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Apr. 2, 2004

Remarks to the Board of Regents
Katharine C. Lyall, President
University of Wisconsin System

Ann Lydecker

I want to thank those chancellors and regents who attended Ann Lydecker’s memorial service on Monday. As I noted then, this is only the third time that the UW System has gathered to remember a chancellor who died in office. The first time in 1967 was when a helicopter carrying several UW officials including UW-Stevens Point Chancellor James Albertson went down in Vietnam; the second was when UW Colleges Chancellor Lee Grugel died unexpectedly in 1997 of a heart attack, and now, in 2004, our loss of Chancellor Lydecker in an automobile accident. These are the times at which we come to really appreciate how much we count on the university and civic leadership of our chancellors.

Ann was on her way to a Women’s History event at UW-Platteville. By chance, I have her notes on what she intended to say there about “leadership” – they contain some good advice:

  • Be yourself—emotions are okay; so are colors.
  • Respect human dignity—don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty, no one gets anywhere alone.
  • Smiles and hugs go a long way.
  • Leave the world a better place than when you arrived.

She did – we’ll miss Ann.

Minnesota-Wisconsin Reciprocity

You may have seen recent press reports that Minnesota is considering changing the reciprocity agreement with Wisconsin that enables students to attend college in each state at essentially their home state tuition. Because Minnesota tuition has risen faster than ours, Wisconsin students can attend Minnesota colleges for about $1,400 less tuition than a Minnesota student.

For a number of reasons, I hope that reciprocity remains in place between our states. First, reciprocity maximizes student choice and minimizes costs by enabling each state to avoid duplication of many specialized programs that otherwise would have to be offered in both states. Second, a concern that the University of Minnesota and the UW System share is that the tuition payments of students in the reciprocity program do not go to the university, but go into the state general fund. At the end of each year, the state treasurers make a balancing payment in one direction or the other so neither university sees a financial benefit from serving home students over others. Third, if reciprocity were eliminated, the flows of students between our states would likely change. Today, about 13,000 Minnesota students come to Wisconsin campuses and about 10,000 Wisconsin students go to Minnesota campuses. If reciprocity were eliminated, it is likely that many Wisconsin students would stay home and increase the enrollment pressures on our campuses while others would choose to leave the state for college. In Wisconsin, UW-Madison and our western Comprehensives could be significantly impacted.

The Wisconsin-Minnesota Reciprocity agreement is negotiated every few years between the state higher education aid agencies (Higher Educational Aids Board [HEAB] in Wisconsin). Negotiations for next year are complete and, aside from a clarification that graduate assistants are covered by the agreement, no changes have been made for next year. It is linked in the same statute with income tax reciprocity for residents who live in one state and work in the other. Past examinations of this issue have led to the conclusion that reciprocity works well for both states. I hope that this will continue to be the case.

2005-07 Budget Development

Just a reminder that we continue through the budget development process the Board adopted in February. We are headed towards a set of draft documents on which we will ask you to make some preliminary choices in June, and a final budget document for action in August. Last month, you discussed the elements of a financial aid request that would ensure current aid levels would be maintained and grow slightly after the one-time funds for financial aid run out at the end of next year.

Later this morning, the Charting groups will report out the items they are recommending that have a budgetary impact. Some of these recommendations are short-term (for 2005-07) and some are longer term. We are not asking you to vote on these today (that will come in June), but we do need your discussion, questions, and thoughts about these recommendations so that we can provide you the best-developed choices in June. So, please listen carefully and raise the questions that can help staff develop these well.

Good News . . .

UW-Parkside Gets Campus Contract Grant

Congratulations to UW-Parkside, home to the Wisconsin Campus Compact, which has received the largest AmeriCorps VISTA grant in the country ($484,000). The Compact is recruiting 35 AmeriCorps VISTA student volunteers to serve one year in communities across the state. The service assignments are targeted to developing lasting solutions to problems of poverty in local communities.

The Wisconsin Campus Compact is a coalition of 30 Wisconsin postsecondary institutions committed to service learning as part of the undergraduate curriculum. Volunteers receive a very modest living allowance and, at the end of their service, an educational grant of $4,725.

All our UW campuses are members of Campus Compact. Thanks especially to Chancellor Keating for hosting this important service program at UW-Parkside.

UW Staffer Goes to NCAA

UW System Administration is losing one of our key staffers, Erik Christianson, our press officer, who has just been recruited to be the Press Director for the NCAA. The NCAA really had their timing right, recruiting Erik, a basketball player, during the Final Four playoffs. Erik has made our communications program more efficient and saved us public dollars by moving a number of publications from print to online and beefing up our website. We’ll miss Erik and will look for his face at national press conferences in the future!

UW Poster Session in Capitol

We have two special events coming up that showcase the work of our students and our alumni.

On Tuesday, April 27, in the State Capitol from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. more than 100 undergraduate research exhibits will feature the extraordinary work of UW students and faculty in the research arena. All of our four-year, and most of our two-year, campuses will be represented there. At noon, a short program featuring Regent Walsh, Vice President Marrett, Corvy Hovis from the National Science Foundation (NSF), legislators, and a representative of the Governor’s office will talk about the importance of research. Some of these student exhibitors will then travel to Oshkosh to participate in the systemwide undergraduate research poster session the next day.

We are preparing our students for the knowledge-economy and these exhibits will show you just how and what that means.

I’d also alert you that on May 7, the UW Alumni Network is sponsoring our first statewide “UW Spirit Day.” By conservative estimates, there are some half-million people in Wisconsin who have graduated from, are enrolled in, or work at our 15 institutions. We are asking them to celebrate their UW ties on May 7 by wearing their school colors, logo wear, or one of the buttons you have before you today.

I want to thank our campus alumni directors and university relations staff for originating this idea—while renewing ties with our alumni we’ll be providing a very visible reminder of how much the university affects the lives of every citizen in the state.

That also happens to be a Regent day, so we’re asking you to join us in wearing your school colors and the UW button to that meeting. To give you a head start we’ve provided you a button and some stickers to share. (By the way, we’ve used private funds to pay for these.) Check out the special Spirit Day website at www.wisconsin.edu/spirit.

UW-Milwaukee Graduate Mounts Museum Exhibit

UW-Milwaukee graduate student Jocelyn Boor, who is an intern at the Milwaukee Public Museum, has used her internship to help stage the exhibit “Quest for Immortality,” which focuses on ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. Working under the direction of Carter Lupton, a UWM alumnus and curator of the Museum, Boor is learning about the layout, training, and publicity aspects of mounting a major museum exhibit. Boor finished her certificate in museum studies at UWM in 2000 and her master’s degree in anthropology in 2001. Her career is pulling these areas together perfectly.

Mascots and Cheerleaders

The UW-Milwaukee Dance Team won a national collegiate Hip Hop championship and took home the gold for Division I schools this month. The Panther Dance Team consists of 14 members who promote school spirit through cheerleading and choreographed routines at major athletics events and community appearances. The competition they won was broadcast on ESPN and seen nationwide.

You may not know that UWM also conducts one of the nation’s largest summer schools for team mascots, teaching these intrepid souls how to survive the heat inside those animal suits and how to handle fans who may have had a bit too much good cheer! Next time you enjoy the mascots and cheerleaders at an event, remember that they probably learned it at UWM!

UW-Madison’s Improvement Showcase

As we continue to seek ways to be most efficient and effective with our resources during these tight times, I’d like to alert you to an event with just that aim.

UW-Madison will hold its fifth annual Improvement Showcase on April 5. The theme is “Organizational Effectiveness: Improving Work, Learning and Climate.” Over 50 examples of improvements from across campus will be showcased. Faculty and staff attend the Showcase to find best practices to apply to their own units. Over 200 improvement examples over the five years have included:

  • Over $1 million in annual savings in purchasing and library acquisitions through collaboration with other Big Ten universities;
  • Technology solutions to speed admissions, accounting, scholarships, and remodeling; and
  • Campus-wide systems for improving student success through advising, first year programs, learning communities, and by identifying students most at risk and matching them with appropriate resources.

The event will also feature workshops on tools and approaches for making improvements, as well as a national speaker, Dr. Brent Ruben, author of “Pursuing Excellence in Higher Education.” You are invited to attend Showcase 2004 at the Fluno Center from 7:45 a.m. to 12:00 noon on Monday, April 5. If you have questions, contact the Office of Quality Improvement at 262-6843.