie Market Food Co-op would receive a $500,000 state grant to help build its new facility at 808 Main St. E. This is great news for the co-op, which is an important part of the community and important to UW-Stout.

Please attend MLK Day activities

I want to encourage everyone to attend an event honoring the late Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, Jan. 19. The “Quest for Peace and Justice,” the title of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, is the theme for this year’s MLK Day Monday that begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall of the First Congregational United Church of Christ, 420 Wilson Ave.

Activities will include a brief film, interactive banner stations, candle-lighting, songs, readings and reflections by local youth. I won’t be able to attend because I have a previous commitment out of town, but I want to thank the sponsors for all their hard work, including the Involvement Center/Ally Initiatives, First Congregational UCC, Red Cedar Peace Initiative and Stout Peace Initiatives.

Welcome to spring semester 2015

Hard as it is to believe, we have a new semester quickly approaching. We will get the semester off to a great start on Tuesday, Jan. 20, with a celebration beginning at 8:30 a.m. in the Great Hall of the Memorial Student Center.

I’ll give short welcome back remarks, followed by a “You Said … We Did” presentation on actions that have been taken and are in progress based on feedback from faculty, staff and students. For a complete schedule of Professional Development Week activities, go to