The Provost's digest: An Occasional Communique
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November 2004

North Central Self-Study

As you know, we are preparing for the visit from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. In order to maintain accreditation status, the university is required to undergo a self-study process every ten years; our last visit was in 1996. I see the North Central visit as an opportunity to evaluate all the things we are currently doing as a university and to examine what we might do better. Dorothy Zeisler-Vralsted chairs our NCA steering committee. Working with her are: George Arimond, Education, Exercise Science and Recreation; Scott Cooper, Biology; Gerry Cox, Sociology & Anthropology; Robert Hoar, Mathematics; Jay Lokken, International Education; Karen Palmer Mc Lean, Science & Allied Health; Betsy Morgan, Psychology; Alfred Thompson, Affirmative Action; Jodi Wagner, Counseling & Testing; Gregory Wegner, Educational Studies; and Kenneth Winter, Accountancy.
Visit the UW-L NCA Web site at for more information and important updates.  Please contact Dorothy (785-5011 or if you are interested in participating. I know that Dorothy and the other members of the committee would appreciate your involvement.

Student Academic Initiatives

Better known as the “Differential Tuition Programs," the Student Academic Initiatives demonstrate our students’ firm commitment to quality education at UW-L. Starting in fall 2004, students began paying $20 per term into the program, while UW-L matches these student dollars from non-academic program funded sources. Our students selected four targeted areas of support: Academic Advising, Diversity and Campus Climate,Undergraduate Research, and International Experiences.

These Differential Tuition Programs have the support of both the Chancellor and the Board of Regents. Although funding started in 2004, the students, faculty and staff wanted to take time to debate and deliberate on the details of the programs. Recommendations from these groups, including governance groups, were forwarded to the Chancellor for final approval last spring.

The following are activities that have occurred that began implementation of the initiatives. The Director of Academic Advising, Doug Swanson (, has hired advisors and has prepared the former ADL Lab to function as the home of the new Center. A search is nearing completion for a Campus Climate Coordinator. The Undergraduate Research Committee and the Graduate Research Committee have been allocated additional funds for awards this year. International Education (, under Jay Lokken’s leadership, will oversee the allocation of stipends for new international students and UW-L students studying abroad.

CATL and the Carnegie Perspectives

One of the areas I want to emphasize this year is the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning (CATL).  Although this center has existed in the Provost’s office for some time, we want it to become a powerful resource for the improvement of teaching and learning. With the help of Bill Cerbin, I hope to make our conversation on teaching and learning stimulating and on-going. Certainly this is a discussion that all faculty and staff will find engaging and worthwhile. A good way to stay up to date is to visit the new teaching and learning website called ATLAS (Advancing Teaching, Learning & Assessment).

 A major emphasis of CATL this year is the Lesson Study Project in which UW-L instructors are involved in designing, teaching, observing, evaluating and revising lessons for their classes. This project has funding from a UWS Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Grant. For additional information about the project go to Small grants are available for UW-L instructors who want to participate in lesson study. If you are interested, contact Bill Cerbin,       

 Still another resource is the Carnegie Foundation’s online newsletter “The Carnegie Perspectives.” The topic for the September newsletter was “Teaching the Seminar.” The site provides handy links to previous newsletters dealing with current issues in pedagogy. The newsletter promises “a new way to think about teaching and learning.” It’s certainly worth your time to check out the website.