Homecoming weekend another great experience; new video production major approved

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Few things bring a bigger smile to my face than interacting with our alumni. That’s why homecoming weekend is one of my favorite events on campus.

Granted, this year’s weather was a little on the chilly side, but my wife, Debbie, and I enjoyed ourselves immensely Saturday at all the activities: the Blue Devil Run/Walk, great parade, tailgate in the football stadium parking lot and, of course, the game.

Even though the Blue Devils ended up losing to UW-La Crosse in overtime, it was a great game and I’m proud of how our team played and fought to the very end.

I would like to thank our Homecoming Committee, Blue Devil Productions, the Alumni Association, Athletics, Urec and everyone else who planned events and put in many hours of effort to make homecoming a success.

The staff at University Communications did a great job in documenting the weeklong celebration; if you haven’t already, I would recommend you check out their photos and video from homecoming on our UW-Stout Facebook page.

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Video production major gets UW System approval

During last week’s UW System Board of Regents meeting at UW-Parkside, UW-Stout received approval for our 50th undergraduate major. The Regents unanimously approved a Bachelor of Science degree in video production, a natural outgrowth of our successful photography and video minor.

Graduates of this degree will have the knowledge and skills they need to create and edit still photography and video projects. The degree fills an increasing demand for video content by business and industry.

Provost Patrick Guilfoile told the Regents’ Education Committee last week that “In keeping with UW-Stout’s career focus, this program is not aimed at film and video as fine art but rather as a communication medium for business, nonprofits and other entities wishing to reach an audience through visual means.”

Provost Guilfoile and I also had the chance to address the full board on what UW-Stout has submitted to the UW System as our “capacity building” initiatives for 2019-21. These initiatives are part of the system’s proposed 2019-21 budget that the regents approved earlier this year. Our proposals are intended to build capacity in our engineering programs; information technology and computer science programs; biochemistry, molecular biology and industrial chemistry programs; and Career Services office.

Free Speech Week events Oct. 15-18

I’d also like to encourage as many people as possible to attend Free Speech Week events beginning Monday, Oct. 15, sponsored by the UW-Stout Center for the Study of Institutions and Innovation.

I will participate in a panel discussion Oct. 15. Other events are scheduled through Thursday of that week.

School visit with admissions counselors provides insight

This week I also had the opportunity to join Erin Konsela and Joan Ebnet on an admissions visit to Centennial High School in Circle Pines, Minn. The visit gave me insight into the broad range of questions that our admissions counselors field, as well as gain hands-on knowledge of how user-friendly (or in some situations unfriendly) our online UW System application form is for prospective students.

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I was impressed with how customer-oriented Erin and Joan were and how incredibly successful the visit was with respect to helping Centennial students apply to UW-Stout.

I’d like to recognize the entire admissions staff for its efforts to help steer prospective students toward UW-Stout as we try to meet enrollment challenges. I’m very impressed and grateful for these efforts.

I was also very encouraged by the positive response that prospective students had to our new Blue Devil Guarantee.  The guarantee lets prospective students know up front what scholarship support they qualify for given factors including their academic performance and ACT scores.

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