Monthly Archives: August 2016

New year begins with good news, positive events

Enrollment continues to grow

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Preparations are underway for our students to move in this Sunday, and I have some amazing news to share: According to our preliminary estimates, not only will we have a third year of record enrollment but by a significant number.

The year-to-year report just issued by the Registrar’s Office shows that enrollment is up 91 students over last year. Of course, there are a lot of caveats associated with these kinds of estimates. We won’t know the real enrollment until after the official 10th day census is conducted in September, but a third year of record enrollment looks likely and by a pretty big margin.

I can’t stress how important continued enrollment growth is for this university. As I indicated in my Engagement Sessions speech Monday (video posted below), large increases in enrollment put stress in our academic area as well as student services, housing, dining and facilities. I get that. On the financial side, enrollment growth provides increased revenue that is so important in our turbulent fiscal times. That additional revenue helps soften the blow from budget cuts while providing the financial flexibility needed for additional resources in areas that require more money.

Enrollment growth is an outgrowth of everyone’s hard work at UW-Stout. We need programs that appeal to students, inviting facilities and grounds, good student services and appealing housing and dining options. We also need to effectively market and communicate our strengths, as well as give applicants an efficient and effective admissions process.

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I want to thank every employee who makes enrollment growth an important part of his or her job for the recent success we have enjoyed and appeal to you to keep up the good work.

Engagement Sessions provide insights on important issues

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Another tremendous Engagement Sessions is in the books. Thanks to everyone who helped organize the event, spoke at the opening session and attended the small group meetings, including the facilitators and the note-takers. It takes a lot of effort to pull this off every year, and I am constantly amazed at how well the event goes.

I had a chance to listen in on a few of the discussions and was very impressed at how engaged the participants were, the deep levels of discussion about the three important topics and other insights.

I am very proud of our strategic planning process at UW-Stout, and these innovative Engagement Sessions are important parts of the holistic and inclusive nature of that process. It was fantastic to see employees from all over campus sitting side by side discussing how to move the campus forward.

Stoutward Bound dinner a treat

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Multicultural Student Services invited me to attend the graduation ceremony and dinner held Sunday night for Stoutward Bound. Students in the program will be attending UW-Stout this fall.

I was happy to meet so many enthusiastic students who will contribute so much to this university.

As most people on campus know, Stoutward Bound is a living and learning community for first-year American ethnic minority students. Sponsored by MSS, the program provides support for a successful transition to college. Participants arrive two weeks before the start of the fall semester and attend classes Monday through Friday, as well as participate in fun activities and group study sessions.

James Anderson, son of “Famous Dave’s” founder Dave Anderson, provided an outstanding workshop on leadership for our Stoutward Bound participants. James is a passionate presenter and teacher, and I always enjoy his sessions and leave inspired.

I hope to see and talk with many of these Stoutward Bound students on campus this academic year.

Opening Address 2016

A new academic year is upon us

Welcome to another exciting academic year and another year of regular blog posts. The blog took most of the summer off so we could catch our collective breath, but we will try to post weekly or more as we have for the last two years.

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Speaking of two years — it just occurred to me that I recently passed my second anniversary as chancellor. To say the time has gone quickly would be an understatement. What I mostly am feeling, though, at the two-year mark is a tremendous sense of gratitude for the privilege of working with the finest students, faculty and staff that any chancellor could hope for.

I truly mean that. I come to work every day knowing that whatever challenges we face our talented and dedicated students and employees are ready and willing to overcome those obstacles and move UW-Stout to even greater accomplishments.

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There will be time in the upcoming weeks to discuss some of those challenges. One of them is a great problem to have: Our latest report from the Registrar’s Office indicates that we may set yet another enrollment record this fall.

I have said many times that it’s important for this university to continue to grow, albeit at a moderate pace. Growth does create challenges for our faculty and staff who have to find classes for these new students, as well as housing, dining services and everything else that goes into supporting our student population. I want to thank everyone who has contributed to our continued enrollment growth and who works so hard on giving these students an exceptional education experience.

Finally, I want to encourage faculty and staff to attend the Engagement Session next Monday. I’ll be presenting, as will other people, and then there will be a lively discussion on three important topics. More information is available here.