April 7, 2005

Posters in the Rotunda: A Celebration of Undergraduate Research

Remarks by Regent President Toby E. Marcovich

Thank you, President Reilly. And thank you to all the students, faculty, staff and legislators who have traveled, in some cases, hundreds of miles to join us here today.

My Board colleagues and I agree that events like these are among the most rewarding aspects of being a Regent. Like our friends here in the Legislature, we spend a lot of time in meetings, and we never get enough time to spend with students and UW employees. That’s why today we are especially pleased to meet many of our undergraduates, and talented faculty and staff, and to see first-hand the results of the teaching, learning, and research that takes place on UW campuses.

Undergraduate research is a growing priority at all UW System campuses, and for good reason. We know that, as Ms. Lederer said, student learning is enhanced when undergraduates get to work closely with faculty on research. I remember this well from my days as an undergraduate researcher in chemistry at UW-Madison. Students remain the UW System’s #1 priority, and it is important that we are able to provide them the chance to have experiences like these.

And as we heard from Dr. Johnson, undergraduate research is just the beginning of what our campuses can, and are doing. Many of the ideas we see here today might never have been proposed without undergraduate research. Who knows what else UW researchers might be able to discover? I’m proud that our Board of Regents is working hard to make sure these kinds of research efforts get the attention and support they need and deserve.

It’s important to remember that this kind of research isn’t free. It takes significant time and resources, and as our friends in this building continue to deliberate the university’s budget, I encourage you all to take a very close look at the terrific work our students have done. I know you’ll agree that this kind of work is definitely worth the investment.

On behalf of the Board of Regents, it is my pleasure to congratulate each and every one of our UW student researchers for their hard work.