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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Sharyn Wisniewski (608) 262-6448

November 5, 1999

UW System "President's Report"
Takes the Wisconsin Idea into the Next Century

MADISON - University of Wisconsin System President Katharine C. Lyall presented her annual report on the UW System to the Board of Regents at its meeting on November 5, 1999.

Her seventh annual President's Report highlights some of the UW System's achievements as an institution and what the System hopes to achieve in the new millennium.

"As we approach the new millennium, it is important to note how the UW System is expanding its boundaries to meet the demands of students and the Wisconsin economy," Lyall said. "Taking the Wisconsin Idea into the next century means expanding our boundaries both geographically and technologically to keep the UW System a world class institution that enables our graduates to contribute to society."

She added, "Our changing world requires that we devise new and innovative ways to prepare students to meet the challenges of the future, including thinking and acting globally. For example, in 1999, the Collaborative Language Program coordinated the teaching of foreign languages systemwide which provides students throughout the UW System the opportunity to study less commonly taught languages through the use of distance education."

Lyall said, "Among the challenges facing the UW System in the upcoming year is strengthening our commitment to Wisconsin's economic development strategy by helping focus job creation efforts on industries that lift incomes and retain UW System graduates in Wisconsin. In a labor-shortage economy, our graduates are an increasingly valuable asset."

Other challenges mentioned by Lyall include:

  • Recruiting and retaining the best possible faculty to replace the quarter of UW System current faculty who will retire in the next several years, competing with other states for this scarce talent.
  • Establishing enrollment planning guidelines for the next decade that balance resources to serve all student populations. Further extending educational services to working adults is critical.
  • Focusing and restructuring financial aid to better meet the changing needs of students.
  • Keeping administrative costs low through coordinated purchasing, infrastructure planning and management flexibilities. Currently, the UW System spends only 5.8 percent of its operating budget on administrative costs. UW System peers nationally average 10.5 percent.
  • Maintaining the educational quality that is the hallmark of the UW System. Further demonstrating that each dollar invested in public higher education repays the State of Wisconsin and its people many times over.

Copies of the President's Report 1999 are available by contacting the UW System Office of University Relations, 1856 Van Hise Hall, 1220 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53708, by phone (608) 263-3961, or by email to universityrelations@uwsa.edu.