Provost's Digest - August 2010

In This Issue

Calendars Now Online

The first and second week events calendar and UW-L administrative calendar (formerly available as a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet) have a brand new format this year. Both are available in the online UW-L Campus Calendar. The online calendar can be found at http://mastercalendar.uwlax.edu/MasterCalendar/ or by clicking on the “UW-L Campus Calendar” button on the UW-L homepage at the bottom of “Upcoming Events.”

To see first and second week events and administrative dates and deadlines, select “Administrative Calendar” and then “View.” Select other calendar types in order to see what’s happening in those areas. The calendar also allows you to submit items of your own, sort items, and download items to your calendar. To receive notification of new and changed items, users can also subscribe to calendars via email, RSS feed, or ICal. To help you get started, the Provost’s Office has put together three podcasts that will be available on calendar’s main page soon.

Major administrative task deadlines have been added to the administrative calendar. However, the calendar is designed to be updated throughout the year, so make sure to check back often for updates – or take advantage of the subscription option to get the updates sent to your email inbox.

A university committee has been working on the campus calendar for over two years. The calendar made its debut during the fall of 2009 with sub-calendars for University Events, Diversity, CATL, Continuing Education, Intercollegiate Athletics, Recreational Sports, and an RSS feed to the University webpage.  The campus calendar is designed to provide a comprehensive list of campus events in a searchable format.  Individuals involved in the calendar development process include: Larry Ringgenberg, Sue Lee, Bev Kratt, Larry Sleznikow, Tracy Noyes, Barbara Stewart, Kristin Koepke, Matt Evensen, Jason Turonie, Dave Faulkner, Heath Ahnen, Bob Hoar, Paul Rifkin, Judith Albert, Kim Blum, Nick Nicklaus, Sue White, Jennifer Wilson, Michael Slevin, Barbara Stewart, and VJ Agarwal.

Program Spotlight: Admissions Inlcusive Excellence Update UW-L Inclusive Excellence webpage

Over the course of the next academic year, the Provost’s Digest will be highlighting offices within Academic Affairs to get a better sense of what happens behind the scenes. In this issue, we’ll start by looking at Admissions.  
According to Kathleen Enz Finken, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, “Admissions staff represent a highly talented and professional team which is respected throughout the UW-System.
The work they do is instrumental to the success of our institution, both from the perspective of sheer numbers of students needed to meet our financial goals and the development of a highly qualified, diverse student body.”

According to Kathy Kiefer, Director of Admissions, the bulk of her office’s work can be summed up in one word – recruitment. From the first person who answers the phone and greets visitors to staff overseeing Freshmen Registration, every staff interaction is part of recruiting. She notes the nature of those interactions is in large part why UW-L is so successful at recruiting students (we have the highest UW System ratio of applications to available freshmen openings outside of UW-Madison). When students discuss what they like about UW-L, they most often cite how friendly the campus is, along with the beautiful location and our huge program array.

It becomes easier to understand why recruiting is the best word to sum up admission work when you look at some numbers. This past academic year, the admissions office had nearly 15,000 inquiries from prospective freshmen for the class matriculating this fall. And that is just prospective freshmen – there were additional inquiries from transfer, graduate, international, special (those not seeking specific degrees), and re-entry students. The office conducted six Campus Close-Up programs, held numerous group information sessions, visited high schools, hosted groups of students on campus visits, answered phone calls, returned email messages, and met with individual students and their families. Each one of those talks, tours, email messages, and visits is an opportunity to show students exactly why UW-L is their best option. Those 15,000 inquiries and subsequent interactions led to over 6,700 freshmen applications. 

This fall, 1,800 new freshmen will start their collegiate careers at UW-L, which is a bit above the target number of 1,765 set by the Joint Planning and Budget Committee. With Growth, Quality and Access in place, our enrollment numbers very directly impact our budget. “Achieving our admissions targets and enrollment goals for UW-L are essential to ensuring the continued success of the Growth Quality & Access program and enhancing the academic experience for students,” said Bob Hetzel, Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance. To ensure at least 1,765 new freshmen start the Fall of 2010, admissions staff review all 6,681 applications with a goal of “crafting a class that’s diverse” in the broadest sense of the word. They review the applications in rounds. In the first round they find the very clear “yeses” and very clear “nos.” They review the remaining applications again with an eye towards the things that make a student unique but aren’t necessarily obvious at first glance.

Of those 6,700 freshmen applications for Fall 2010, admissions admitted approximately 4,600 students. Then they continued recruiting. As students made their final decisions about which college to attend,
Admissions answered more questions, provided more information, and addres sed more concerns collaborating with Residence Life, Financial Aid, and Records and Registration. According to Kathy Kiefer, the number they admit is estimated based on current trends in admissions and a good amount of “trying to predict the decision making process of 17 year olds.” They seem to have it down to a science, though, enrolling 1,800 students when the target was 1,765.

For those who ultimately decided upon UW-L, Admissions coordinated seven Freshman Registration programs. They received many compliments about the programs including the organization of the day, how many faculty and staff were involved, how friendly and helpful faculty and staff are, and the one-day format (parents and students especially appreciated not having to take multiple days off work).

Kathleen Enz Finken noted how impressed she is that Admissions has continued to meet target enrollment numbers despite recent challenges. Last year, Admissions moved from Graff Main Hall to the Cleary Center. In addition to moving, remodeling, and adapting to new offices, the Admissions staff adjusted to PeopleSoft. The most difficult challenge admissions has faced, though, has been the challenge of recruiting and enrolling students despite a well-publicized student housing shortage. The new student housing that will be re ady for occupancy in the fall of 2011 will help, and Admissions staff members are looking forward to promoting the option to live in the new residence hall. While the new housing will add 500 beds to campus; student enrollment overall is increasing so housing might remain an ongoing challenge. Kathy Kiefer is grateful for the close working relationship that her office and Residence Life share when dealing with the housing challenge.

Another challenge Admissions faces is the lack of academic excellence scholarship money. Faculty and administrators from across campus recognize that we are behind the competition in offering scholarships to academically talented students, which makes recruiting more difficult. With the help of the Foundation, Admissions can now offer the very highest academic achievers an academic excellence scholarship award. According to Bob Hetzel, Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance, “The fundraising for Centennial Hall is nearly complete and both the university and UW-L Foundation will now begin focusing our development efforts on student scholarships to support the recruitment and retention of UW-L students.” The issue is a high priority issue within Academic Affairs as well. One of the goals that administrators from across campus set at this year’s Academic Affairs Planning Retreat was fundraising for scholarships.

Despite challenges, Admissions continues to recruit some of the best students in the state. Joe Gow, Chancellor, commented “We’re extremely fortunate to have one of the most outstanding Admissions Offices in the nation right here at UW-L. Director Kathy Kiefer and the staff are doing outstanding work ensuring that we continue to attract a wealth of highly talented applicants; so much so, that our entering class this fall is the largest UW-L has seen in over 22 years. I know I speak for everyone at our university when I say how grateful we are to them for being so talented and dedicated to recruiting such wonderful students.”

Congratulations!

Please join us in congratulating the below members of our community on their promotion, tenure or career progression:

Academic Staff Receiving Career Progression
Bridget Adams to Student Services Coordinator, Financial Aid Office
Lori Anderson to Senior Advisor, Academic Advising Center
Ryan Friesen to Lecturer, English
Roghaieh Ghodsian to Lecturer, Chemistry
Keli Highland to Student Services Coordinator, University Advancement
Kimberly Lyons to Senior Lecturer, Accountancy
Susan Knudson to Student Services Coordinator, Records and Registration
Jason Kouba to Student Services Coordinator, Office of International Education
Natalia Roberts to Lecturer, Modern Languages
Joanne Sandvick to Senior Administrative Specialist, Health Science Center Consortium

Faculty Promoted to Associate Professor
Eric Barnes, Physics
Mathew Cashion, English
Galadriel Chilton, Library
David Hart, English
Jon Hasenbank, Mathematics
Meredith Thomsen, Biology

Faculty Promoted to Professor
Cynthia Berlin, Geography and Earth Science
Daniel Gerber, Biology
Adrienne Loh, Chemistry
Leslee Poulton, Modern Languages
Chia-Chen Yu, Exercise and Sport Science

Faculty Receiving Tenure
Jennifer Kosiak, Mathematics
Kristin Mally, Exercise and Sport Science
Aric Opdahl, Chemistry
James Peirce, Jr , Mathematics
Sheryl Ross, Philosophy
Donald Sloan, Art
Glenn Wright, Exercise and Sport Science

Grant and Professional Development Deadlines

As you start the academic year, please take a moment to review the grant and professional development opportunities listed at http://www.uwlax.edu/provost/academics/faculty.htm. Some programs with upcoming deadlines are below:

Visiting Scholar/Artists of Color program applications for fall visits are due September 1. This program offers an excellent opportunity to bring in a guest speaker or conduct a workshop. The second due date of December 1 supports visits for spring and summer.

Faculty Development Grants are due September 24. The grants support professional development, the scholarship of teaching & learning, and teaching innovation.

International Development Fund grant applications are due October 1. The grants support faculty and staff research, scholarly exchanges, professional development and travel that enhance the internationalization of the university and its curriculum. There are additional submission dates of February 1, and April 1, 2011.

NEW! Curricular Redesign Grant program supports efforts that bring advances in disciplinary knowledge into the undergraduate experience and/or create and adapt learning materials and teaching strategies that embody what we know about how students learn. Proposals are due to department chairs on October 1 and to deans by October 15. The funds are available for activities in the 2010-2011 academic year. The request for proposals can be found here.

Sabbatical Leave applications are due in the fall. Visit your college's website for specific application deadlines and application procedures.

Academic Affairs Retreat

Leaders from across Academic Affairs met on August 12 for an all-day planning retreat. The Provost’s Office surveyed areas of Academic Affairs earlier in the summer to find out what issues are most pressing for action in 2010-2011. The four issues that emerged as most urgent are: summer school and winter-term programming; graduate education; advancement, fundraising and external relations; and workload & equity.

The retreat participants discussed each goal for our work this year in small groups and then collectively. For each topic, discussion focused on identifying outcomes which will result in positive change for UW-L; which we have a reasonable expectation will be achievable; and which are financially responsible. A taskforce has been established to work on each primary issue, and progress on goals will be reported and discussed at each month’s Provost’s Council. Look for additional updates in upcoming Digest.

New Institutional Research Website

The Office of Institutional Research (OIR) is pleased to announce its new website at www.uwlax.edu/ir.  Access the website for facts about UW-L, links to UW System data, and other information sources.  OIR will continue to add content to the website over the next several months.  Use the feedback link at the bottom of the website’s homepage to submit suggestions for additional information you’d like added to the website.

If you need data, an email sample for research projects, or other assistance from OIR, please use the new Data Request form or Sample Requests link located on the OIR website homepage instead of emailing or calling OIR directly.  This will help ensure that OIR receives all the information necessary to complete your request.