A record 9,535 students and celebrating art, design and a friend

University’s enrollment has climbed to above 9,500, another record

Record EnrollmentThe final fall enrollment number — probably — is in, and it’s better than anyone could have expected. The official number we recently sent to UW System for posting is an incredible 9,535, an increase of 1.75 percent over last year’s record enrollment of 9,371.

It’s hard to overstate just how important maintaining strong enrollment is to the vitality of this institution. I’m guessing that a number of other campuses in the UW System are struggling with their tuition numbers, and that has a cascading effect in a number of areas.

Simply put: A strong enrollment will help us during these financially difficult times. Declining enrollment would only add significantly to our woes.

So, a big thank you to everyone who contributed to this record. And please do whatever you can to start working now on another record for fall 2016!

School of Art and Design anniversary a festive occasion

School of Art and Design AnniversaryThe 50th anniversary of the School of Art and Design was celebrated in fine fashion Friday and Saturday with open houses, receptions, silent auctions and other fun events. I had a great time meeting with alumni, students, faculty, staff and retirees.

This is a very important academic area for UW-Stout, with more than 1,000 students in the art and design programs.

I’d like to congratulate the school director, Tamara Brantmeier, and all the hard-working, innovative and creative faculty, staff, students, retirees and alumni for making the anniversary events a success. More on the school’s anniversary is available on the School of Art and Design website.

Honoring a true gentleman, Bob Cervenka

Bob CervenkaI attended a more somber occasion on Sunday when I helped pay tribute to Robert F. “Bob” Cervenka, the founder of Phillips Plastics Corp. in Wisconsin. The memorial service for Bob was held in the Memorial Student Center, and I was honored that the family asked me to deliver one of the eulogies.

I cited Bob’s tremendous business acumen and also the intense interest he took in his employees, their families and the communities they lived in. That abiding interest led to Bob and his wife, Debbie, establishing the Cervenka People Process Culture endowed chair at UW-Stout.
He also co-chaired the capital campaign that led to the Fryklund Hall remodeling in the early 1990s. I considered Bob a friend and will miss him greatly.

Rep. Kind visits UW-Stout

Rep. Ron Kind Visits UW-StoutIt is always a treat to host Rep. Ron Kind on campus. On Monday, I had the chance to meet with him, and he then met with the staff and students involved in our ASPIRE-Student Support Services office in Bowman Hall.

Rep. Kind helped the office receive two federal grants totaling nearly $600,000 a year from the U.S. Department of Education’s TRiO programs. These programs help low-income students who are the first in their family to attend college and students who have disabilities.

Rep. Kind is a strong advocate for UW-Stout and higher education in general and always has been. I am grateful that he spent part of his Monday with us.

More information on the TRiO grants is available here.