As most of you have heard by now, the UW System Board of Regents last Thursday approved a sweeping restructuring of the UW System that will bring the two-year campuses under the operation of four-year campuses and shift the administration of UW-Extension departments to either UW-Madison or System administration.
UW-Stout was not chosen to receive a two-year campus, so our direct impact of this restructuring is minimal. However, I have said publicly a number of times and want to reiterate here that we will do everything in our power to ensure that we retain our recruiting presence at UW-Barron County and other campuses during and after this transition period.
We recruit, on average, about 100 students a year from all of the two-year campuses, about a quarter of whom come from UW-Barron County. In comparison, we recruit three times as many students from the technical colleges in Wisconsin.
The UW System has established a steering committee made up of one member from each campus and System staff. I have asked Doug Mell, executive director of Communications and External Relations, to represent me on the committee. He will use his communications position to ensure that the campus is informed of important developments in the implementation of this restructuring and to help me ensure that our transfer pipeline is maintained.
Please let me or Doug know if you have questions or concerns about the restructuring plan. More information is available here.
UW-Stout achieves UW VETS certification
Also at the Regents meeting Thursday, I was honored to join Eric Konsela, our associate registrar, in a ceremony honoring the campus for achieving UW VETS — Veterans Education and Transition to Success — certification.
To be VETS certified, a campus must go above and beyond in providing a wide range of critical supportive services, including counseling, a welcoming campus environment and giving student veterans a voice in university life. The certification also recognizes each institution’s commitment to helping student veterans succeed.
It was especially fitting that the ceremony occurred just two days before Veterans Day and the certificates were handed out by UW System President Ray Cross, who served our country in Vietnam in the U.S. Army.
Earlier this year, UW-Stout was named a national Military Friendly School, a Best for Vets School and a Top Military School.
My father was an Army veteran who served in World War II, and I am proud of the way our institution responds to the needs of the brave men and women who give so much of themselves defending the freedoms that we enjoy each day. More information is available here.
Retirement ceremony honors 10 employees
Last Wednesday we said goodbye to 10 hard-working and dedicated employees who have retired or are retiring from UW-Stout. These employees have served the institution for a total of 216 years, and they will be missed!
The employees come from all parts of campus, from faculty to custodial to accounting, and it was my privilege to thank them during a ceremony in the Memorial Student Center for their services and to wish them well in retirement.
It is always hard saying goodbye to colleagues, but I know that they will enjoy their retirement, which makes it easier.