Fantastic news: Student employment rate hits 98.2 percent

I have some fantastic news to share: The employment rate for our 2016-17 graduates has increased to 98.2 percent!  I can’t tell you how proud – and somewhat surprised – I am that our employment rate has increased for each of the four years I have been Chancellor.  Once the rate hit 97.4 percent for the 2015-16 graduates, I frankly wondered what the ceiling was and whether there was much room, if any, for improvement.  So, I was overjoyed when Bryan Barts, our excellent director of the Career Services office, came in last week to personally deliver the news that our employment rate had hit this new milestone.

Career Conference Spring 2017

I must mention that many institutions are now touting the employment rate for their graduates.  They know how important job prospects are for students and their families.  But it is important to note that our survey has an 80 percent “knowledge rate,” meaning that our statistics are extremely accurate and reliable.  I also was pleased to see that the median starting salary for our newly employed graduates increased to $43,000 from $42,500.  A number of our programs had starting salaries at or very close to $60,000 a year.

We will be issuing a news release very soon about this report, as soon as we get all the details finalized and posted to our website.  We also are considering ways to leverage this fantastic information in our ongoing marketing efforts.

I want to thank everyone who helped our graduates achieve this tremendous employment success.  It starts with the faculty and staff who do such a great job in the classrooms and laboratories in preparing our students for the world of work.  It also includes everyone who is involved in student services – very broadly defined – and who help our students choose a career path, secure that all-important co-op or other internship, and work with our students as they apply for and accept their first job.  Everyone who works at UW-Stout is responsible in some way for the employment success of our students, so this new employment report should be celebrated across campus.

School of Hospitality Leadership ranked eighth in the world

Speaking of success, I want to make sure everyone is aware that our School of Hospitality Leadership has been ranked eighth in the world by CEOWorld magazine.

bergquist,brian1The school moved up from a 10th place ranking last year.  You can read the details of the ranking here. This is a tremendous honor for everyone who works for the school, as well as the alumni who have supported the school over the years.

Pay raises for employees close to finalized

Finally, we have been told that the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Employment Relations is scheduled to meeting the morning of Wednesday, Feb. 14 to consider the pay package the Legislature approved last year for UW System employees.  That package will provide eligible employees with a 4 percent pay increase, 2 percent effective July 1 and another 2 percent effective Jan. 1, 2019.  The committee’s consideration of this package is the last step in the implementation of the pay package.  We will be reaching out to our legislative delegation to ensure they know how important these increases are for our faculty and staff.