Welcome back to a new academic year. I hope you had a chance to relax a little during the winter break. I also hope you were able to attend the event Monday when I reviewed the accomplishments of 2018 and took a peek at 2019.
The subsequent You Said…We Did event organized by Assistant Chancellor Meridith Wentz also was enlightening and amazing.
I would like to emphasize some points I made Monday:
Salaries continue to be my priority
Although our employees received a 4.04 percent salary increase in 2018-19, we will continue to press Gov. Tony Evers and the Legislature for additional pay raises. I will make salaries – and the Board of Regents’ proposal to raise salaries by 3 percent in 2019 and 3 percent in 2020 – my highest priority in our advocacy efforts.
I plan to be at the Capitol in Madison on Wednesday, Jan. 30, for the Chippewa Valley Rally and will discuss this issue with as many legislators as I can.
Fundraising campaign off to a great start
I couldn’t be happier with how well our Pathways Forward comprehensive fundraising campaign is progressing. We have raised, as of Dec. 31, almost $34 million of our $35 million goal, and we are well on our way to accomplishing our aspirational goal of $40 million.
If you haven’t already, please take a moment to consider participating in the campaign. No gift is too small to make a difference.
While many, many people have contributed to the success of this campaign, I want to again thank Vice Chancellor Mark Parsons for all he has done for the foundation and for UW-Stout. Mark will be leaving campus for the last time on Feb. 26 for a well-deserved retirement, and he will be missed greatly.
Enrollment shows improvement
I spent some time during my remarks updating the campus on enrollment. After two years of decline, I am happy to report that so far in this recruitment cycle the number of new freshmen we have admitted is up almost 300 from last year and up 28 from 2017.
That is an impressive improvement, and I want to thank the dedicated employees in Enrollment and Retention Services and in University Marketing for their efforts. But I also want to thank all of you because, as I said Monday, keeping our enrollment healthy is everyone’s responsibility. So, thank you and keep up the good work.
Best wishes to a new governor for a successful administration
I also had the privilege of being invited to Gov. Evers’ inauguration event on Jan. 7. I attended, along with a number of other chancellors and UW System President Ray Cross. I have known the new governor for a long time, given his tenure as secretary of the Department of Public Instruction and as a member of the Board of Regents. I have indicated to the governor that I will do everything I can to help him and his administration achieve their goals.
Finally, please accept my sincere thanks for all you did in 2018 to make UW-Stout such an amazing place to learn and to work. I hope that 2019 is great for you and your family.