Office of the Chancellor

Chancellor's Blog

November 29, 2012

Budget lapse, the new normal call for new ideas

The budget lapse, the fall forum and the new normal call for our best ideas to continue fulfilling our mission at the highest level.

Dear Colleagues,

I want to thank the many of you who took the time to attend the Fall Budget Forum Tuesday at noon. There was a terrific presence from all areas of the campus. If you missed the forum, I would like to reiterate some of the major themes. First, a proposal on how the University will deal with the FY 2012-2013 lapse was presented. This proposal has been approved by the Executive Budgetary Council and we will be implementing it.

Second, an update on the University's fiscal health was provided. The University finds itself in a vulnerable position, something which has happened steadily over a long period time. With a "new normal" circumstance apparently in place - a downward trend in state support and little or no growth potential in tuition - and enrollment challenges which we face, we need to rethink how we perform our charge in order to function within the constraints of the reduced base budget.  We remain committed to the mission of providing high-quality experiences to our students and to improve compensation for faculty and staff. Each one of us plays a role in our success as we move forward. We invite your best thinking about how to improve efficiencies or revenue streams; ideas can be sent to ideas@uwsuper.edu or through a Qualtrics survey at <http://uwsuperior.us2.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_5d6zzCznoSmfNrf> Additional thanks to those who already have submitted ideas and feedback.   At each mid-semester, a similar forum will be held to inform you on recent developments in the state of the University.

Conveying to you what we are doing to help ourselves, I want to talk further about where we are with the WATR Initiative. As Tonya Roth and Lynne Williams presented at the Fall Opening, WATR is a $2-million initiative funded by UW System to support efforts to improve recruitment and enrollment.  The components are Web, Analytics, Transfer, and Recruitment. 

Web - We are in the RFP stage for overhaul of our larger web presence.  Our admissions web portal micro-site is in the process of being built to be more user-friendly and to drive a prospective student to take action. It should be ready to go by March 1 so that we can incorporate into it the newly designed theme from our branding campaign.

Analytics - We are in the process of hiring on a project basis a person to help with the analytics and analysis of data from our enrollment management system. This support should help us to answer some of the lingering recruitment and retention questions which we have.

Transfer - We are examining the currency of transfer agreements and support levels for transfer students.

Recruitment - We are building upon the earlier work done by Stamats with regard to our branding message.  A few years ago, we asked them to help us with foundational research to identify themes in people's perceptions about the University.  owever, we had not yet launched a branding campaign.  We have brought in Stamats again to create and launch this campaign. What we hear is that people who know us really like us.  However, generalized awareness is low.  Therefore, we have a good opportunity to grab people's attention and to tell our story to receptive ears.  n January 29, you will have an opportunity to take a look at and provide feedback on the appearance of the campaign! The campaign will be used on all recruitment materials, including those in our immediate local service area.  We will also target the Twin Cities, a location tied closely with our Twin Ports geography, and one that will be a testing bed for potential rollout into other new markets. We continue to expand our work with our regional high schools and have plans to work more closely with our alumni and current students to facilitate recruiting efforts where they reside.

While these initiatives are important, so also are our daily work efforts.  Whether in the classroom, in support of student financial or recreational needs, in maintenance of our physical environment, each small positive action provides ripples of outward movement which make a difference in our perceived image.  Our preliminary branding research has shown positively that your hard work and care for our students matters and makes a noticeable favorable impact!

Evidence abounds of the good work that goes on at this time of year.   The UW-S Jazz Ensemble performs  tonight at Grandma's Sports Garden at 7:30.  The UW-S Choir performs this Sunday at 4:00 p.m. at Christ the King Cathedral (and again on Tuesday, Dec. 4 at 7:30 p.m.).  The First-Year Seminar Expo is Dec. 6 at 11:30 in the YU.  Check the Digest for a full schedule!

Today, Provost Hensrud , Gary Johnson, and I travel to Bad River. The Alumni Board is having a meeting tomorrow in the YU. I will be out toward the end of next week to Madison for the December Board of Regents meeting.

Finally, to keep you up to date on other issues, UW System has issued a fromal press release with regard to the Flexible Degree Program, now being called the UW Flexible Option:

UW-Milwaukee will offer four degree programs and one certificate program:

  •   Two Nursing degrees (R.N.-to-B.S.N. and R.N.-to-M.N.), for Registered Nurses who need additional college to qualify for higher professional credentials.
  • A bachelor's degree-completion program in Diagnostic Imaging, targeted toward certified diagnostic imaging professionals.
  • A B.S. in Information Science & Technology, preparing students for jobs in tomorrow's digital culture and economy.
  • A Certificate in Professional and Technical Communication, providing students with the essential written and oral communication skills needed in today's workplace.

UW Colleges will provide an array of general education and liberal arts courses in the new UW Flexible Option format, in core fields such as biology, chemistry, mathematics, engineering, business, English, Spanish, geography, and others. The UW Colleges will work to provide the Associate of Arts and Science degree via the UW Flexible Option, which may also meet the general education requirements of four-year degree programs launched by other institutions.

Several other UW System institutions, including UW-Parkside, are working to develop Flexible Options for their degree programs, and additional offerings should be ready by Fall 2014.

We are ranked!  The men's hockey team won again on Thanksgiving Eve, dropping Concordia College 4-3 and remain ranked in both national polls, #11 according to d3hockey.com and #12 on USCHO, up one spot from last week.

The women's hockey team also is ranked in both polls, sitting 7th and 6th on the respective web sites. The men's basketball team went 1-1 at the Merrill Thompson Tip-Off Classic with the win coming over Twin Ports rival St. Scholastica. The women's basketball team also had a bridge battle, giving UMD everything they could handle before falling to the Bulldogs for their first loss of the season. The basketball teams open their WIAC schedule at home against UW-Stevens Point on Saturday. The men will play at 3:00 p.m. and the women at 5:00 p.m. at Mertz Mortorelli Gym. Come on out and support the Yellowjackets!

I know this is a hectic time of year as classes are culminating into presentations, concerts, and projects. Need a change of scenery? There are terrific activities going on in the community. The City Tree Lighting is happening tonight at City Center Park (hot cider is being served!). Winterfest is next week on the 6th of December right here on campus at the MWC. Fairlawn Manor is having several events. Bentleyville light extravaganza is going on just across the bridge. 

Renée

 


Back to Top