UWL looks ahead to projects and strategic planning, plans for demographic shifts
While the decades ahead are predicted to be a challenge for college and university enrollments nationwide due, in part, to a decline in the number of 18-year-olds, UWL is working to meet this challenge by better understanding the programs and services these incoming students will need, UWL Chancellor Joe Gow said Wednesday.
During his All-University Address, Gow shared UWL’s creation of a long-term enrollment task force that will look closely at these issues. The work is one of many initiatives Gow mentioned during the address that align with the university’s strategic plan.
Gow also shared that UWL has a lot to celebrate, including meeting its accreditation criteria, continuing to attract outstanding students in record numbers, improving campus facilities and more.
- Nese Nasif, UW-La Crosse assistant professor of marketing, received an inaugural UWL award for her efforts to further equity, diversity and inclusion on campus and in the community. Nasif received the Faculty Research Award for Extraordinary Service. The new award is designed to acknowledge the additional service obligations associated with faculty who actively advance UWL’s goals in the area of equity and diversity. The award provides support for the production of scholarly work among tenure-track faculty members.
- Renee Redman, UWL senior lecturer in biology, was nominated for the Regents Teaching Excellence Award. One outstanding faculty member from UWL is nominated for the award that recognizes an outstanding career achievement in teaching.
- Several people in UWL’s Office of Residence Life received awards from the Upper Midwest Region of ACUHO (Association of College and University Housing Officers).
- Kyleah Bell for Graduate Student Social Justice Action Award
- Hannah Amann for Top Five Program Presentation, and New Presenter Award
- Michelle Edge for Support Staff Recognition Award
- UW-La Crosse received a gold seal at the national ALL IN Challenge Awards Ceremony for achieving a student voting rate between 40% and 49%. Colleges and universities committed to increasing college student voting rates were honored Tuesday, Nov. 12, at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. At UWL, a total of 4,796 UWL students voted in the 2018 mid-term, or about 47%, compared to 39 percent nationally.
- U.S. News & World Report has ranked the University of Wisconsin MBA Consortium program among the top 10 programs in the nation in its Best Online MBA Programs rankings. UWL is a partner in the consortium, along with UW-Eau Claire and UW-Oshkosh.
- The Higher Learning Commission reaffirmed that UWL meets the criteria for accreditation during a standard mid-cycle review, with no additional monitoring.
- UWL’s Share the La Crosse Experience Scholarship Campaign wrapped up in December with a total of more than $18 million raised to support UWL student scholarships. The campaign, which started in 2013, aimed to raise more than $15 million to support students by 2019.
- The UWL Alumni Association celebrated its 50th anniversary in October. The Association’s past presidents set a $250,000 fundraising goal to help secure the organization’s future. During the Big Birthday Bash Brunch Oct. 26, Alumni Association Executive Director Janie Morgan, ’85 & ’86, unveiled the campaign’s total: $279,780.
- In March 2019, UWL’s School of Education was the first institution in Wisconsin to be approved by the Department of Public Instruction as an Educator Preparation Program under the new licensure law (PI 34). UWL SOE underwent its first onsite annual review under the new procedure in November and was granted one-year initial approval. This is the first year of a five-year annual visit cycle. DPI recognized SOE for innovative programming including Trauma Informed Schools (a partnership between Educational Studies, School Psychology, and Northside Elementary School in La Crosse) and the summer Milwaukee Urban Experience (an intensive Field I Experience with diverse Elementary and Middle School partners in Milwaukee). DPI noted that SOE’s partnerships with K-12 programs are vital to exemplary educator preparation and support for local school districts.
Strategic planning-related initiatives
- UWL now offers a Diversity & Inclusion Certificate Program, aligning with the Equity and Diversity pillar of the strategic plan. Certificates are organized by roles: instructors, employees, supervisors/department chairs, student advocates (e.g., Student Affairs and D&I professional), and Equity Liaisons.
- Community engagement at UWL is taking many forms from the opening of a Common Thread, a new campus clothes closet, to a new collaboration with the La Crosse Police Department to secure a grant for community policing.
- Wittich Hall will reopen this summer. The renovated 1919 building will be updated with 2020 technology, and it will become the new home for the College of Business Administration. The CBA is planning a celebration for the grand opening of the building at 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 3, followed by a reception.
- Construction of a new fieldhouse and soccer support facility is anticipated to begin in fall 2020 with completion in August 2022. The design report for the fieldhouse project will be submitted to the State Building Commission for approval at its February meeting. “I think the fieldhouse will get a lot of use and be important for recruiting students who want to live the ‘mind and body’ values we have at UWL,” said Gow.
- UWL is working to get Phase II of the Prairie Springs Science Center included in the next state budget.