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Thursday, October 10, 2002

University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents
October 2002 Meeting, UW-Whitewater
Day One News Summary

University of Wisconsin System campuses join national service-learning initiative

WHITEWATER- Students at University of Wisconsin System campuses will benefit from expanded opportunities to use skills they learn in the classroom to solve challenges in community settings as part of a national service-learning initiative, according to a presentation given Thursday to the UW System Board of Regents.

At a full board meeting on the UW-Whitewater campus, regents heard a report from UW-Parkside Chancellor Jack Keating, who introduced the regents to Wisconsin's membership into Campus Compact, an association of more than 850 college and university presidents whose mission is to promote student learning and citizenship through campus-community partnerships.

Wisconsin's initiative, headquartered at UW-Parkside, includes support from more than two dozen presidents at UW System institutions, private colleges and universities and the technical college system, Keating said. Wisconsin is the 28th state to join Campus Compact, with member institutions in Appleton, Ashland, Eau Claire, Kenosha, La Crosse, Madison, Milwaukee, Oshkosh, Ripon, River Falls, Sheboygan, Stevens Point, Waukesha and Whitewater.

Directors said the program helps campuses direct resources toward service learning by encouraging and training faculty members to create lessons that build upon student volunteer experience in the community.

"There is a movement afoot to rediscover the civic mission," said Liz Hollander, national executive director of Campus Compact. "We cannot go forward into this nation without students coming out of college who are ready, not to be what President Bush called a 'nation of spectators,' but rather, ready to step up to the plate."

Real-world experiences, such as volunteering at a homeless shelter and then discussing issues related to homelessness in the classroom, Keating said, "help students understand community problems and how they can use their education to solve those problems."

Campus Compact will expand the efforts of service-learning initiatives already in place at several UW institutions. UW-Extension Chancellor Kevin Reilly told the regents about one such partnership, in which students at Extension, UW-Platteville and UW-Whitewater conduct focus groups to assess the needs of Latino families in Wisconsin.

"We've got not just social, but economic reasons for this kind of work, and for having our students in it," Reilly said.

During President's Week in February, Wisconsin's member colleges and universities will make a combined effort to participate in the National Student Civic Engagement Campaign, which will encourage students to become involved in the political process and map civic engagement on their campuses.

Keating said Wisconsin's Campus Compact is conducting a national search for an executive director, and program directors will actively seek out grants to be shared among member campuses.

"It's a two-way street-a true partnership," Keating said. "We certainly should be giving back to the state," Keating said. "As a state-supported institution, it's important for us to do so."

UW-Whitewater showcases student success through fiscal and facilities planning

In a presentation to a joint meeting of the Business and Finance and Physical Planning committees, UW-Whitewater officials outlined how the campus is working to increase student success through long-term fiscal and facilities planning.

UW-Whitewater Vice Chancellor Jim Freer told regents that the campus is working to expand its resource base so it can better meet three student-identified needs: increased academic advising, career services and a better freshmen experience. As campus facilities are continually improved, UW-Whitewater students will experience more enriching learning environments, Freer said.

For example, students recently voted to pay an extra $50 per semester in differential fees to fund an Academic Advising and Exploration Center. The extra fees raised tuition 3.3% and raised the campus resource base by $800,000, said Barbara Jones, assistant chancellor for student affairs.

The campus has current plans to update academic buildings and University Center, where it will eventually house a comprehensive student services center, Freer said.
Because capital and budget planning for projects takes years, Freer said the campus has worked to identify long-term plans to keep campus facilities up to date, while at the same time, increasing student success.

In other committee news:

Physical Planning

The Physical Planning committee approved a resolution to give UW-Madison the authority to petition for annexation of the UW-Madison Arboretum into the city of Madison.

The Arboretum has been a part of negotiations on whether sections of the town of Madison, including part of the Arboretum, will be annexed into the city of Madison or neighboring Fitchburg. Chancellor John Wiley told the committee that the campus's strong preference is that the city of Madison win the right to annex the Arboretum. He said the resolution allows the campus's voice to be heard.

"If we sit by and do nothing, we run the risk of bring annexed into Fitchburg against our will," Wiley said.

The city of Madison would be better equipped to provide municipal sewer service to residences within the Arboretum that currently have septic systems - a potential threat to the Arboretum's wetlands, Wiley said.

Education

The Education Committee continued the full board's discussion on service learning. Regents expressed the value of service-learning initiatives as quality education methods as well as being socially beneficial. The regents' formal agenda included receiving several presentations and taking action on two program authorizations.

Committee Chairman Pat Boyle and UW System Senior Vice President Cora Marrett led discussions on quality, access and diversity, and the committee heard two presentations from UW-Whitewater staff and students.

Roger Pulliam, assistant vice chancellor for academic affairs, discussed the UW-Whitewater multicultural program "Diversity and Student Success: A Systematic/Ladder Approach," which provides academic support to multicultural students, including pre-college programs in the region.

Also addressing the committee was Sandra Hall, Director of Disabled Student Services at UW-Whitewater, whose office supports a diverse group of disabled students. She discussed a program titled "Investing in Student Success: Supporting Students with Disabilities."

Several students from both UW-Whitewater programs also told the regent committee about their academic experiences.

The committee also heard first readings of three new programs. Two of the programs are B.S. degrees in Biochemistry at UW-Milwaukee and UW-La Crosse, respectively. The third new program first reading was a M.S. in Biotechnology at UW-Madison. The board also considered on first reading a revised mission statement for UW-Platteville.

Lastly, the committee unanimously approved two new academic programs on second reading. They are a B.S. in Athletic Training at UW-Oshkosh and a Master of Social Work at UW-Green Bay.

Business and Finance

The committee recommended to the full board a resolution to increase tuition at UW-Eau Claire that would support expanded student undergraduate research and service-learning opportunities.

Regent Jose Olivieri introduced a resolution encouraging other campuses to bring forward differential tuition proposals that specifically benefit the student experience. The resolution also recommended that institutions aggressively pursue the development and implementation of programming for nontraditional students to cover the full cost of the programs.

Kris Andrews, UW System federal relations coordinator, reported on her activities since joining UW System nine months ago. She expressed concern that Congress had not acted on its 13 appropriations bills. Operating at 2002 appropriations levels will mean fewer available funds for researchers and less financial aid available for students, she said.

The Board will hear from students about its Trust Fund investment policies at the November Board of Regents meeting.