New year begins with good news, positive events

Enrollment continues to grow

Involvement Fair

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


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


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